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Blaine Gabbert takes hold of Jaguars QB job

Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert slammed the door on the quarterback competition on Saturday night.

Jeff Zelevansky

The Jacksonville Jaguars fell to the New York Jets 37-13 on Saturday evening, but the biggest takeaway from the game was that someone finally took hold of the starting quarterback job. Third-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert played arguably the best we've ever seen him play against the Jets, starting the night off with a 35-yard strike to rookie Ace Sanders, picking up an opening drive touchdown a few plays later.

The most impressive thing Gabbert did on the night however was on his second drive of the game, which stalled out and ended in a field goal. Gabbert's downfield strike to Sanders was fantastic, but the second drive ended up running 16 plays and scoring a field goal.

How Gabbert operated on the drive was the most encouraging thing of the night. Gabbert converted three third downs through the air, even overcoming some bad penalties on the drive. Right after the offense crossed midfield, Jordan Todman ripped off a 21-yard run, but it was called back due to a holding penalty, which is typically a drive killer.

How did Gabbert respond?

A 12-yard pass to backup tight end Allen Reisner for a first down.

On the very next play the team picked up another holding penalty, putting them in first and 20.

How did Gabbert respond?

With a 16-yard pass to Justin Blackmon setting the team up in a more than manageable second down.

A few plays later the team found themselves in third and long and once again Gabbert picked up the first down through the air.

Gabbert looked comfortable, decisive, and seemed to pick at the defense where the holes in the zones were. Even under pressure, where Gabbert seems to look the most uncomfortable, he looked calm and collected, hitting his throws.

He finished the night going 13-for16 with 165 yards and a touchdown with a 130.5 quarterback rating.

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley didn't declare a starter after the game, but it should be clear now who's nearly across the finish line. The only question now is about Gabbert's health, as he sprained his thumb on his last throw of the game. All indications are he should be fine, though.

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