It’s not all-quarterback-all-the-time today, but it ain’t far off.
Let’s get to it . . .
Donny from Heathrow, FL:
I just read Chad Henne
is starting Sunday regardless of Blaine Gabbert
's health. That's a big mistake unless Mike Mularkey and Gene Smith have given up on Gabbert at this point. Henne played better than anytime he was with the Dolphins (a career game). What I saw was good, not great, quarterback play and decent offensive line protection, only a few balls dropped, fantastic yardage-after-catch and receivers finally making big plays. These are things that Gabbert rarely has benefited from all season. What are they gonna do if Henne stinks it up again this week...turn back to Gabbert and tell him they still believe in him?
John: That is what made the decision a difficult one. There is no indication that Mularkey was thinking about anything but Sunday’s game when he announced Henne as the starter. What will happen if Henne plays well? What will happen if he plays poorly? Only time will tell. Instinct and history would tell you it’s tough to go back to him, but in the NFL, things change by the week and sometimes quicker than that.
Mark from Lehigh Acres, TX:
Don't look now, but Blackmon leads all rookie receivers in receiving yards and Shorts is third in receiving yards among second-year players. Bright future for the passing game, perhaps?
John: It looks a heck of a lot brighter now than 48 hours ago.
Nick from Washington, DC:
If Gabbert had 150 YAC from receivers, a productive running game, quality pass protection, and no dumb penalties from the whole offense, he could have looked just as good. The whole season the Jaguars' offense hasn't been bad for just one reason; it's been for a lot of reasons. And a lot of those areas that are typically sources of problems for the Jaguars were not this past week. Chad Henne doesn't deserve credit for the fact that three other aspects of the offense finally played well. You don't give up on a three-year investment 1.5 years in when giving up now produces no short-term or long-term benefit. This is lunacy.
John: I don’t know that it’s lunacy, but we’ve gotten a lot of emails on both sides of the issue. Many people are interpreting the move as a permanent one that means Gabbert’s done in Jacksonville, and others see it as a short-term decision for this week. Only time will tell. With quarterbacks, there is a tendency to make sweeping judgments because they’re so critical to the franchise. At this point, we know what we know – that Henne will start, that the decision was performance-based and that Henne would start whether or not Gabbert is healthy. That will be interpreted various ways this week, and time will tell how it plays out.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
"The Jaguars were 1-8, playing against a team that was 8-1. They had played their guts out for nearly five quarters, and Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey wanted to reward that with a victory." This is the scenario where you kick a 64-yard field goal with your $12 million kicker.
John: Let’s examine this from purely a statistical point of view. The Jaguars needed 10 yards and had just picked up a 4th-and-10 earlier in overtime. Teams pick up 4th-and-10 every week. That’s a significantly higher percentage chance of success than asking Scobee to hit a 64-yard field goal, because that’s something that never has been done in the NFL, like, ever. Ever is a very long time.
Wesly from Jacksonville:
Jaguars score 37 points against the NFL's second-best defense, Should we expect another 30-plus-point game?
John: You mean, like, ever?
Chuck from Summerville, SC:
Chad Henne was 16 of 33, less than 50 percent. I understand giving him a chance to start and hope he does well. If he doesn't, do you think the quarterback controversy between Chad and Blaine will be over?
Joel from Jacksonville:
Mike Mularkey HAS to start Gabbert if he can physically play. The Jaguars need the evaluation worse than any short-term lift Henne could give them. Your thoughts there, O-man? And hang in there.
John: Yet another issue that makes this decision so tough. Going with Henne makes perfect sense in the short-term. In the long-term, it also makes sense that you need to see Gabbert develop – or not develop. You just need to know. And as far as your last comment – hang in there? Hang in there? The Jaguars played the best team in the AFC toe-to-toe – this, after back-to-back disheartening home losses. This isn’t a bad time for the inbox. Shoot, within the context of the season it’s heaven.
Josh from Lynchburg, VA:
Goodness freaking gravy. I'm buying a Poz jersey tomorrow. He's a bloody MONSTER.
John: He frightens me.
Post me from Jacksonville:
After the Jags lost to the Raiders, you wrote on your ten things article that "Chad Henne isn’t better than Blaine Gabbert." Care to take back that statement now? Or at least admit you came to that conclusion prematurely.
John: I wrote that in what we learned, and he sure wasn’t better than Gabbert at that time. On Sunday, he looked better. And there’s no question that based on his performance Sunday, Henne deserves a chance to start. I wrote after the game that he deserved credit. He played poorly against Oakland, enough so that fans wanted him cut. He played much better Sunday. Credit to him.
Marc from Missoula, MT:
SSS John. Small Sample Size. Although Henne moved the offense very well he only played at a high level for three quarters. He had three terrible quarters in Oakland. Let's take a deep breath and think which quarterback will be the best option for the long term.
John: Deep breaths are difficult within the context of an NFL season. Such is the week-to-week nature of the NFL.
Jeremy from Andover, KS:
We hoped our defense would carry over from last year even if not in the Top 6 this year. I thought last year our ranking was inflated because teams could easily score a couple touchdowns, then sit on the lead, which led to better defensive statistics for the Jags. So, a year later, we push the score up on the Texans (they actually have to play and put up more points) and lo and behold, they put up 640 offensive yards and Schaub throws for 527. I don't think it's a fluke; I just think our defense stinks and they weren't really that great last year. What do you think?
John: I think your point has merit. I said all offseason the Jaguars probably weren’t the sixth-best defense in the NFL last season, and said at the same time I thought they were good enough to be competitive with a functioning offense. Fast forward to this year and there’s little question the unit hasn’t been as good as it was last season. The Jaguars did what they wanted Sunday in the sense that they didn’t let Arian Foster run wild. When that happens, you’re supposed to give yourself a chance to pass rush and defend the pass. Neither happened much Sunday, and as a result, the Texans looked like the greatest passing offense in the history of football. They’re not. The Jaguars are just struggling that much right now.
Scott from Chelsea, NY:
The Texans game reminded me of the Colts game at EverBank a few years ago where we kicked a field goal at the end to win. All the emotional highs and lows remind me why I'm a fan. Go Jags!!!
John: It was a good game.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Some impressive speed from Anger to save that punt return from a TD, ended up turning into an interception by Poz. Get that man to the Pro Bowl!
John: It was a good play.
Justin from Section 122:
Gotta love the prevent defense. The Texans sure do right now.
John: I don’t know if the problem Sunday was nearly as much “prevent” defense as the secondary not covering. Unfortunately, that started long before there was a lead to protect or clock to try to run out.
John from Jacksonville:
It might be a flash but it was nice for nearly four hours to "enjoy" a competitive game from start to finish. As much as the Texans are probably enjoying the victory, I think it's a bad omen for them because we exposed that they are vulnerable to losing and this will be an issue for them in the playoffs. How do we know which Henne is the real one (the Oakland Henne or the Houston Henne)? How can he go from SO bad to SO good that quickly?
John: I wouldn’t worry if I were the Texans. Through the course of an NFL seasons, teams are going to have close games. They’re going to have games in which they unexplainably struggle against weaker teams, and they’re going to have games when different sides of the ball struggle. The good teams win those games, then move on and worry about winning the next one. As far as Henne’s improvement, backups often play better when they’re aware they’re going to play. Henne on Sunday said he prepared and practiced better after the Oakland game, and you could see the results.
Brian from Jacksonville and Section 230:
In case anyone missed the passage from your article: “Posluszny, who forced a turnover that led to one touchdown and had an interception that led to another, said the blood came when his helmet was shoved down onto his nose, and while the scene wasn’t pretty, Posluszny said he wasn’t concerned. ‘My fiancé said she likes me for my charm, anyway,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t matter.’’’
John: In the pantheon of my favorite post-loss quotes, it’s up there.