The Jacksonville Jaguars should start rookie quarterback Blake Bortles against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. There isn't a better situation to insert him in the lineup than Sunday at EverBank Field. You have a fan base on the brink, fearing an 0-8 start like the 2013 season and you have a mediocre Colts team with a soft underbelly on the road.
The Jaguars offense has been downright pitiful in the first two games of the season, the defense has been as well, but it's much more frustrating watching your team get blown out when you struggle to simply pick up first downs.
Chad Henne simply cannot get the job done and it's not really his fault. Henne is the type of quarterback who needs things around him to go well, for there to be minimal mistakes. He's not a quarterback who's going to elevate the play of those around him, but will elevate or decline with their play. He is what he is and is doing the best he can.
Bortles does that. He makes people look better, play better. It's just something that good quarterbacks do. It's that stupid "it" factor people love talking about.
Yes, the Jaguars can't run the football. Yes, the offensive line is sketchy in pass protection and has surrendered 13 sacks through the first two games, including giving up 10 sacks to Washington last Sunday. Sure the offensive side of the ball is young and most of the healthy wide receivers have little to no NFL experience and they'll make mistakes.
So what. If you're scared Blake Bortles is going to get broken because he gets hit a few times, you picked the wrong quarterback. You can't let the fear of quarterbacks past paralyze you from making the right call.
The Jaguars future is Blake Bortles. He needs to grow with the rest of the young players on the offense. The Colts are a perfect match up to insert Bortles into the lineup because their defense isn't very good. The Colts pass rush is anemic and it's gotten worse with injuries to players like Arthur Jones and Robert Mathis. The Colts have sacked the quarterback a single time in two games. They just played a Philadelphia Eagles team where the Jaguars got to the quarterback five times with just their front four.
Sure, Bortles will probably get sacked. He'll probably make mistakes. He'll probably turn the ball over, but he's going to do that regardless of how long he sits on the bench and learns. There's never going to be a perfect scenario to insert him into the starting lineup.
Bortles pocket presence and mobility will help him more with this offensive line than Henne with the offensive line. Bortles naturally takes risks down the field, looking for explosive plays. Henne seems like he's trying to force it to happen. Bortles seems to thrive in chaos and when things break down, he did it in college at UCF and he did it in the NFL preseason.
Making a change at the quarterback position isn't going to guarantee the Jaguars start winning some games, but it's clear what they're doing right now isn't working.