Wednesday, September 25, 2013
QB Watch: Jaguars' Henne, Gabbert
By Michael DiRocco
A weekly analysis of the Jacksonville Jaguars' quarterback play.
Rewind: Chad Henne made his second consecutive start in place of Blaine Gabbert, and things pretty much went the way they have all season for the offense: flounder early on first down, struggle to move the ball and then put up yards and points when the defense starts playing softer coverage with a big lead. Henne threw for 235 yards but completed fewer than half of his passes (18-for-38). He also threw two interceptions, including one that bounced off center Brad Meester’s helmet and got deflected a second time. Most of Henne’s production came in the second half. He completed just 5 of 14 passes for 44 yards in the first half, which ended with the Seahawks leading 24-0. Henne, by the way, posted a 6.1 QBR against Seattle.
Fast-forward: Gabbert’s hand has healed, and he will return to the starting lineup on Sunday against Indianapolis. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said he was impressed with the way Gabbert threw the ball while running the scout team at the end of last week and said he spoke with Gabbert about trying to play more freely and take a few more risks. The Colts are coming off an impressive 27-7 road victory over San Francisco. They neutralized Colin Kaepernick and held the 49ers to just 254 yards of total offense.
Horseplay: Gabbert seems to have the Colts’ number. Three of his five victories as a starter have come against Indianapolis despite him never having thrown for more than 209 yards in any of the four meetings.
Prediction: It looks like the Jaguars may have tight end Marcedes Lewis back, which should make a big difference in the passing game. Now there’s someone else on the field to draw attention away from Cecil Shorts. Unless the team has better production on first down, it’s going to be another long day for Gabbert.