Yet again the Jaguars defense gave the team a chance to win, even contributing seven points via a Ashton Youboty fumble recovery for a touchdown early in the first quarter. And yet again the Jaguars offense was utterly and completely inept, causing the Jaguars to lose their 8th game of the season.
The big storyline for the game was and will continue to be Jack Del Rio's 4th quarter decision to bench rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert in favor for Luke McCown. The decision all, but confirms that the Jaguars' decision to sit McCown late in their week two game against the Jets was a premature decision and Gabbert was not ready to start in his rookie season.That said, Gabbert is hardly the only one to blame for the Jaguars offensive struggles today. Guy Whimper had an atrocious game against Conner Barwin who finished with four sacks, while the Texans defensive line accumulated 39 combined hits, pressures and sacks against Gabbert prior to McCown coming in. A late sack on McCown stalled a potential game-tying drive.
Gabbert was again not helped by his receivers as Cecil Shorts III dropped a 3rd down pass on the Jaguars opening possession, Marcedes Lewis dropped an absolutely wide open touchdown and Jason Hill didn't even attempt to fight for a ball that Jonathan Joseph ended up intercepting.
The Jaguars defense forced 10 Texans punts and bottled up the offense with the exception of some strong drives in the first half of the game.
It's too early to tell now, but it's certainly up in the air as to who will start at quarterback for the Jaguars on Monday night against the Chargers and it may even be up in the air as to who will be the head coach. Following the game Wayne Weaver was asked what Del Rio's future looks like as coach to which he responded, "Now's not the time. That's for another day."
At 3-8, any pipe dream at the playoffs the Jaguars had has been extinguished and the look to the 2012 season can officially begin for everyone.