I've enjoyed my time off for the bye week, but I'm back, and it's time to talk about the Jaguars as they come off their bye week to play the Oakland Raiders.
Sunday's game in Oakland is scheduled to begin at 4:25 PM, and it features a pair of 1-4 franchises. While both of the featured teams are anything but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it would be a long stretch for either of them to make the playoffs.
For the Jaguars, it's been a disappointing season on almost all fronts. Blaine Gabbert looks, well, like Blaine Gabbert, and Justin Blackmon hasn't been nearly as proficient at the pro level as was hoped. Finally, the Jaguars' defense has taken a decisive step in the wrong direction, and there's been next to no pass rush generated by the front four.
With all that said, this week is all about finding a silver lining in an otherwise abysmal year. More specifically, we should be looking for Blaine Gabbert to show real development. We should be hoping to see him transform into a quarterback the Jaguars can have confidence in moving forward, which should free up a high draft pick in 2013.
The pressure is on for the Jaguars to perform. Honestly, I don't see a realistic scenario by which Gene Smith is able to keep his job as General Manager, but the NFL has seen greater turnarounds than this in its history.