In a rather deflating blowout loss like the Jacksonville Jaguars had last night, it's usually hard to come away with positives. As the preseason goes, only the first half -- at most -- of the game really matters, and even then, the score can be deceiving as teams are constantly employing game plans that do not resemble their typical approach -- to not tip their hand, but more so to evaluate their players and specific schemes.
That being said, rookie quarterback and 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft Blaine Gabbert played rather as expected for his first NFL action. With quarterback David Garrard and running back Maurice Jones-Drew among the play-makers not even making the trip to New England, the heft of the Jags offense fell on Gabbert and back up running back Rashad Jennings' shoulders.
The two formed an admirable one-two punch as Jennings put up 28 yards on 6 carries (4.6 yards per carry) and Gabbert complete 9 of 16 for 85 yards -- no touchdowns, no interceptions.
However, the receivers and offensive line did not do such an acceptable job. The line allowed gave up 3 sacks in 6 of Gabbert's drives and, as Paul Kuharsky notes, "his targets -- including Mike Thomas, Tiquan Underwood and Zach Miller -- dropped passes" in an unpleasant homage to last season.
Playing against some of the Patriots actual starting defense, Gabbert ultimately had a decent day -- showing brilliance at times and rookieness at others.
The Jaguars defense, however, did not impress. Neither did Todd Bouman, who looked like a special teamer despite playing against a defense full of them. The Jags kept the Patriots -- who did not start Tom Brady -- within 10 at half time, but saw their 19-9 deficit balloon to 47-12 in the second half as rookie Ryan Mallett thrashed the husk that once was the Jacksonville defense -- to the tune of 28-3 second half points.
The predicted impact of DE Austen Lane, DT Tyson Alualu, and DE Aaron Morgan proved quite underwhelming as trio combined for one tackle. The defense was sans Aaron Kampman and DT Terrance Knighton, so if Lane and Alualu wanted a chance to show their individual value, Thursday night was a great chance. Instead, the defense went sackless through the game and played dead in the second half.
Meanwhile, the recently-hired Todd Bouman completed only 2 of his 10 passing attempts, while tossing an interception and taking a sack. It was not a good start, especially considering his opponent, but given his short tenure with the team so far and the limited demands of the third string quarterback, this is probably not a cause for concern.
Jaguars Regular Season Schedule
|Tennessee||Sun 09/11||1:00 PM EDT|
|@ New York Jets||Sun 09/18||1:00 PM EDT|
|@ Carolina||Sun 09/25||1:00 PM EDT|
|New Orleans||Sun 10/02||1:00 PM EDT|
|Cincinnati||Sun 10/09||1:00 PM EDT|
|@ Pittsburgh||Sun 10/16||1:00 PM EDT|
|Baltimore||Mon 10/24||8:30 PM EDT|
|@ Houston||Sun 10/30||1:00 PM EDT|
|@ Indianapolis||Sun 11/13||1:00 PM EST|
|@ Cleveland||Sun 11/20||1:00 PM EST|
|Houston||Sun 11/27||1:00 PM EST|
|San Diego||Mon 12/05||8:30 PM EST|
|Tampa Bay||Sun 12/11||1:00 PM EST|
|@ Atlanta||Thu 12/15||8:20 PM EST|
|@ Tennessee||Sat 12/24||1:00 PM EST|
|Indianapolis||Sun 01/01||1:00 PM EST|