by Cole Pepper
September 29, 2013
The Jaguars are now one quarter of the way through the season. They are 0-4 after a 37-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Here are my takeaways from the game:
You can also check out my post-game podcast with Sam Kouvaris or search for “Sam and Cole” on iTunes.
Gabbert’s return: This past week, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said that he wanted Gabbert to be more aggressive and throw the ball down the field. This, of course, was in direct contradiction to his credo for the team (“It’s all about the ball.”). It’s understandable that Gabbert would be hesitant to take chances with that hanging over his head, so Bradley let his quarterback know that he could cut it loose. Gabbert did, at least more often than in the past. Gabbert showed some mild improvement in approach, but not in productivity. He finished the game 17 for 32, 179 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. This certainly wasn’t a game that will earn Gabbert any more believers. As we saw last year, when you compare Gabbert to Luck on the same field, the difference is remarkable.
Gabbert was also not helped by the receivers. Cecil Shorts dropped four passes himself, two of which wound up in the hands of Colt’s defenders.
Offensive line play: The pass protection continues to be spotty and the line didn’t open up many holes for the running game. Luke Joeckel did appear to play better, but the interior line hasn’t gotten any better. I don’t expect that it will the rest of this year. One puzzling play had the Jaguars running up the middle on a 3rd and 1. Maurice Jones-Drew was stopped short and the Jaguars punted. Why run behind the weakest part of the line? I just don’t like the theory.
Pass Pressure: The Jaguars actually applied some pressure on Andrew Luck, but Luck is one of those gifted quarterbacks who just has a sense of the pressure and an ability to buy enough time to deliver a pass. He’s John Elway-like in that regard. Both Tyson Alualu and Russell Allen recorded sacks.
Star of the Game (Jaguars): Will Blackmon. This is almost entirely based on the first quarter when Blackmon had one interception called back on an offsides penalty, then an interception that counted. Playing in secondary that, at times, included three rookies, Blackmon made plays. He even stopped a touchdown in the fourth quarter when the game was far from in doubt.
Stat of the Game: At one point late in the third quarter the Colts had outgained the Jaguars 363-70.
Son of Stat of the Game: In the third quarter alone, the Jaguars were outgained 125 to -2.
Revenge of Son of Stat of the Game: In each of the Jaguars two home games, they scored first, then didn’t score again. Final scores 28-2 and 37-3.