Oct 13, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) throws the ball during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The Jacksonville Jaguars played relatively well against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, and most surprising was the functionality of the offense with Chad Henne taking the snaps. At this point, any chance Blaine Gabbert had to clinch the starting job for the rest of this season is gone and one of the ancillary reasons is Chad Henne. Gabbert has been historically awful and might have cemented himself as one of the worst starting quarterbacks in NFL history, but Henne has stepped in and played decent despite minimal support from the coaches.
The Jaguars went into the regular season firmly behind Blaine Gabbert to see if he could manifest any of his potential onto the field. Gabbert outperformed him in practice, so his status in front of Henne was justified, but his play on the field didn’t warrant that kind of support.
So how much better is Henne than Gabbert? Honestly, not that much, but enough to make the offense look legitimate. With Henne, we at least see flashes of a potentially potent offense with Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III. Maurice Jones-Drew is a shell of his former self, but a running back with fresher legs should give this offense a jolt next year.
Henne will likely play the rest of the season the same way he’s played his whole career – consistent mediocrity with the occasional baffling throw. He’s not a playmaker, but he’s also not the train wreck that Gabbert was. Against the Broncos, he recognized Blackmon’s ability to get open consistently in the slot so he kept feeding him. 10 of Henne’s 27 completions were in the middle of the field within 10 yards.
I appreciate Henne coming in and at least making the Jaguars offense watchable, but he’s really a placeholder for the next 12 games. He’ll be gone next year as will Gabbert, and a new era will be ushered in by whoever the Jaguars select in the first round next year.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89