Jacksonville Jaguars Progress Report: Where Things Stand Heading into Week 8

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistOctober 24, 2012

The Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-5 on the 2012 season and in last place in the AFC South.

In Week 8, they travel to Lambeau Field to play the Green Bay Packers.

They rank 31st on offense, 26th on defense and 30th overall in DVOA.


Primary Talking Point for Week 8

Aside from the health of Blaine Gabbert and Maurice Jones-Drew, which will be covered shortly, the big talk is about how awful Chad Henne played in relief in Week 7.

He was so horrible, that suddenly fans felt almost nostalgic for the halcyon days of yore when Gabbert manned the huddle.

Make no mistake, Henne's awful performance in no way elevates the standing or play of Gabbert.

Jacksonville has serious problems offensively, and one good throw to Cecil Shorts aside, Gabbert is no more of a solution to the problem than Henne was.

Right now, this is the worst team in football, and right there with the Chiefs as the franchise with the least amount of hope in the NFL.


Injury Outlook

Gabbert has a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He may not play in Week 8 and will have to manage pain for the rest of the season.

Maurice Jones-Drew has a foot sprain and will likely miss several weeks.

Dwight Lowry and Laurent Robinson both missed the Raiders game. Robinson hasn't been cleared yet from concussion symptoms.

Daryl Smith was on the bubble to play against Oakland, but was inactive. He could well return against the Packers.


Player on the Rise

Eugene Monroe is probably the only Jaguar who has broken through offensively in 2012.

Despite all the line problems, he's been an anchor at left tackle.

Given the overall state of the offense, however, it's difficult to measure his true impact.

One thing is certain, if Gene Smith's other draft picks had worked out as well as he has, the team would be better than 1-5.


Feel-Good Stat of the Week

The die-hard optimists can point to Gabbert's early play against the Raiders for hope.

In just over a quarter of game time, Gabbert was 8-of-12 for 110 yards and a touchdown. He put up 42 yards on one bomb to Shorts.

On six drives with Gabbert, the Jaguars had three three-and-outs and two touchdowns, though one came on a short field after a fumbled Raider punt.

While that's not exactly lighting the world on fire, good things are hard to come by these days for the Jaguars.


Troubling Stat of the Week


The Jaguars are last in the NFL in Net Yards Per Attempt (NY/A) on offense.

They are second best in the NFL with just three interceptions on the season, but the offense has produced little positive passing yards.

In six games, they have just 1,000 passing yards, but have given 131 yards back on 18 sacks.

That is not going to get it done.


Overall Trend: Falling

Can a team that's already at rock bottom fall any further?

There's only a couple of ways it could happen.

First, Shad Khan could give a vote of confidence to Smith, guaranteeing more years of futility.

Second, Gabbert could end up missing so much time that the team decides it needs to see more out of him before giving up on him.

If there is a rock bottom that doesn't involve either of those two scenarios, expect them to hit it this week against Green Bay.


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