During Sunday’s game, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert showed that his first year in the NFL is in his rear-view mirror.
The second-year quarterback thought he led the Jaguars to a come-from-behind victory when he completed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Cecil Shorts with 20 seconds remaining on the clock.
But a lackluster defensive effort from the Jaguars secondary cut short the jubilation on the visiting team’s sideline, as the Minnesota Vikings kicked a 41-field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime, where they would lose by three points.
Despite the loss, the Jaguars’ QB showed something that he did not display an ounce of in his rookie campaign: fight.
Down three with no timeouts and about a minute on the clock, the Jaguars were seemingly done.
But Gabbert’s transition from a rookie with happy feet to a confident second-year signal caller gave the Jaguars a fighting chance.
Gabbert showed a big jump from what was a less-than-disappointing season Sunday, flashing signs of greatness and poise in the pocket.
The defense however spoiled Gabbert’s coming out party, allowing Viking’s quarterback Christian Ponder to go 20-27 and making 2011′s sixth-rated defense look like a group of pop warner players.
Ponder had free reign to sling it all over the field and running back Adrian Peterson, just eight months removed from an ACL surgery, was able to find the endzone twice.
The Jaguars have many improvements to make before playing the Houston Texans next week – but for the first time in many years those improvements largely rest on the defensive side of the ball.