The Jacksonville Jaguars were looking for some separation between Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne in their competition to become the starting quarterback and Saturday night’s preseason loss gave them what they were looking for.
In fact, Gabbert’s 13 for 16 for 165 yards and a touchdown performance was nothing short of him slamming the door shut in Henne’s face. The fact that Henne followed up with an ugly 4 for 10 for 30 yards and an interception only reinforced the notion that the job belongs to Gabbert.
From the first play of the game for the Jaguars offense, a 35-yard strike down the field to rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders, Gabbert was under complete control as he marched the team down the field twice. His touchdown pass came on a well-designed bootleg play where he found wide open tight end Allen Reisner streaking across the field.
Gabbert also seemed to have a certain chemistry with second-year wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who was getting his first live action of the preseason after offseason groin surgery. Unfortunately for Gabbert, Blackmon will miss the first four games of the regular season due to a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
On Gabbert’s last play of the game he hit his hand on the arm of a New York Jets defensive linemen and suffered what the team is calling a sprained thumb on his throwing hand. The x-rays on his thumb were negative and it is unlikely it will prevent him from playing in the all-important third preseason game next Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
You can follow Joey on twitter @joeyfarbo.