Chad Henne To Start Over Blaine Gabbert for Jaguars

Gabbert era coming to a close? Henne to start for Jaguars on Sunday

11/19/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

November 18, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) looks for an open receiver as Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) pressures during the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIREJohn Oehser, senior writer for Jaguars.com, has reported that Jaguars' quarterback Chad Henne will make his first start of the season this Sunday against the Titans. Blaine Gabbert, who started the first 10 games of the season for the Jaguars, is dealing with an elbow injury, but head coach Mike Mularkey made it clear that his decision is based strictly on the performance of the two quarterbacks.

The only reason the Jaguars had been sticking with Gabbert behind center was because they invested a high draft pick in him less than two years ago. The 23 year old signal caller actually wasn't putting up terrible numbers this year, but when you watch him play he often looks scared and confused, resulting in him missing a lot of open receivers. His 5.98 yards per pass attempt - good for 32nd in the league - is in large part due to his unwillingness to hang in the pocket to throw the ball downfield. Granted, he has a weak offensive line, but so do a lot of quarterbacks who have significantly higher yards per attempt averages.

Chad Henne earned his first start of the season with a sensational performance against the Houston Texans' 4th ranked pass defense, albeit in a losing effort. Henne got his chance as a result of Gabbert being injured during the game's opening drive. Though he completed less than half of his pass attempts, Henne was willing to take shots downfield that Gabbert shied away from, throwing for 354 yards and four touchdowns. Henne's 10.73 yards per attempt was nearly double Gabbert's season average, and he threw no interceptions.

Sitting at 1-9 with no chance to make the playoffs, the Jaguars won't have Henne on too short of a leash, which means Gabbert may have made his final start in the NFL.

On his career, Chad Henne has completed 60.1% of his passes (compared to Gabbert's 53.8%), and averages 6.8 yards per attempt (compared to Gabbert's 5.6). His career quarterback rating is 77.0. Though he has a history of turning the ball over a bit too much, he should be a breath of fresh air for the Jaguars receivers, who were rarely rewarded for running long-developing routes with Gabbert under center. Let it be known, however, that quarterback is still one of the Jaguars' top position needs.
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