JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up for play against the Cincinnati Bengals October 9, 2011 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
I have to step outside of my general fantasy football area and ask the Jaguar faithful a legitimate question to the Jaguar Nation: are we as the awesome fanatical fans that we are possibly putting a little too much weight on the Jaguars/Vikings game and "progress made" of a Blaine Gabbert? Now before anyone vilifies me for even thinking to diminish the legend of Blaine, follow me here...
Per NFL.com player stats page, in 2012 Blaine Gabbert has averaged a second worst in the NFL 5.4 yards per passes attempted. Now many of you will say, "that's because of the type of spread-three step offense we run."
Against the Vikings:
Andrew Luck: 20/31, 224 yards, 2 TDs, 7.2 yard average, 4 rushes for 20 yards.
Blaine Gabbert: 23/39, 260 yards, 2 TDs, 6.7 yard average, 5 rushes for 6 yards, 1 fumble lost.
So are we to believe the statistics and say that Gabbert = Luck? Is Gabbert worse than Luck? Or is it just that the Vikings D is terrible and there is nothing gained from measuring a player against them? Seeing as Luck put up equal numbers against the same Vikings D a week after essentially crapping the bed against Chicago's D what can we truly gauge by sizing Gabbert up when his measuring tool is a terrible Vikings defense? Contrary to what the national media tells you it seems that these two QBs will be the two worst QBs they will face this season, an they completed 80% of their passes against them.
There's a distinct difference between the two QBs though: our offensive "scheme" is essentially a dink and dunk offense of no deep passes and the Colts offense actually runs deeper and intermediate routes. Is it really that impressive if Gabbert goes 17/20 or whatever with no ints if your longest route is 10 yards? Frankly it's a little difficult to have any interceptions if your average throw attempted is literally five yards! I would almost be impressed if you did throw one. If Luck throws just slightly more incompletions while actually attempting multiple 18-35 yard throws down the field I would consider that more impressive than a coaching staff seemingly hiding a QB behind a check down spread scheme...(I know, I know...offensive line...even though the offensive scheme looked about the same in the pre-season before the line issues. Curl route, quick out, hitch route, etc.)
Let's also remember we pretty much never went deep in the vikings game either other than Cecil's catch. If not for that 39 yard TD play the comparison to Luck's stats in the Vikings game would seem to fail in comparison (5.8 yard per attempt, good for 31st in the NFL). I'm willing to play both sides of the fence and pray that Gabbert isn't as bad as he looked in this Sunday's Texans game. I also believe that on the other side of the coin some we Jags fans may also have to admit that he may not be as good as we made him up to be in the Vikings game though. This week is our opportunity to see them both in action against questionable defenses. The Legend...the enigma of Blaine Gabbert continues......
Who do you say he is Big Cat Country?