Is this the week? Is this the weekend that Jacksonville finally gets a win and puts to rest the idea they are the worst team in NFL history? The Rams are hosting and struggling in almost every part of their roster. They, too, need a win in the worst way. It makes for either a hotly contested game at the Edward Jones Dome, or it could be the game which becomes a comedy of errors.
For Blaine Gabbert and his crew, it needs to be a step in the right direction.
Gabbert grew up 30 miles from the stadium in Ballwin, MO. He played for the Tigers at the University of Missouri and now has a chance to go home for the first time and prove he is an NFL quarterback.
Hollywood could not have scripted it any better for someone who is nicknamed “Sunshine” because he looks like the character Ronnie Bass from “Remember the Titans.”
Could Gabbert’s Hollywood experience bring the team a win?
This isn’t just Gabbert’s homecoming, it is the first week Justin Blackmon gets to play in a regular season game. The second-year receiver has been suspended the first four weeks for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Now he stands on the playing field instead of the practice field. And the Jaguars could use his size and speed on the outside none too soon.
To make Blackmon an active member of the roster, the team released Jacques McClendon.
He is hoped to add intensity and be a relief to Cecil Shorts who leads the team in receiving totals but has been the only player in the offense that has been productive this season.
Blackmon set franchise rookie records in 2012 for receptions (64), receiving yards (865) and average per reception (13.5). His five receiving touchdowns tied the club’s rookie record and ranked second among all NFL rookies. He started 15 of 16 games and concluded the season with at least five catches in six of the last seven games.
In other news…
- This is the fourth time these two teams will meet. The Rams lead 2-1, where the home team has won each time. The Jaguars last won in 2009 when they secured a 23-20 overtime win.
- This is the first game without Eugene Monroe on the squad. The four-year right tackle was traded to Baltimore this week (who will play the Dolphins). Rookie Luke Joeckel moves to left tackle, his natural position. Austin Pasztor moves into Joeckels spot on the right side.
- Allen Reisner and Clay Harbour will again share the tight end duties for the team since Marcedes Lewis will not see the field. Lewis is still dealing with a calf injury.
- The Jaguars have never started a season 0-5. The team was 0-4 in its first season, but beat the Houston Oilers in week five. In 2003, the team beat San Diego to avoid the dubious honor.