Is it considered thriving if you’re still losing games? As a Jaguar fan, I’ll take whatever I can get. Maurice Jones-Drew sat out this week after spraining his left foot last week after two plays against the Raiders. Since his absence from the field, the Jaguars have opened up the passing game and have been moving the ball much better than before the bye week and the Jones-Drew injury.
The Jaguars still host the league-worst offense, but are slowly climbing their way out. After horrendous outings in weeks 2-5, Blaine Gabbert has begun to emerge as a legitimate starting NFL quarterback. He has completed 57% of his passes for 413 yards over the past two games and the offense really looks like it is his offense. As we all know, in today’s NFL a team is only as good as his quarterback. The Jaguars are becoming much better as their quarterback has performed better.
Last week’s 8/12 for 110 yards was against a terrible Oakland Raiders team, but this week’s 27/49 for 303 yards was against a perennial playoff and Super Bowl contender. In a duel against one of the greatest active quarterbacks, Gabbert came out on top. The Jags may not have the talent to beat powerhouses like Green Bay, but when their offense is clicking they get an awful lot closer.
It is unfortunate, but as the Jaguars move away from the run the team has been doing better. I like pound the football, grind it out offenses, but I also like winning. The transition away from running it 20+ times with Jones-Drew is finally starting to yield fruit. It will be curious to see if the Jaguars continue the approach when Jones-Drew and his 4.8 yards per carry return from injury.
This offense becomes Blaine Gabbert’s more and more every week that he is the primary threat. So far, I like what I see out of the young signal caller. The more open offense is considerably more explosive than it has been thus far this season and is looking to be a threat – something it hasn’t been in years.
While I am happy to see some success, it will be nice to have another threat on the field on every play. Jones-Drew gets a lot of dump-offs and is a very reliable safety valve. With more shots downfield there should be more for him to work with underneath and running the ball when he returns from injury. Gabbert is doing himself some favors with his play right now. His current play will make this offense much more successful as the supporting cast gets better/returns.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims