That’s what happened in Arizona today, as Gabbert’s Cardinals defeated Bortles’ Jaguars 27-24, thanks to a 57-yard game-winning field goal from Arizona kicker Phil Dawson. It was a far more entertaining game than most would have expected.
Gabbert in Arizona is playing far better than his reputation. Today against his old team he completed 22 of 38 passes for 241 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. He’s not a great quarterback, maybe not even a good one, but he’s more competent than most people thought before he landed in Arizona.
Bortles had his moments, including two rushing touchdowns, but he had a terrible interception right into the hands of Arizona’s Tyrann Mathieu late in the game. The 7-4 Jaguars may still make the playoffs, but it’s hard to see them going far with Bortles at the helm.
The 5-6 Cardinals probably won’t make a run at the NFC playoff race, but they’re playing better than expected under Gabbert, which is a testament to coach Bruce Arians keeping the team together. They remain a competitive team, even down to their third-string quarterback.