1. First — Blaine Gabbert? Really?
Here's the reality. The Arizona Cardinals didn't invest in Gabbert the way you all did. Thus, there's no salt in the situation. Instead what there is, is a quarterback who is getting an opportunity to become a potential backup quarterback for the next… who knows how long.
Some have identified this as a potential starter of the future. I've followed along with Gabbert's career too long, I've watch the throws with the Jaguars and the 49ers. Yet, if you get a 27 year old, athletic quarterback with a good arm, who can keep you in games like Gabbert did against an, admittedly bad Houston Texans team, for a couple years. That's not the worst thing in the world.
Now, there is a group that believes Gabbert could become the guy… those people are high.
2. Why the heck did y'all let Calais Campbell go in free agency?
Gross incompetence? No, in reality they “planned” for this with the drafting of Robert Nkemdiche, but he's not anywhere near what the Cardinals had hoped. Also, the Jaguars paid so much money the Cardinals could never have afforded to match it. I've maintained that the play should have been franchising Campbell and extending Jones, which they eventually did. However, they didn't and now it's too late.
You get to watch a potential Hall of Famer have the best year of his career and we get to watch Blaine Gabbert… life comes at you fast.
3. If you were an opposing offensive and defensive coordinator, how would you attack the Cardinals?
On offense for the Jaguars, the Cardinals made Tom Savage look good. I know Jaguars fans look at Blake Bortles as the weak link, but the reality is, he's got to be better than Savage, right?
Blake's going to have to win some early and you'll have to see the Jaguars run into a brick wall for a half, but if they lead, the run game will take off and the bludgeoning will get effective.
On defense. The Jaguars can stop the run now and they stop every passing game in the NFL. Plus, they're playing against Blaine Gabbert… ahem.
In all honesty, the pass rush is terrifying against a really bad offensive line, and the Cardinals only have one consistent receiving threat in Larry Fitzgerald. Adrian Peterson can't get moving because the offensive line is not great or good or average.
If J.J. Nelson or Jaron Brown or maybe rookie Chad Williams shows up, it could make things slightly interesting. If not… well.
4. Is there a Jaguars player on the offensive side of the ball other than Leonard Fournette that you'd say, "If the Cardinals don't stop him, we're in trouble"?
The Cardinals gave up 31 points to Tom… Freaking… Savage.
If Bortles has a game like Savage (230 yards, two touchdowns and one interception) the Cardinals likely won't have a shot. We could be talking a 30-7 type of game.
Of course that could mean we get a shootout in what is the Jaguars’ worst defensive game since the Titans… right? I'm trying to be hopeful.
5. What's gonna happen on Sunday? Is there any hope for the Cardinals?Hope is a funny thing:
This is a real live tweet. The Cardinals are technically, technically still in the hunt. So… there's hope.
The hope now is that Gabbert shows something.
Chad Williams is a talent.
The offensive line produces some sort of hope for 2018.
Haason Reddick and Budda Baker continue to excel as rookies as their roles expand.
Chandler Jones is still dominant.
That's the hope.
In this game? You hope that the Cardinals find a way to get the running game going, which takes what will likely be unrelenting pressure on Blaine Gabbert off. Gabbert's first three quarters against Houston is the recipe.
Defensively, you shut down the run game and force Blake Bortles into mistakes, many mistakes.
Jaguars 28, Cardinals 10.
Here's to this meaning something greater moving forward.