First off: Injuries suck. Unfortunately, they are part of football, and they don't magically go away. Our injured players will heal, hopefully sooner than later(especially the o-line, or Gabbert will be seriously injured soon). Until then, expectations need to be tempered. Could they lead to the Jaguars not making the playoffs this year? Very possibly. Will freaking out about it help? Not at all. We all knew going in that we could expect the Jags to be average at best. These injuries make them below-average.
This isn't an analysis exactly. I hold the right to be biased and illogical at times. After letting the severe disappointment settle a bit, I've decided to review a bit of the Jaguars' season and share my thoughts. Actually its more than just a seasonal assessment, it's kind of a state of the Jaguars from my perspective.
Second: Gene Smith may be taking a long time (in some fan's eyes) to develop a winning team. It can be frustrating, especially after starting the season 0-2. Remember though, he was handed a team that was on par with an expansion team talent-wise. The last time that happened, the Jaguars were aided by an expansion draft and top picks in two straight drafts (including 2 first and second round picks in 95 and 2 second round picks in 96). Also, the result of patience can be seen by yesterday's opponent. Before last year, many people in Houston wanted Kubiak gone. That was after 6 years.
Third:Gabbert does not suck. He can be inconsistent, but he has shown a willingness to be tough. When given time and any sort of receiver separation, he plays well. Most will take a shot at that comment, but taking the available opportunities is good step for a developing quarterback. Does he seem a little nearsighted or unwilling to risk some of the longer passes that could lead to big plays? Sometimes. Does he have time to let a long pass play develop with the current patchwork line? Rarely. Once again, we should be patient here. He can still develop. Bradshaw took several years too.
Fourth:The defense needs to take better angles when tackling. Injuries are probably affecting this too, missing D. Smith can only hurt a teams tackling ability. Cox is a decent tackler for a corner as well, and he would provide better coverage. Unfortunately (as stated earlier), we can't make them magically come back. The back-ups need to step up their game.
Fifth: Patience is a virtue that is sorely missing in the modern society. Unfortunately, as fans, we have no control over the outcomes of games or personnel decisions. Instant gratification is impossible. While this can be extremely frustrating at times, when our desires for a winning team are fulfilled, it'll be so much sweeter.