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What we learned


Some of it's good. Some of it's bad. But here it is:

  1. Blaine Gabbert is still struggling.A lot of people are going overboard with their criticism of the rookie quarterback. It's time to slow down. He's not a flop and he's not a bust and his struggles aren't something from which you can't recover. He had, in fact, looked in recent weeks as if he was making progress. Still, Sunday was certainly a step back. He completed 13 of 29 passes for 136 yards, threw an interception and was sacked six times. He said the right things after being pulled Sunday, and had the look of a guy who will respond to adversity.
  1. Gabbert is still the starting quarterback.Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio said so after the game, and that is as it should be. Even though he was pulled in the fourth quarter, you go with Gabbert until you know he is not the future of the franchise. And while he struggled Sunday, we're miles from that.
  1. The Texans' defense is really good.This unit, like that of the Jaguars, struggled last season. This season, they're ranked No. 1 for a reason. No, the Jaguars aren't a good offense this season, but the Jaguars' offensive line had played better in recent weeks. The Texans got seven sacks Sunday and it was predominantly because they were getting as good a rush as the Jaguars have faced all season.
  1. The Jaguars aren't winning the AFC South. OK, we knew that already, but now it's official.
  1. The Jaguars' defense has heart.The Jaguars' defense was playing without five starters – linebacker Clint Session, cornerbacks Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox, defensive end Matt Roth and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. That's a huge chunk of the reason they were ranked No. 3 in the NFL before the game and still, the defense gave the Jaguars a chance to win Sunday.
  1. The Jaguars' defense is legitimately good against the run.Yes, the Jaguars knew the Texans were without their starting quarterback, Matt Schaub. And they knew they were without backup Matt Leinart in the second half. But the Texans are a good enough running team that they usually run effectively whatever the circumstance. Not on Sunday. The Texans entered the game averaging 158.1 yards a game rushing. On Sunday, they rushed for 88.
  1. Maurice Jones-Drew is really, really good.Every defense knows he's getting the ball. The Texans surely knew it, and Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is no dummy. Still, running against a defense geared to stop him, Jones-Drew rushed for 99 yards and had 67 yards receiving. What Jones-Drew is doing this season is one of the most impressive offensive performances in team history. It will get lost amid the wreckage of one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, but what Jones-Drew has accomplished shouldn't be overlooked.
  1. Paul Posluszny should be in the Pro Bowl.Even without defensive tackle Terrance Knighton in front of him, Posluszny continues to produce. He probably won't make the Pro Bowl, but that's only because the Jaguars' record will make it difficult. He without question is one of the NFL's best free-agent acquisitions this season and one of the best in Jaguars history.
  1. The Jaguars receivers . . .well, it's tough to discuss this without feeling like you're piling on. The unit is still struggling and while Gabbert struggled Sunday, too, the receivers just don't give him enough help. You'd like to see some plays made above the Xs and Os, and it just doesn't happen.
  1. Marcedes Lewis is still really struggling.Lewis already had been having a difficult year with too many drops and not enough production. But nothing compared to his dropped touchdown pass Sunday. Bottom line: his season is a disappointment and it's not because he doesn't care or he's not working. He's just having a bad year. A lot of readers are calling for Lewis to be cut. It's not going to happen and it shouldn't. He's the best tight end on the roster and the Jaguars are better with him than without him. That's the measure for keeping a player, not when he struggles in one area or another.
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