Blaine Gabbert's Shining Moment a Mirage and Other AFC South Must-Reads

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 6, 2012

The signs are obvious: Blaine Gabbert isn't going to make it as an NFL starter.
The signs are obvious: Blaine Gabbert isn't going to make it as an NFL starter.Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

As Cecil Shorts streaked toward the end zone, you couldn't blame fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars for thinking their win over the Indianapolis Colts was the start of something special.

As Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union points out, it wasn't.

The Jaguars' stunning win was a crossroads for the two teams. The Colts are 4-1 since, while the Jaguars are 0-5.

Many of the problems can be directly traced back to Blaine Gabbert, who has been terrible all season. Jaguars fans have been excusing his poor play thanks a bad line, bad receivers or bad coaching.

The fact is that there are eight teams currently playing a rookie or second-year starter at quarterback. All of them except Carolina have at least two wins.

Gabbert isn't merely bad compared to other NFL starters, he's already at the bottom of quarterbacks taken in the last two seasons. Whatever improvement he has shown, he's still at the bottom of the entire NFL in YPA, the single most important passing stat there is.

Every time Gabbert does anything, fans take it as a sign.

When he lit up the vaunted Saints defense in the preseason, it was a sign.

When he forced overtime in the Vikings game, it was a sign.

When he threw a lightning bolt to Shorts, it was a sign.

When he played well for a quarter in Oakland, it was a sign.

When he played well for a half in Green Bay, it was a sign.

Now some fans are trying to say his two touchdowns late against Detroit are a sign.

It's time for the Jaguars and their fanbase to wake up to the fact that they shouldn't have to look for signs at this point. Gabbert is inaccurate and a poor decision maker. He's not a starting caliber player.

He may have a second act to his career. Many quarterbacks blossom five or six years in. Anything is possible at the quarterback position. In the short term, however, there is simply no evidence that he can be even a top 15 signal-caller.

The Jaguars have problems at several positions, but until they move on from Gabbert, there will be no hope for the franchise.

The worst YPA in football is a sign.

Scoring the fewest points in the NFL (by two points a game!) is a sign.

A 1-7 record is a sign.

He's not going to make it.


General Interest

Peter King of Sports Illustrated has insights into several division games this weekend.

Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth covers the weekend with humor and insight.

Keith Goldner of Advanced NFL Stats says Mike Tomlin is just guessing on fourth down.


Houston Texans

Randy Harvey of the Houston Chronicle says Bears/Texans could be a Super Bowl preview.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans have to protect the football.


Indianapolis Colts

The Associated Press says Andrew Luck graded himself harshly.

Shari Rudavsky of the Indianapolis Star says Chuck Pagano is in remission.

Phil B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star says Reggie Wayne jumped on a pile.


Tennessee Titans

Paul Kuharsky of holds Bud Adams partially responsible for the state of the Titans.

Jimmy Morris of Music City Miracles wonders why the Titans can't line up correctly.

David Boclair of the City Paper says the Titans haven't gotten better.

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean says Mike Munchak got the message from Adams.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union writes that Mike Mularkey thinks the Jaguars lacked intensity.