The winning formula for the Jaguars offense looked eerily similar to the offensive game plan that got them through the 2011 season, using running back Maurice Jones-Drew as a crutch as the passing game struggled to get on track.
Jones-Drew carried the ball 28 times for 177 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown run that got the Jaguars back into the game in the second half after trailing by 11 points at halftime.
The passing offense, led by second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert, did not share the same success.
Despite those around the Jaguars organization claiming that Gabbert was ready to take a step forward in his second year, his progress so far this season has been slow. His biggest issue so far this season has been accuracy as he is only completing 50 percent of his passes.
Not all of the blame for the passing woes can fall at the feet of Gabbert, however.
His revamped wide receiver corps has not exactly been helping him. Several times in the past two games, Gabbert has been forced to check down because his receivers have been unable to get open downfield.
Gabbert was poised for another game of less than 100 passing yards before he made a last minute connection with second-year receiver Cecil Shorts on a short slant route that he took 80 yards for a touchdown. The game-winning touchdown pass nearly doubled Gabbert’s passing yards, but it was the second time this season he executed a go ahead drive with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter.
The late game heroics are cause for optimism among Jaguars fans, but Gabbert needs to start playing well for entire games.
If the Jaguars are going to keep winning games this season, Gabbert and their passing offense must improve.