After winning their season opener against AFC South foe Tennessee, the Jacksonville Jaguars have dropped their last three games to fall to 1-3 at the quarter pole of the 2011 NFL season. The Jaguars have a great opportunity to get back in the win column this Sunday when they host the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon.
The Bengals sports one of the league’s better defenses, allowing fewer than 250 total yards of offense per game. Their pass defense is particularly stout, yielding just 188 yards per contest so far, the third fewest in all of football.
The Jaguars look to find weaknesses in the Bengals’ secondary in what will be Blaine Gabbert’s third career NFL start. Needless to say, Gabbert has had his fair share of struggles the past two weeks, but he’s show enough promise for Jags’ fans to remain hopeful that the team made the right decision in moving on from the more experienced David Garrard this offseason.
Gabbert can at least take solace in the fact that one of his most dangerous targets, Mike Thomas, has signed a contract extension as of Thursday afternoon. The third-year WR out of Arizona increased his rookie year totals of 48 receptions, 453 yards, 1 TD to 66 catches, 820 yards and 4 TDs in 2010. He was the team’s leading receiver a year ago.
Through four games, the former fourth round draft pick has hauled in 20 catches for 212 yards and 1 TD, which must have been enough evidence for the Jags front office to feel comfortable locking him down for the next three years.
Though not confirmed, the terms of the extension are believed to be for three years and $18 million. If the extension is in fact for three years, Thomas will be in a Jags uniform through at least the 2014 season. It’s not clear how much of that will be guaranteed, or how much comes in the form of a signing bonus. We’ll be sure to update that information just as soon as it becomes available.
Congratulations to Thomas on the new deal. Now the Jags hope he rewards them with a big game on Sunday as they look to get back in the win column and improve to 2-3 on the year.