So much for Chad Henne being the best available insurance….
Some people may find it tough to believe but Blaine Gabbert was the best chance the Jags had to beat the Raiders on Sunday. This loss comes down to two things only: the injuries to Blaine Gabbert and Maurice Jones-Drew. Despite a very strong defensive showing from the Jaguars, the team simply could not move the ball on offense after their two primary starters exited the game.
With Gabbert in the game the Jaguars put up 110 yards on eight completions. Gabbert had one touchdown, a 66% completion rate, and he looked in control of his offense. The team had opened up its play calling, the receivers were in much better communication with their signal caller, and plays were being made. The 42 yard pass to Cecil Shorts was a beauty. The team was finding ways to get things done.
Yet it all crumbled without Gabbert.
The Raiders couldn’t stop the offense when Gabbert was under center. I haven’t seen the team eat up yards like they were in a long time. Cecil Shorts looked like he was there to play and there was a certain level of confidence that you could feel through it all. Chad Henne did not live up to his billing and there was a noticeable drop off with him under center. The plays weren’t there anymore, the receivers suddenly seemed less confident, and the offense couldn’t adjust to it all. In fact it seemed like the same checkdown strategy that was prevalent the past few weeks with Gabbert plagued Henne as well. No longer was Cecil Shorts involved and no longer were wider receivers the main focus of the offense.
Say what you will about his terrible numbers and his terrible offensive rankings, maybe things were starting to come together finally. We may have been seeing the best game of his young career before the injury.
Unfortunately, injuries are a part of football and it all ended with Gabbert leaving the game.
- Luke N. Sims