Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 11/21/12
This weekend, the Houston Texans nearly dropped a game to one of the worst teams in the NFL. It was an offensive shootout with little defense to speak of from either team, and the Texans emerged from overtime with the victory. The other story line that came from the Texans near-miss was the possible end of the Blaine Gabbert era in Jacksonville. After leaving the game early with an injury to his throwing arm, backup quarterback Chad Henne entered the game and threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Henne's spectacular performance may have ended Gabbert's hopes of keeping his job beyond 2012. Young quarterbacks are difficult to evaluate, especially when those players are installed in poor organizations. Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill are all facing difficulties in transitioning to the pro level. Cam Newton looked nothing short of amazing in his rookie year, but this season, he's shown little leadership, and the Panthers' 2-8 record reflects Newton's inability to get the job done when it matters most. Christian Ponder started 2012 with a number of strong showings, but he's cooled off considerably. On the other hand, his team is still 6-4, and firmly in the playoff hunt. In many cases, teams drafting a quarterback won't know exactly what they have for three or even four seasons. Chad Henne's role in Jacksonville illustrates how backup quarterbacks can speed up that process. The Jaguars have been awful on offense since Blaine Gabbert took over last season. Starting in week three of 2011 and continuing through last weekend, no other quarterback started for the Jaguars, despite Gabbert's struggles. With Henne now in the starting lineup and Gabbert on IR, the Jaguars will have an opportunity to troubleshoot their offensive woes. If the Jaguars find that their offense is just fine with Henne, the decision to waive Gabbert in the offseason should be a rather simple and straightforward decision to make. If, however, their offense continues to struggle, the Jaguars will have to ponder the future of the quarterback position. In short, letting a backup quarterback play can help diagnose an offense's woes. Mike Mularkey made the right decision pulling the plug on Blaine Gabbert, and Gene Smith made the right move putting him on IR. It prevents a quarterback controversy, and it allows the Jaguars to get an unhindered look at Henne for the next six games. Some of the young quarterbacks I listed above will have fine NFL careers, but a few of them may be busts, just waiting to be discovered. It's in those cases that having a competent backup quarterback is helpful in weeding them out before they cost their team's too much time an effort. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Elvis Andrus steals home against Padres

Seahawks went on Hawaiian vacation to ease SB tension

Robert Kraft: Deflategate 'most overblown story' in NFL

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Jim Tressel once sent touching note to family of Michigan OL

Sony cut 'Concussion' scenes to avoid angering NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ryan Clark: Trent Richardson is 'worst RB of all time'

Report: David Feherty won't be back at CBS Sports

Warren Moon: RG3 needs to start taking the blame

Lovullo: I don’t see Hanley Ramirez playing left field again in 2015

Judge Berman’s one-sentence order repeats Deflategate decision timeline

Ishmael Adams suspended indefinitely following arrest

Ohio State downplays revenge talk ahead of Va. Tech rematch

WATCH: D-backs pitcher fails on quick pitch attempt

Ex-FSU WR Snoop Minnis trolls rival Florida in great way

Suspicous photo may lead to drug test for CC Sabathia

How the Houston Astros went from garbage to gold

Jack Eichel plans to move in with teammate Matt Moulson

Report: Bills GM 'went rogue’ in cutting Fred Jackson

Terrance Knighton irked by Redskins-Kardsashians comparison

Connor Cook on not being named Michigan State captain: 'It stinks'

Danny Amendola’s advice to those on roster bubble? ‘Control what you can’

Dallas Cowboys: Rookies to watch

Apple reportedly sought exclusive rights to new Bill Simmons podcast

One of Clemson’s 1981 national championship trophies broke

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker