The truth is the pure defense.
That was one of Vic Ketchmans - former Senior Editor of Jaguars.com - most popular "Vic-isms" that many may remember. Never has it been more true in the Jaguars case. We could apply it to many different areas of the 2011 Jacksonville Jaguars, but today we will apply it to the Quarterback position only. We will get back to that truth in just a bit. For now, let's focus on what led us to finding the truth.
It was a perfect afternoon for football; 70 degrees with a slight breeze and every fan in the nation was still holding on to the hope that remains eternal - the hope that their favorite team will make it to the playoffs and make a deep run in their attempt to capture the Lombardi Trophy. That afternoon was Sunday, September 18th, 2011. That afternoon was week 2 of the NFL season. That afternoon the Jacksonville Jaguars playing an away game against the New York Jets.
It was not a fun afternoon if you are a Jaguars fan.
It was on this afternoon that the truth became the pure defense. After winning the coin toss and choosing to receive the ball, the Jets marched down the field for the winning score. It is hard to fathom that the winning score came on the very first drive of the game but the truth is the pure defense. That score put the Jets up 7-0 and the Jaguars would never get closer. In fact, it would get much, much worse. Eventually the Jaguars would lose 32-3 on that dreadful afternoon in MetLife Stadium.
There were two primary reasons why the Jaguars would not compete in this game; notice I said "reasons they would not compete", not "reasons they would lose". There is only one reason they lost: they are not as talented as the Jets. But I digress. The two reasons they did not compete are these: 1) Special Teams (outside of Josh Scobee) were not so special and 2) Luke McCown.
Luke McCown chose this particular afternoon to lay one of the biggest goose-eggs in NFL QB history. Here is his final stat line: 6/19 for 59 yards. 0 TD with 4 INTs and a QB rating of 1.8. Those numbers do not scream 'NFL Star' or even 'NFL Backup' by any means. While the Offensive Line, one of the areas of concern entering the season, played well for most of the game and gave McCown plenty of time to throw, he made sure he used all of that available time and then some as he held on to the ball for too long and often was pressured because of it. Again, the truth is the pure defense.
While the final stats will show that several other players caught balls for the Jaguars, the truth is that McCown had true 80-80 vision. That is he could only see the #80 receiver running around and he forced way too many throws in his direction. This type of 80-80 vision has resulted in Thomas being targeted a staggering four times more than any other Jaguars receiver through two games. This also resulted in the interceptions and low completion percentage. The Jets defense was able to key in on Mike Thomas and effectively shut down Luke McCown.
The truth is Luke McCown is a journeyman backup QB. He is fine for short-term relief but when you try to insert him as your full-time starter these things start to happen. The truth is McCown should never have had a chance to throw that 4th and final interception. He should have been benched after the 3rd. The truth is it is time for the rookie, Blaine Gabbert, to start for this team. There is no time like the present.
How much worse can it get? A 1.5 QB rating? At least then we can chalk it up to being rookie mistakes.
When you examine all of the facts the truth is the pure defense. Luke McCown should be the 2nd string QB and he should be backing up a rookie by the name of Blaine Gabbert.
It truly is Blaine to see.