The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Miami Dolphins 27-13 on Sunday at Everbank Field to fall to 1-7 on the season, but one could easily argue on the day the better team lost. The Jaguars dominated the Dolphins for the first half of the game, but critical mistakes by rookie quarterback Blake Bortles proved too much to overcome.
And that's what you get with a talented rookie quarterback. You get flashes of brilliance and you get cringe worthy mistakes.
Bortles showed a bit of both on Sunday, but three turnovers was just too much to overcome despite pretty good performances elsewhere.
The Dolphins are a talented team, especially defensively, which is why the first half of the game was so surprising. The Jaguars seemed to move the ball easily down the field, but their first drive ended in a blocked field goal, their second drive in a punt after a field goal attempt and a penalty and their third drive ended in an interception near the redzone that was returned for a touchdown.
Team's like Jacksonville can't beat teams like Miami when stuff like that happens and a lot of it falls on the shoulders of the rookie quarterback and he knows it.
"I think just the three turnovers. Defense played really well, offensive line played really well," Bortles said Sunday after the game. "I’m killing us, so I’ve got to try to eliminate different things and get better."
Bortles had three turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble near the redzone. The Dolphins scored 17 points off those and the Jaguars lost by 14. Those are the things a young team struggles to overcome and things a team like Jacksonville can't over come yet.
Bortles got beat up post game for his interceptions, for the most part fairly, but it wasn't like they were the types of interceptions where he just had no idea what he was doing and heaved the ball down field. Both were "speed of the game" type plays where you can tell Bortles is still adjusting to figuring out which throws he can and can't make in the NFL. The first pick was rolling to his
right left and throwing across his body a bit and the corner just stepped in front. Bortles thought he had a window, and in college at UCF probably did, but in the NFL that just isn't there. You can't know that until it happens.
Now he knows.
Overall though, I didn't think Bortles played all that poorly. He had his mistakes and was let down on a few plays. He just barely missed Allen Robinson in the endzone early in the game, which probably sets a whole different tone going forward if they connect.
But again, he's a rookie in his fifth game.
For the real positives though, the Jaguars defense was once again stifling. They shut down the Miami offense for the majority of the game, holding them to under 100 yards of offense until the middle of the third quarter. Eventually they broke down and gave points, but realistically they should have been playing with a lead the whole game. The Jaguars defense once again gave up just 13 points to the opposing team's offense, making it four weeks in a row the defense has given up just 16 points or less.
The Jaguars offense once again ran the ball and Denard Robinson looks more and more like a legitimate NFL running back. He did a nice job running between the tackles and bouncing runs outside, including a 41-yard run down the sideline.
It was a frustrating game because it felt like the Jaguars should have been winning the whole time, especially how the first three quarters went, but that's what you get with a young team. You get critical mistakes and it's tough to ask them to overcome those.
The Jaguars actually played a good game yesterday, just once again, they can't lose the turnover battle and have things like blocked field goals and expect to win.