All aboard the Blaine Train

The Blaine Train cometh.  The chosen one has arrived.  Get your ticket, get on board, find your seat & enjoy the ride.  A new era has begun.  There is no going back now.  Del Rio has made the decision we’ve all been waiting for.  Blaine Gabbert is now the starting QB for the Jacksonville Jaguars.  He clearly gives this team the best chance at winning.  I thought that they’d give McCown one more chance to redeem himself, but apparently 4 picks in 1 game was enough.  Mccown had his chance to lead this team & he failed in epic style.  Time to give Gabbert the keys.  This is Blane’s team now.  There is no taking him out now that he’s in the driver’s seat.  Win or lose, Blaine is the man.    I, like many fans would rather watch Gabbert lead the team (rookie mistakes and all) than watch McCown fall flat on his face again.  I’m curious to see how he grows into the role.  I want to watch him as his transformation form rookie QB to elite NFL QB.  He has the tools, he has the look, he has the skills & now he has the chance.

Blaine does not seem overwhelmed by the NFL.  Which is a very good thing.  He’s smart & that will help him greatly throughout the season. I truly believe that he will be better than Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker or any other QB from this draft.  I think he has the ability to become a great leader for this team.  He will become one of the elite QBs in the league within the next few years in my opinion.  He will give the Jaguars the national attention they’ve been denied while helping this team become a force to be reckoned with again.  What better scenario could you ask for?  Garrard gets cut, Manning is out, the Titans are a mess & the Texans always fall apart towards the end of the season.  This is the perfect season to have Gabbert at the helm. 

I don’t see Gabbert as a nervous rookie Qb throwing into double coverage or overthrowing his receivers.  He has proven that he can make all the throws, even the ones into tight spaces (or honey hole passes).  He can throw a deep bomb, throw a laser, lay it up , put it where only the WR can get it.  And he doesn’t get rattled by playing a good defense either, which is in my mind a huge plus.   He is accurate & he is mobile.  He can read defenses and find the open WR.  The talent is there, now we all get to watch it in action firsthand.

This a very exciting time to be a Jacksonville Jaguars fan.  The Blaine Train is at the station.  First stop, Carolina & a showdown with fellow rookie QB Cam Newton. Newton has thrown for over 400 yards in his first 2 games, but the Panthers defense has lost it’s teeth.  They will be without LBs Jon Beason & Thomas Davis, both lost for the season due to injury.  They can’t run  the ball very well and troubles within the red zone could be their biggest problem this year.  This is a winnable game for Gabbert & the Jags.  But even if they pull one out against the Panthers, Drew Brees & the high-powered Saints are right around the corner. After that Blaine will get to go head to head with another rookie QB when the Jaguars face the Bengals & Andy Dalton.

Before the bye week Gabbert will also have to led the Jaguars against the Steelers & the Ravens defenses, talk about being thrown to the wolves.  The first half of the 2011 season will conclude with a divisional matchup against the Texans. The way I see it the Jags are at 1-1 right now.  They could win the games against the Panthers, Bengals and Texans, but they will lose to the Saints offense & the Ravens defense.  That leaves the Steelers, whom the Jaguars always play tough against.  The Steelers aren’t really dominating teams so far.  I think Blaine could steal one from the Steelers.  That would put the Jags at 5-2 going into the bye week.  Even if the Texans or Steelers do beat the Jags, then they are still 4-3.  Not bad for the rookie.  I’ll take it and be very happy.

The Jaguars would start the 2nd half of the season against the Colts & Browns.  Both will be wins for the Jaguars.  Gabbert will play better than either of their QBs.  Indy is lost without Manning & if you stop Hillis, you stop the Browns……and the Jaguars are very good against the run.  Next up, the rematch with Houston.  I say we split the series with them, so if they won before, we win now.  That’s 3 straight victories coming out of the bye week. Don’t get too excited because the Jags will lose to the Chargers, Buccs and the Falcons.  Yep, 3 straight loses will bring this team (and it’s fans) back down to earth.  The Jaguars will then finish strong against the Titans & Colts.  The Jaguars will sweep both these teams this year.   This will give the Jags a 9-7 record at best, but they will miss the playoffs this season.   Granted, the Jaguars could lose a few more games and end up 7-9 as well.  But it will be a fun ride & a blast to watch.  Blaine will take his lumps for sure, but he will learn from it. 

Next draft the Jaguars will do whatever they can to get Gabbert a true #1 WR (or two) and hopefully get another shutdown CB too.  With a full off-season and knowing the system like the back of his hand, Gabbert will take the Jacksonville Jaguars back to the playoffs in 2012.  Del Rio may not be there to see it, but it will happen.  ALL ABOARD!!!!