The Jacksonville Jaguars announced on Monday that quarterback Blaine Gabbert is expected to start this Sunday when they play the Indianapolis Colts, but this shouldn’t be a surprise because he gives the team the best chance to win.
Gabbert’s backup, Chad Henne, started the last two games for the Jaguars after Gabbert suffered a major cut on his throwing hand in the season opener but failed to get the offense on track. Some fans are fooled by Henne’s stats during his two starts, but most of the numbers he put up were when the game had already been decided. The truth is that in the first half of both starts, Henne has looked awful.
The move back to Gabbert shouldn’t shock anybody, as Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley announced before the season that Gabbert was the team’s starting quarterback when healthy. While nobody is confusing Gabbert for a franchise quarterback at this point in his career, he still has the better skill set for the kind of up-tempo offense the Jaguars want to run.
Unfortunately for Gabbert, it is going to be hard for any quarterback to be productive behind the Jaguars offensive line, which has played poorly to say the least this season. The poor offensive line play has also meant that the Jaguars haven’t been able to lean on the run game either.
The good news for Gabbert is that the Jaguars expect to get tight end Marcedes Lewis back this week and will get wide receiver Justin Blackmon back from a suspension next week, so he will have two of his best targets back soon.
Regardless of what happens for the rest of this season, the Jaguars are clearly in the market for a quarterback in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but it is clear now that they are going to give Gabbert the chance to change their mind.
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