Breaking news! The Jaguars have been struggling this season! Oh wait, that’s not new, however the question that needs to be asked is, will the struggling end with the help of a bye week. My answer? Undoubtedly yes.
Why am I so positive, you may ask. Well it’s pretty simple. Up until the Jaguars bye week the Jaguars dealt with a host of issues. A terrible punter, injured Pro Bowl special teamers, injured linemen, woeful under performers, a basically brand new defense and rookie learning curves. Right before the bye week though, some of those misaligned and broken pieces were coming together. The punter was replace and has performed solidly so far. Kassim Osgood and Montell Owens are back and healthy. Eugene Monroe is “recovered” from his offseason of healthiness and at a solid playing weight. Eben Britton will hopefully be really after three weeks of rest. Marcedes Lewis was starting to finally catch the ball in the last two weeks before the bye and hopefully has used the bye to get his mind straight. The defense is top-10 and is starting to implement the new wrinkles (look at the blitzing schemes and the performances so far). The rookies are starting to play better with Will Rackley is starting to get up to speed and is playing alot better than earlier in the season and Chris Prosinski getting playing time on throwing downs. Finally Blaine Gabbert. Well, he deserves his own paragraph.
Blaine Gabbertis struggling, there’s no doubt about that. However, we all know the problems that he has been dealing with, 1. receivers who can’t catch the ball, who don’t fight for catches, 2. a makeshift offensive line, 3. a struggling TE, 4. facing the top-10 defenses for the last 4 weeks and finally, 5. issues with pocket presence and footwork. Gabbert is a confident kid, and I use kid because he is one, and he should be focused and ready going into the second half of the season. Hopefully the coaching staff worked on his footwork and pocket awareness during the first week of the bye and he worked on the timing with his receivers. Gabbert will benefit from facing easier defenses and the hope is, he’ll understand that he can succeed in the NFL and every week won’t be against top-5 defenses.
I fully expect the Jaguars to thoroughly trounce the Colts. Gabbert should throw for over 200 yards and a pair of TDs while Maurice Jones- Drew should pass the century mark. I predict a final score of 31-10. As the Hof likes to say, “Book it”.