Saturday, August 10, 2013
Observation deck: Dolphins-Jaguars
By Paul Kuharsky
Any chance to tighten a hold on the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting quarterback job disappeared on Blaine Gabbert with a miserable stat line against Miami.
Five completions in 10 attempts for 19 yards isn’t going to make anyone feel like Gabbert rose to the occasion or staked a claim in a 27-3 preseason loss at EverBank Field.
That’s 1.9 yards per attempt and 3.8 yards per completion. The Jaguars averaged 4.8 yards a carry when they ran the ball.
For comparison, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill also completed five passes. His were good for 75 yards.
All the disclaimers for the Jaguars’ passer in one paragraph: Gabbert was without the team’s top two receivers, Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, and its top two running backs, Maurice Jones-Drew and Justin Forsett. He got sacked early when Cameron Wake beat rookie right tackle Luke Joeckel. He suffered as a result of a drop by rookie receiver Ace Sanders and the lack of a play on a pass to Mike Brown that was probably catchable. On an early third-and-12 the Jaguars ran a screen pass with no chance of extending a drive. The interception he threw hit fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou in the hands and he failed to pull it in.
Even with all that context, a starting NFL quarterback needs to make more of his chance than Gabbert did. Chad Henne was far better: 8-for-11 for 87 yards for a 95.6 passer rating compared to Gabbert’s 16.7.
Henne deserves the start in the second preseason game.
A few other thoughts:
- Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks was active, with a sack on the second play from scrimmage and at least one more disruptive play. Working from the left end spot, Tyson Alualu also had one very nice early pressure.
- Dustin Keller pulled in the game’s first score, a 22-yard TD from Tannehill. Safety Chris Prosinski was all over the tight end but didn’t have the awareness to find the ball so it didn’t matter.
- Sanders’ second punt return went for 22 yards and showed some nice shake.
- Denard Robinson had one very nice change-of-direction play that went for a 7-yard gain, but in his first game action as a running back the production was poor as he averaged 3.6 yards. He got smashed in the backfield on a Wildcat keeper midway through the second quarter. The story of the run game was Jordan Todman, who turned six carries into 45 yards and seemed to get into his top gear pretty quickly.
- Rookie cornerback Dwayne Gratz took advantage of a somewhat off-target throw from Matt Moore to confidently collect an interception.
- Jaguars quarterbacks combined to complete six passes that were good for 2 yards or fewer: two 2-yard passes, two 1-yard passes, one pass for no gain and one completion that resulted in a 3-yard loss.