BQBL: The Blow-by-Blow Triumph of Yo Gabba Gabbert

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images Blaine Gabbert

As I write this it is 7:46 p.m., Monday, October 8, 12, 2012 AD. I point this out because I am writing the introduction to this week’s BQBL post BEFORE Mark Sanchez takes the field against the Houston Texans. There is a 90 percent chance that I will rewrite this after Sanchez throws three picks and is sacked a bajillion times by J.J. Watt and the Texans defense; there is a 5 percent chance he has a great game and we post this intro just to prove how unpredictable the NFL is; and there is a 5 percent chance this column is canceled because Sanchez is decapitated on the field of play, somehow lives, but the NFL is taking a couple weeks off to draw up some rule changes. Regardless, I doubt that even the inevitable ineptitude Mr. Sanchize is sure to muster up later this evening will top the week that Yo Gabba Gabbert had on Sunday. He was so bad he forced me to completely re-imagine how I write this column.

Three and Out

Jaguars (Blaine Gabbert), 89 points: Each week, I usually give the BQBLers a little synopsis of the atrocious turnovers that each of the top scorers compiled. But I was thinking … by doing that, I’m leaving too much shitty quarterbacking on the cutting-room floor. Blaine Gabbert was so terrible this week that he deserves the full treatment. Ladies and gentlemen, I will now go through Yo Gabba Gabbert’s tremendous Sunday against the Bears defense, incompletion by glorious incompletion:

11:29, first quarter, incompletion no. 1: Zach Potter runs an out and Yo Gabba throws a way-too-far out.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 17. He threw it toward the sideline to keep it away from the defender, and due to my extensive knowledge of quarterback coaching (overheard some in high school), I know that you are supposed to put the ball where only your guy can catch it. It wasn’t a completion, but it wasn’t a bad throw either.

10:44, first quarter, incompletion no. 2: Maurice Jones-Drew drops a pass over the middle.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 3. This was honestly a damn near-perfect pass that Jones-Drew just dropped.

3:39, first quarter, incompletion no. 3: Deep ball to Cecil Shorts that was just a bit too deep.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 17. Again, this ball was just a bit out of the diving reach of Shorts but away from the two defenders who were covering him. Not a completion, but a terrific deep ball. Is this “watch every incompletion” experiment going to prove that Yo Gabba is actually a great quarterback who suffered bad break after bad break on Sunday? I doubt it, so let’s continue …

2:25, first quarter, incompletion no. 4: Yo Gabba rolls right after play action and throws to Mike Thomas. Half drop and half broken up by Bears CB Tim Jennings.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 20. Not a bad pass really, very catchable. It honestly might have just been a bad decision. Jones-Drew was open in the flat and had a head of steam. Is Gabbert … good?

:50, first quarter, incompletion no. 5: Gabbert overthrows receiver Kevin Elliott.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 70. The announcers are going really hard on this whole “maybe there was a miscommunication between Gabbert and Elliott” angle. It’s like they don’t know that it’s totally normal for Gabbert to randomly throw a pass seven yards over a receiver’s head. They must not read the BQBL.

15:00, second quarter, incompletion no. 6: Gabbert’s attempt to throw an interception is broken up by tight end Marcedes Lewis.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 87. Remember how earlier I was detailing how Gabbert was throwing passes away from the defenders so only his receivers could catch them? Yeah, well now he’s throwing passes where only defenders can catch them, and his receivers are batting them down like cornerbacks. I fully expect by the end of the game the Jaguar tight ends and receivers will start waving their arms across their chest after every broken-up interception like guys in the secondary do after incompletions.

14:54, second quarter, Incompletion no. 7: Yo Gabba overthrows Marcedes Lewis in the end zone.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 89. This is more of what I expected. Lewis breaks free from the linebacker, is clearly open for a five-yard window in the front of the end zone, and Blainey Blaine just overthrows everything. It was almost like he couldn’t decide whether to throw a touchdown or throw it out of the back of the end zone, so he attempted to do both. For those scoring at home, Lewis has knocked down a sure interception on first down and was missed on a sure touchdown on second down.

9:30, second quarter, incompletion no. 8: Blaine Gabbert throws it to … um … well … the ground?
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 93. This is best described by the play-by-play guy: “Gabbert throws … his pass sailed between a couple of receivers, Thomas and Blackmon.” As a quarterback in the National Football League you rarely want a commentator using the verb “sailed” to describe your passes. The color guy is also doing the whole “miscommunication” thing again. Will he never learn?

(It is important to note that after this incompletion, Gabbert moved the ball down the field with four — yes, four — completions in a row before fumbling the ball away. It is like he hates success and will avoid it at all costs.)

5:16, third quarter, TAINT no. 1 (incompletion no. 9): Gabbert TAINTs it to Charles Tillman.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 96. This pass is what the BQBL is all about. It was a BQBL hat trick: a bad decision, poorly executed, and with grave circumstances. Top five comments by the announcers following this throw:

5. “A bad decision by Blaine.”
4. “Nothing is there. Blaine Gabbert should have gotten away from that side of the field.”
3. “Standing right behind Blaine Gabbert, I mean, there is no way he should have thrown this ball.”
2. “Tillman has his head back watching the whole time, underthrown, I mean, that is just throw and catch right there.”
1. “Are we sure Blaine Gabbert is right-handed? Like, has anyone asked him?”

OK, I made the last one up, but you get the point.

4:58, third quarter, incompletion no. 10: From his own end zone, Gabbert goes deep down the sideline to a double-covered Justin Blackmon, who breaks up the interception.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 89. I bet Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey takes the receivers aside on the practice field and teaches them to break up interceptions. He probably does it while Blaine is in film study or something, because it would be rude to do it in front of him.

13:04, fourth quarter, incompletion no. 11: Gabbert throws it behind the slanting Blackmon.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 90. Perfect route against this defense, Blackmon is open, and Blaine puts it way behind him. At some point I expect Blackmon to come back to the huddle, look at Blaine and say, “Hey, man, let’s just switch positions for a play. Just give it a shot. Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?”

12:59, fourth quarter, incompletion no. 12: Gabbert throws it in Blackmon’s direction … ish.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 96. OK, the announcers keep talking about “miscommunication” this and “miscommunication” that. The only miscommunication that occurred on this play was when Gabbert’s brain told his arm that Justin Blackmon was 14 feet tall.

8:12, fourth quarter, incompletion no. 13: Yo Gabba tosses this one behind a slanting Thomas and off the arms of a defender or two.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 86. I may have to go back and watch every completion from Gabbert’s game just to prove to myself that they occurred. After what I have just watched, that seems unlikely.

8:05, fourth quarter, incompletion no. 14: Pass is deflected by Maurice Jones-Drew and TAINTed by Lance Briggs.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 98. This was not one of those “just the tip picks,” where a good pass was deflected and something unjustly horrible happened. This was an inexperienced quarterback being tricked by a veteran defense. As Gabbert stood under center, Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Briggs both showed blitz. Blaine saw this and said to himself, “Cool, when they blitz I will just throw it to my hot read MJD, and he will have tons of room to run.” This is a great plan to beat the blitz. Only problem — they didn’t blitz. Urlacher was waiting for Jones-Drew and walloped him as soon as the ball got there. Briggs then cleaned up the mess for a touchdown. In his defense, Gabbert made a real effort to keep Briggs from the end zone, and we here at BQBL headquarters love it when QBs attempt to make tackles. Good job, Blaine. Now get back in there and make some more terrible throws.

1:13, fourth quarter, incompletion no. 15: Attempt to Blackmon is tipped by Bears linebacker Geno Hayes.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 91. This is one of those tipped passes where the defender thought he was tipping it so the receiver couldn’t make the catch, but actually, he was tipping it so the safety couldn’t make the interception. I bet in the huddle the secondary went to the linebackers and were all, “Don’t tip any more of Gabbert’s passes. I know it sounds weird, but just trust us. Don’t.”

:38, fourth quarter, incompletion no. 16: Gabbert is chased out of the pocket and throws incomplete.
Where was it on the 1-100 Terriblocity Scale? 99. OK, I’m not kidding, I had no idea this was coming. Gabbert actually threw this ball with his left hand. Go back and review the tape. There is no better way to end this little experiment than the quarterback, having tried everything else, attempting to complete a pass with his off hand. Long live Blaine Gabbert!

(I considered saving this spot for Sanchez, but methinks he won’t be able to top Pickspatrick’s atrocity from Week 5 against the 49ers.)

Bills (Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyler Thigpen), 72 points: Hey, Blaine Gabbert, you think your team is the only one that lost by more than 37 points? You think you’re the only one who threw for less than 150 yards? You think you’re the only one who led his offense to 3 total points? You obviously are not familiar with the work of the Buffalo Bills’ Ryan Pickspatrick.

Pickspatrick was 16-for-36 on Sunday, threw a pick, and was so bad that he was eventually replaced by Tyler effing Thigpen, the man who sees so little NFL action that he tries to catch the ball with his temple. Thigpen only went in for a play to hand off the ball, but BQBL Bills owners don’t care about how merciful or malicious their quarterback benchings are. They just care that they are worth 35 points. Actually, that isn’t true. All good BQBLers want their benching to be as malicious as possible. Sorry about that oversight.

(I feel like this is a good spot for Sanchez. He likely won’t reach Pickspatrick’s 72, but he should beat Matt Hasselbeck’s 50 …)

Titans (Matt Hasselbeck and Rusty Smith), 50 points: OK, who the hell is Rusty Smith? After some very intense research (Googling for three minutes), I have ascertained that Rusty Smith is a quarterback in the National Football League who replaced Titans backup Matt Hasselbeck due to ineptitude after Hasselbeck replaced Titans quarterback Jake Locker due to injury. I have also learned that he looks silly running, his Grandpa hates it when he throws picks, and when he does interviews, he looks like a cross between Kenny Powers and RoboCop. I really hope we see more of this Rusty Smith/Kenny Powers/RoboCop kid in the coming weeks. In his career, he’s thrown four interceptions and zero touchdowns; he has serious BQBL upside.

Quick Slants

Chiefs (Matt Cassel), 49 points: Even as satire, I refuse to celebrate Matt Cassel’s misfortune this week. Just doesn’t feel right. Let’s move on, shall we?

Seahawks (Russell Wilson), 30 points: Mr. Wilson really only finds himself here because of a 25-point TAINT. He got an ugly win, but anytime a quarterback steps on the field and completes 76 percent of his passes (19-for-25), you can’t be mad at him. Well, ya know, unless you started him in the BQBL.

Panthers (Cam Newton), 29 points: Newton set a career low in completions (12), passing yards (141), and completion percentage (41 percent), but really, the worst part of his week was his attempted touchdown pass with Carolina down four points and the clock winding down. He had a man open. He threw it to the ground two yards in front of that man. The past few weeks have not been good for Cam. It will be interesting to see how he responds. Honestly, I am hoping for the worst. Not just because of the BQBL, but also because I am a bad person.

Eagles (Mike Vick), 29 points: Mike Vick found his way here because he lost two fumbles. The Eagles are 4-6 when Vick has two or more turnovers and 14-6 when he has one or less. I know a way that will 100 percent guarantee he has one or fewer turnovers — start Nick Foles.

With Yo Gabba Gabbert and the Bears getting a bye next week, it looks to be a slow one for the BQBL. However, any week Tony Romo is on the road against the Ravens, there’s the potential for spectacularly terrible things to occur. Check back next week for more celebration of carnage, ineptitude, and failure. We will be tracking it closely.

Filed Under: Bqbl, Chicago Bears, Mark Sanchez, Russell Wilson

David Jacoby is an ESPN producer who somehow became a writer and editor for Grantland.

Archive @ djacoby