The Jacksonville Jaguars started their 2012 season much like the finished their 2011 season, with a struggling offense.
As the quarterback, second-year starter Blaine Gabbert deserves his share of the blame for the ineptness of the Jaguars offense, but he is not the only reason the Jags are not lighting up the scoreboard.
Some have already begun to call for Gabbert’s benching in favor of backup Chad Henne, but the 2012 Jaguars are sinking fast and nothing short of a miracle can save their season. The Jaguars front office placed all of their faith in Gabbert, putting him on the bench now would be an admission of failure.
There has been improvement in Gabbert in the areas that limited his game last season. His footwork and mechanics have improved noticeably this season and he has shown a willingness to hang in the pocket that he did not show last season. However, not all is better for Gabbert this season.
At times this season Gabbert has predetermined some throws and his mental clock has gone off too early, not allowing plays to develop down the field and taking easy check down throws. Granted pass protection has been a major issue for the Jaguars offense so far this season, but sometimes the offensive line is giving Gabbert enough time to stand in the pocket while a play is developing.
The Jaguars poor pass protection has also limited Gabbert’s best receiving target so far this season. Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis has spent as much time blocking on passing plays as he has running routes. Lewis is a weapon over the middle of the field and could be a security blanket for Gabbert if he was catching passes instead of blocking.
At this point, it appears that the Jaguars season is lost with no hope of rescue. At least if they give Gabbert an entire season, they will feel better moving on next offseason if he does not turn it around.