Blaine Gabbert: Jaguars Must Bench Young QB and Start Chad Henne in Week 12

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 16:   Chad Henne #7 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts a pass during the game against the Houston Texans  at EverBank Field on September 16, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars must bench former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert and start veteran Chad Henne at quarterback for the rest of the season.

Gabbert was injured in Sunday's 43-37 overtime loss to the Houston Texans. And when Henne came into the game, he played very well and almost helped his Jaguars upset the AFC's only 9-1 team.

Henne completed just 16-of-33 pass attempts, but he threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns. He was able to tear apart one of the league's most talented secondaries and connected on several big plays, including an 81-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon (video below).

Gabbert and Blackmon haven't been able to achieve much success together, and after using the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft to add the former Oklahoma State receiver to their team, the Jaguars must base their quarterback decision on who can get Blackmon involved.

Blackmon entered Sunday's game with 250 receiving yards on the season, but then set career highs with seven receptions and 236 receiving yards.

The Houston defense ranks seventh in the NFL against the pass, but Henne was able to easily move the ball and get first downs.

And Henne's 354 yards passing on Sunday was a season high for Jacksonville quarterbacks. In 10 games this year, Gabbert has thrown for more than 260 yards just once.

Henne has now played well for two straight weeks. He completed 10-of-16 passes for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10, and he was able to run the offense effectively versus Houston.

Going into Sunday's game, the Jaguars had scored more than 20 points in just two games this season, and the team's season high was 23 points. In Henne's first game in which he took part in the majority of the team's offensive plays, the Jaguars scored 14 more points than their season high.

Head coach Mike Mularkey must start Henne at quarterback, because he will give the Jaguars the best chance to score points and win games.

The Jaguars offense was in top form on Sunday, and there's no reason to ruin this momentum by starting Gabbert next week.

Gabbert is never going to be a star quarterback, and since Henne has impressed two weeks in a row, he deserves to lead the team's offense in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans.