Fact or Fiction
By Daniel Lago
Welp. Not much to say after last week’s debacle against the Texans. The only thing more embarrassing than the Jaguars last week was my prediction that Maurice Jones-Drew would have more than 120 total yards. Turns out the entire offense couldn’t even rack up 120 yards. To pile on the humiliation, the football gods apparently didn’t think Jaguar fans had suffered enough so Blaine Gabbert’s injury was revealed to essentially be butthurt.
JJ Watt opening up a can of butthurt on Blaine. Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
JJ Watt opening up a can of butthurt on Blaine.
Moving on to this week. Nothing fixes a case of butthurt like playing the hapless Colts, right?
This is not the 2011 Colts. Andrew Luck is the real deal. He’s so good already that it’s almost not fair. He had a rough go of it against a good Bears defense in week 1, but he was terrific last week against the Vikings, especially when he was leading the game-winning drive.
The Jaguars offense couldn’t stay on the field and the defense couldn’t get off the field. If the Jaguars play at the same level this week against the Colts, they’ll be sitting at 0-3 with most of the “easy” part of the schedule over with. Let’s keep that rosy outlook as we go over some facts and fictions.
Sept. 16, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) reacts after being sacked with less than two minutes left in the second quarter of their game against the Houston Texans at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
Blaine Gabbert will throw for 200+ yards against the Colts: FACT
Blaine Gabbert couldn’t throw for 60 yards last week, but there were reasons. The Jaguars got behind early and they couldn’t maintain a balanced offense, something Antonio Furgiuele pointed out is necessary for this team to succeed. The Jaguars offense couldn’t convert any third downs, so they couldn’t stay on the field. As Alfie Crow of BigCatCountry points out here, execution was a big reason why. The Jaguars started Herb Taylor, a street free agent who hadn’t played since 2008, and his presence clearly limited the Jaguars. If the offensive line can at least get Eben Britton back this week, the offense should show significant improvement.
Justin Blackmon will have 5+ receptions and 70+ yards: FACT
We’ve all been waiting for Justin Blackmon to make an impact in the regular season. After a strong preseason, Blackmon only has 3 receptions, all of those coming in week 1. As John Oehser on Jaguars.com consistently points out, this offense will grow as the season goes on. I think this is the week Blackmon finally breaks out a little bit and establishes a rapport with Blaine Gabbert.
Andrew Luck will throw for 200+yards and 2+ touchdowns: FICTION
Why is 200 yards and 2 touchdowns is the measuring stick for young quarterbacks? Because I said so dammit.
Anyway, Luck already has 500+ yards in 2 games this season, but his 309 yard effort against the Bears happened because the Colts were down big. If Derek Cox is back this week, the Jaguars will have a significantly improved secondary. Additionally, if Austen Lane can come back this week, the Jaguars will have a respectable rotation at defensive end and should be able to stay fresh for the 2nd half.
Andrew Luck is going to make a terrific “creepy uncle” one day. Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Andrew Luck is going to make a terrific “creepy uncle” one day.
The Colts will rush for more than 100+ yards: FACT
The Colts don’t really have an above-average running back, but the Jaguars have had a really tough time stopping the run without linebacker Daryl Smith. Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu haven’t been bad at the point of attack, but the Jaguar linebackers haven’t been consistently attacking the gaps and all the missed tackles haven’t helped either. Look for the Colts to try to establish the running game early.
Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars will still be butthurt on Monday morning: FICTION
A lot of people have the Jags pinned as the worst team in the league, and they definitely played like it last week. If this team is healthy however, they can definitely compete and they certainly can beat a rebuilding team like the Colts. If Jags don’t go into Indy and win however, butthurt will be rampant throughout all of Jacksonville.
Fortunately, everyone can keep the Icy Hot in their medicine cabinets.
Jaguars 24 – Colts 17
– Daniel Lago