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Fan reaction: Why Blaine Gabbert should start Week 3 against Carolina
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Luke McCrown's putrid performance Sept. 18 may be a blessing in disguise. McCown, who was 6-for-19 for 59 yards with four interceptions in the game, notched a dismal 1.8 quarterback rating before Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio opted to bring in rookie Blaine Gabbert(notes) for the fourth quarter. Here are the top five reasons why Jacksonville should start Gabbert on Sept. 25 against the Carolina Panthers.
AFC South Is In Shambles
With the division weakened by Peyton Manning's(notes) injury, the AFC South is up for grabs and Jacksonville could be a borderline playoff contender if Jack Del Rio plays his cards right. McCrown was dreadful against the New York Jets, and it isn't likely that he will improve overnight. "It was one of those deals where it was nothing they were doing. I was just off today," McCown said in the Yahoo! report. "I'm not the first guy that's had a day like this and I am probably not the last. I have to be better. The frustrating part is we had such a great week of practice, including myself, probably one of the best I've ever had in terms of preparing. So to come out and have the day that we had, it's frustrating."
102.8 Quarterback Rating
When Gabbert made his NFL debut Sept. 18 against the New York Jets, he looked ready for action. He went 5-for-6 for 52 yards and showed plenty of composure. While it is obviously just a small sample size, Gabbert tallied a 102.8 quarterback rating in the fourth quarter of the game.
Ready for Action
Had it not been for the lockout-shortened offseason, which cut down on precious practice time, Gabbert likely would have been the opening day starter. Now that he has two weeks of regular-season practice under his belt, Gabbert should have a better grasp of the offense by now.
No Better Options
Jacksonville is going nowhere with McCrown taking the snaps, and Gabbert is the future of the franchise, so why not make the switch while the season is still young? McCrown earned a 16-14 win for his team in Week One over Tennessee, but his stats weren't overly impressive. He was 17-of-24 for 175 yards in that game, with a quaterback rating of 91.5. But his four interceptions against the New York Jets could already spell the end of his run with the Jaguars, which had no problem telling the media that he was simply holding down the fort until Gabbert was ready.
Time for a Change
Jacksonville is lucky to be 1-1 through two games this season, as they rank 30th in the league in passing yards (125.5 per game) and 30th in points scored (9.5 PPG). Heading into Week Three against a very beatable Carolina team, the time is now to make the switch to Gabbert. After the game against Carolina, Jacksonville faces playoff-caliber teams in three of their following four games, as they take on New Orleans, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Baltimore in consecutive weeks.
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