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Blaine Gabbert starts in Jacksonville Jaguars' opener

Blaine Gabbert will take the field Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars open the Gus Bradley era against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The team announced that the third-year passer will start the game after throwing extensively during practice this week. Gabbert missed the team's final two preseason games with a thumb injury.

Bradley repeatedly said Gabbert would be a game-time decision, but we fully expected him to play. With Gabbert active, the Chiefs should anticipate more of the fast-paced attack we saw the Jaguars run during the preseason. Most of that work was done by backup Chad Henne -- Gabbert played just 48 snaps in August -- but both quarterbacks looked more at home in the quick-decision air game.

Gabbert in the preseason spent just 1.98 seconds in the pocket before passing the ball, less time than any other NFL quarterback, per Pro Football Focus. A mere five of his 25 attempts in August went for more than 10 yards through the air, so the Jags remain a good bet to badger the Chiefs with a handful of screens and short-range passes.

Fast-paced, slow-paced -- suit yourself. No quarterback is under more pressure to prove he belongs.

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