Blake Bortles Impresses In Close Loss To Bears, Creating QB Controversy In Jacksonville

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Friday, August 15th, 2014 | 0


After finishing the 2013 season a paltry 4-12, the Jacksonville Jaguars made a franchise-changing move by selecting coveted Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in April’s 2014 NFL draft.

Bortles was thought to spend his first year on the bench learning from veteran Chad Henne, but if his performance continues like it did against the Chicago Bears in last night’s (August 14, 2014) close 20-19 loss from Soldier Field in Chicago, the Jaguars may have a quarterback controversy on their hands much sooner than they planned.

Bortles impressed in his second-ever NFL action (highlights courtesy of Moe Abubaker below), completing 11 of 17 passes for 160 yards while displaying great mobility:

He’s been nearly flawless in his short NFL stint thus far, but Bortles knows he still has a long way to go. He told The Florida Times-Union that his performance was merely decent:

“I thought it was OK, decent,” Bortles said after the game. ”There were some good things, but I missed a couple of throws. For the most part, we did well as an offense. We moved the ball, went up-tempo. The outside zone game was effective and we did what we wanted to.’’

After completing 7 of his 11 throws against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Friday (August 8, 2014), Bortles has now connected on 18 of 28 total attempts with no turnovers. Accuracy is obviously a key component to a rookie quarterback’s success, and it has also shown Bortles that he can get the job done at the next level:

“It’s a confidence booster,” Bortles said. “It’s one of our big points of emphasis, so having no turnovers is huge for us.”

Keeping interceptions and fumbles to a minimum will be crucial to the Jags’ perceived turnaround in 2014, and if early indications hold true, Bortles will soon be the best man to lead them to that goal.

Although Henne also looked sharp last night by completing 12 of 17 passes for 130 yards and a score, it’s clear that Bortles is their future. However, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was quick to point out that their star pupil still has a lot to learn, noting Tampa Bay only rushed one man at him and Chicago failed to pressure him consistently.

He’ll have to adapt to the speed and pressure of the pro game, but if he continues to turn in numbers like he already has, we should be seeing Bortles pass Henne on the depth chart much sooner than his second season of NFL action.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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