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Thursday Q&A: Why is Blake Bortles so different in the first half vs. the second half?

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The Jaguars are coming up against an incredibly pivotal game against the Buccaneers this week on the heels of an incredibly deflating game against the Colts. Let's get to the questions!

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike from Palm Beach, FL

Q: How do the injuries look? Could there be a chance of seeing No. 80 on the field on Sunday?

A: Unfortunately, not. While Julius Thomas was limited in practice on Wednesday, that's been his status for a few weeks now. Plus. it's been reported that he hasn't been cleared to play. Don't worry... we'll have articles filling up Big Cat Country when Thomas is ready to go.

Mike from Chicago, IL

Q: I understand that injuries are a part of the game, but the injury list for the Jaguars seems to get longer and longer with each passing week. Is this because of our strength and conditioning coach or are we just this unlucky?

A: Injuries smack every NFL team in the face. In recent history, Jaguars injuries have seemed more devastating because of the lack of depth on the roster to fill the injured shoes. But you are correct -- this season, it seems like the injuries are piling up pretty tall, though a lot of them are not season-ending nor season-breaking. And no, it's not because of our strength and conditioning coach. That's not how it works.

James from West Liberty, KY

Q: I know the lack of pass rush has been a consistent issue as well as injuries, but I'm still curious how our back seven (when healthy) has looked, specifically Aaron Colvin?

A: The secondary had an obviously rough game vs the Patriots, but outside of that it has played consistent, if not unspectacular. They are not making as many mistakes and have limited the amount of big plays theyve given up, but still don't have anyone who has stepped up as a playmaker.

Nooch from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Is the Gus persona becoming a liability? What I mean is, does Gus keep us simply competing but not winning?

A: We don't see Gus on the practice field or in the locker room so it is hard to say, but at 8-28 it is hard to argue in favor of Gus.

Bob from St. Augustine, FL

Q: Blake Bortles seemed to complete a high percentage of passes in the first half and a low percentage in second half. What changed? Did the Colts defense change at halftime without us responding?

A: The Colts came out of the second half playing much tighter coverage on the perimeter, daring the Jaguars to beat them over the middle, which is something the Jaguars have struggled to do so this season. There were also a number of other setbacks, such as tipped passes and multiple penalties that took away positive plays.

Chris from Riverside, Duval

Q: Why, man? Why?

A: I don't know, Chris. I just don't know.

Alex from Austin, TX

Q: If we lose to Tampa, do you guys think we'll see changes anywhere in the staff? Or do you think everyone makes it through the season?

A: I think no matter what happens, we won't see any changes until after the London game against the Buffalo Bills. You don't want to blow up a coaching staff and then give them just a few days to prepare for the next week. It would be ideal to do it after London and have that extra week to adjust.

Max from Ponte Vedra, FL

Q: Big Cat Country as of late has been doom and gloom. What was one positive takeaway from our loss that makes you optimistic for the rest of the season? Offense? Defense? Special teams? (Okay, maybe not special teams.)

A: Okay. Here goes.

Blake Bortles has limited his mistakes so far and he's making better pre-snap reads on the defense, which allows him to find the open receiver more quickly and more often. -Ryan

Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are first and second, respectively, among the list of most productive second-year wide receiver in the NFL, which is a testament to Greg Olson's offensive philosophy and Blake Bortles' progression as a pocket quarterback. -Cole

The biggest positive I have seen on defense has been Telvin Smith. He isn't consistent as a pass defender, but as a run defender he has improved considerably compared to his rookie season. He is proving to be a go-to guy when it comes to run stops and is making plays that he struggled to last year. -Hank

Xavier from Tucson, AZ

Q: Can people just stop being upset over this loss? We need to focus on to this upcoming game against the Buccaneers and what they could do to win against them.

A: Since Gus Bradley got here in 2013, I've seen a lot of knee jerk reactions to him as a coach. And I'm sure all of us at Big Cat Country have gone back and forth on him. But I think the last two weeks against the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts have given the biggest cause for disappointment for Jaguars fans in recent history. They're certainly the two most deflating losses this fanbase has had to endure in a long time. Why? Because we finally had some hope coming into this year. Not so much hope in a certain win-loss record, but hope in a level of competitiveness that, frankly, we haven't seen yet this year.

If you're in Year 3 of your rebuild, your quarterback is making his 17th start, and your defense is playing better than it should, there's a certain expectation you should be able to beat a division rival playing their backup quarterback on a short week -- especially with the AFC South on the line. It's not that the Jaguars have lost the last two weeks. It's how they've lost. They've looked confused, unprepared, and unable to adapt to what they see the opposing team doing on game days. That's a direct reflection on the coaching staff.

These last two weeks aren't just about losses. They represent the fact that we are likely to see a new head coach next year -- our third in five seasons. That's why people are upset, Xavier.