The Indianapolis Colts aren’t the same team they were last year. If they were then I think Gabbert would certainly trash the defense for a ridiculous amount of yardage and look very, very good. The Colts are a new team, especially on offense. Unfortunately for the Colts they are going to have growing pains and Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, and Reggie Wayne can’t play defense.
Last year Blaine Gabbert collected two of his four wins against the Colts (21-14 and 19-11 respectively). He put up a mere 200 yards but connected on 25 of his 40 pass attempts (62.5%) for two touchdowns. This defense is certainly different, but so is Gabbert. As bad as his yardage was in two games against the Colts, he looked much more polished during those games than he did at other points in his rookie season.
Fast forward to 2012 and Gabbert is considerably better than he was last year. The last game doesn’t show it, but Gabbert looked good against the Vikings. Even with the Texans game, Gabbert is 30 of 58 (51.7%) for 283 yards and three touchdowns. For a guy who could hardly drop back after taking the snap last year, that is drastic improvement. And against a defense like the Colts? I think he’ll show even more.
All of this is null and void if his injury flares up again, but right now this is Gabbert’s best chance to make an impact as a passer this season. The Vikings game showed he could do it against a decent defense, the Texans game showed that he’s still outmatched against the best of the best. But right now the Colts aren’t the best of the best. In fact the Colts D has allowed two passing touchdowns a game and 250+ passing yards (7.8 yards per attempt, slightly worse than the 7 yards per attempt they allowed last season) in each of its first two games. Combine a continuing trend with the strong running of Maurice Jones-Drew and it looks like Gabbert could finally really light it up. And if Gabbert is hungry following last week’s disaster this could be a mean looking quarterback against the Colts.
It’s tough to move past a game like last Sunday’s, but if there is ever a team to allow you to show confidence through the air, it appears that Gabbert has the history and potential to do it against the Colts. I sincerely hope the trend continues, and right now I find it hard to see the trend not continuing. Will the offensive line hold up? I hope so. Will MJD do work? I hope so. As much impact as a quarterback has in the NFL, it is a team sport. I just hope the team can give Gabbert a chance to show that the few good games he’s had aren’t just a fluke.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims