Finding a reason to celebrate after a loss can often be difficult, but in a 26-23 loss to the Vikings, it was clear that there was one thing worth lauding: the play of quarterback Blaine Gabbert. On a day when the Jaguars offensive line were credited by Pro Football Focus with the second poorest pass blocking performance of Week 1, Gabbert's 96.1 quarterback rating stands out as even more impressive.
While he wasn't perfect for the day, missing a couple of key throws, Gabbert was especially impressive considering the stark contrast of his play compared to his play in 2011. With 14 games as a starter under his belt from the 2011 season, Gabbert's season debut in 2012 saw him reach career bests in completions, passing yardage and quarterback rating for a single game.
As the season goes on, Gabbert will have the task of facing defenses much more highly thought of than Minnesota's, beginning on Sunday against the Texans, so there's still much to prove for the second-year quarterback before he can be deemed worth the tenth overall selection with which he was selected. However, the improvement for Gabbert is undeniable, and that is certainly worth celebrating.