With a relatively strong showing against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, the 2012 season for Blaine Gabbert started strong before quickly going sour. With a 1-4 record after the bye week, Gabbert has been the subject of much criticism as he has for the majority of his young career.
However, following a week off, Gabbert and the Jaguars have an opportunity to 'reset' the season and can begin with a strong showing against the Raiders. "It's always nice just to kind of relax," Gabbert said on Wednesday. "We had two great practices early on last week and everyone got the chance to go home and kind of wind down a little bit and get some rest."
Perhaps more important than the physical break from the game was a mental break that allowed players the chance to refocus. "We did a lot of studying over the break the days that we were here and then this week focusing on the little things, getting back to the basics. Just executing our offense," Gabbert said.
An emphasis on execution is something that Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey echoed on Wednesday during his media address:
"We've got to find a way to make some plays," Mularkey said when asked about reassessing following the bye week. "These aren't unbelievable plays, these are just routine plays that we're just failing to make."
Gabbert accumulated 260 passing yards in Week 1 and averaged 134 yards in the four games that followed. The Raiders have the NFL's No. 25 passing defense and No. 24 defense overall.