Blaine Gabbert to start at QB for Jaguars in Week 4

Jaguars going back to Gabbert as starting QB for Week 4

9/23/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Throughout the entire offseason and preseason, I had to listen to people saying that the Oakland Raiders' quarterback situation was "clearly the worst in the league -- light years behind the Jets and Jags" (the words of I didn't agree with that statement then ("light years"? Really?), and I don't agree with it now.

Blog Photo - Blaine Gabbert to start at QB for Jaguars in Week 4After a complete dud of a game in Week 1 in which he failed to get his team past midfield until about halfway through the fourth quarter, quarterback Blaine Gabbert was sidelined for two weeks with a laceration on his hand. Backup Chad Henne stepped in, but failed to do much better, leading his team to an average of just 256.5 yards of total offense across two starts. In one of those games, the Jaguars suffered a wire-to-wire loss to the Raiders - a team who was referred to several times as "the worst team in the league" before the season.

With his hand now healed, Gabbert has been named the Week 4 starting quarterback by head coach Gus Bradley. He'll take his subpar talents behind a struggling offensive line and a severe lack of weapons. Cecil Shorts is the one receiver capable of making an impact, but Gabbert has struggled to get his best weapon the ball. Shorts' fantasy value will take a hit with Gabbert behind center, as Henne was much more adept at getting the ball in Shorts' hands over the past two weeks (16 catches, 236 yards for Shorts).

Does Gabbert give the Jaguars their best chance of getting wins? Probably not, but the team has likely already come to terms with the fact that they have no shot at making the playoffs this season. Everyone already knows what Henne, at the age of 28, can bring to the table. Gabbert is still only 23 years old, so who knows, maybe if given some more opportunities something will click with the youngster (probably not, though).

Looking ahead at the Jaguars' schedule, it's hard to justify any of their games being truly "winnable" for the rest of the season. 0-16 looks like a realistic possibility. At least they'll have some premier quarterback prospects to choose from at the top of the 2014 NFL Draft, where they will likely try to find a player who can make sure that Gabbert is never behind center for the Jaguars beyond their 2013 campaign.
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