By: Bryce Fields
The Jacksonville Jaguars had extremely high expectations coming into the 2018-19 season. Coming off an appearance in the AFC Championship Game where they barely fell to the New England Patriots, many people though they would get revenge on the Pats and get to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. They were bringing back on of the premier defenses in the NFL, headlined by All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and a solid offense that features star running back Leonard Fournette. On paper, the Jags were a front-runner to be one of the best teams in the league.
And for the first few games of their season, the Jaguars were living up to those high standards placed on them. They started the season with a win over the New York Giants, but their AFC Championship rematch with the Patriots in week two was the game that everyone was looking at. Jacksonville dominated the game from start to finish, and came away with a convincing 31-20 win that had people naming the Jaguars as the best team in the AFC.
However, the wheels have fallen off the bus since there folks. A 9-6 barn-burner against the Tennessee Titans in week three saw the Jags take their first loss of the year, and are now 1-3 since that win over New England. This includes a 30-14 blowout loss against the Kansas City Chiefs (who are good, so it’s kind of okay) and another asskicking taken from the foot of the Dallas Cowboys (who are not good, so it is not okay at all).
What has been the problem? Well, that can be chalked up to a few things, but today, we are going to look at how starting quarterback Blake Bortles has…. sucked – there really isn’t any other way to describe it.
Bortles started off the year with a solid outing against the Giants, but his 376 passing yards and four touchdowns against the Patriots had people saying all the usual stuff about a player who has a big game. All the, “Bortles is finally over the hump,” statements, and start asking, “Is it too early to call him elite?”
Well, I can answer that question for you fairly confidently – No he is not elite, and in reality, he might actually not be any good at all.
In their 1-3 record since the victory over the Pats, Bortles has been god-awful. He was literally a non-factor in their loss to the Titans, throwing for only 155 yards and nothing else. Bortles had a “bounce-back” game in their Jets win (take that for what it’s worth) but has been horrible the last two weeks. He threw for four (4) interceptions in the romping they took from the Chiefs, and threw more a measly 155 yards in the L they took against the Cowboys, also posting stellar QBR’s of 16.2 and 29.6 in those losses as well.
I am not saying that Blake Bortles is a horrible quarterback or that he is the reason for the Jaguars struggles this year, but I sure as hell ain’t saying Bortles isn’t horrible and that is not the reason.