Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert had taken some steps forward in the 2012 NFL preseason, but there are still some big areas to improve, including leaving points on the field like he did against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday evening.
Gabbert finished his night against the Ravens going 11-for-21 with 117 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. Quite often Gabbert was hitting shorter passes on designed quick throws or checkdowns, but he did have one nice completion down the middle of the field to rookie first-round pick Justing Blackmon.
I wouldn't say on the night Gabbert checked down too much, but the Ravens essentially took away the deeper patterns and forced everything short, as well as bringing pressure causing rushed throws. On one play in particular in the redzone, this forced Gabbert and the Jaguars to leave some potential points on the field.
On this particular play, it was 3rd-and-6 from the Baltimore 7-yard line. As you can see on the play, Gabbert drops back and decides to check down to running back Montell Owens for no gain. Gabber had pressure coming on the right side and gets rid of the football quickly before taking a shot.
While this is fine and typically what you want your quarterback to do, as you can see in the animated .gif of the play, if he hangs in for a split second longer he can see Laurent Robinson coming open in the back of the endzone. Gabbert would need to fit the ball over the Ravens safety on the play for a jump ball in the back of the endzone.
It's likely the ball falls incomplete, but then the result is still the same, you wind up kicking a field goal. The difference is, instead of the "no-result" completion you end up with a chance at six points.
Gabbert is still in the learning mode as an NFL quarterback and has already taken baby steps to making the Jaguars passing offense functional. The next step in his maturation will be movement within the pocket. On this play, a more experienced quarterback likely takes a small step forward to avoid the oncoming rusher and lofts the ball in Robinson's direction in the endzone.