The Jaguars have been one of the worst teams in the league over the first 2 games of the season. Blaine Gabbert looked functional against a weak defense in Minnesota week 1, leading them to a near win. completing 23 of 39 for 260 yards, 2 touchdown, and no interceptions. Minnesota’s secondary is crap, but I was very impressed with Gabbert’s poise under pressure. I didn’t like the matchup for Gabbert because of his struggles under pressure last season. Minnesota has one of the league’s best pass rushes and they lived up to their billing, pressured Gabbert on 18 of 43 drop backs, but Gabbert only took 2 sacks and completed 9 of 15 on those 18 drop backs (3 runs).
Against Houston, however, Gabbert finished 7-19 for 53 yards, after leaving with an injury and in the middle of the 3rd quarter, he was averaging less than 1 yard per pass attempt. His pocket presence regressed as he was pressured on 8 of 23 drop backs, scrambling once, taking 3 sacks and going 1 for 4. He won’t face a defense as good as Houston’s every week, but he won’t face one as bad as Minnesota’s every week either. Overall, the Jaguars are 0-2 and rank 30th in yards per play differential.
Part of the problem has been injuries, but don’t expect them to be much healthier this week. The Jaguars will once again be without two starters on their offensive line, right tackle Cameron Bradfield and left guard Eben Britton, and defensively, top linebacker Daryl Smith is once again out. #1 cornerback Derek Cox is expected to play, but he will be limited and only see the field on passing downs. Injuries have turned this defense from respectable to horrible. Offensively, Blaine Gabbert cannot be trusted, especially behind a banged up offensive front and Maurice Jones-Drew, who had 47.7% of their offensive yards last year, most by a non-quarterback since OJ Simpson in 1974, is not the same as last year. Expect the Colts to win this week because at least they have one redeeming quality, the quarterback position.