The Jaguars had one of the best defensive displays in recent memory on Sunday, but costly mistakes by the offense led to a 27-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins. And by costly mistakes by the offense, I mean costly mistakes by rookie quarterback Blake Bortles.
Bortles completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes on the day, but it was two interceptions that were each returned for touchdowns that proved to be the difference on the day. A fumble by Bortles was also recovered by the Dolphins and resulted in a field goal.
While the defense essentially pitched a shutout for three quarters and held the Miami offense to just 59 yards of offense in the first half, Bortles was responsible for gift wrapping 17 points to the Dolphins. It's not time to panic about the rookie, as he's a rookie and rookies do rookie things, but concern is justified and possibly warranted. Particularly considering multiple instances of poor mechanics and footwork that have all the signs of potential bad habits that could be picked up.
Three things we learned
1. Blake Bortles got rattled: One of the most attractive qualities about Bortles as a quarterback has been his cool presence and willingness to pull the trigger, regardless of the situation. He's still pulling the trigger, but Bortles absolutely looked like a player that was in over his head at times and wasn't ready to handle the pressures of being an NFL starter.
Again, nothing about a rookie having a truly terrible game is something that should be cause for panic. It is certainly concerning though.
2. J.T. Thomas is not a drop-off at MLB: The loss of Paul Posluszny was a big deal to some and a quasi-joke to others, but he didn't appear to be missed on Sunday. The captain of the Jaguars defense was replaced by Thomas and the fourth-year linebacker looked every bit capable of filling the void left by Posluszny's departure to injured reserve. If anything, he looked like a better player as the Dolphins were never able to take advantage of the middle of the Jacksonville defense, as many teams had in previous weeks.
3. Field goals are a struggle: Be honest, when the Jaguars line up for a field goal do you have any confidence that Josh Scobee's kick will get any further than five yards before it's batted out of the air. Scobee hasn't done a tremendous job of getting the ball high off the ground, but the real issue is the outrageous amount of pressure that has consistently leaked right through the middle of the field goal blocking unit. Scobee has been pretty consistent in his delivery of sub sandwiches to Jaguars fans, but that's in spite of the blocking directly in front of him.