Every Thursday, Big Cat Country publishes a Jacksonville Jaguars Q&A column with questions from you. With the Jaguars coming off a bye week, the team just half-a-game out of the AFC South division lead (God help us), and Ryan Fitzpatrick starting we're sure you've got plenty of questions.
Let's get to it!
Eric from Boston, MA
Q: Last year, Bortles completed 59% of his passes. This year, he's down to 56%, which is the 3rd-lowest in the league, only ahead of Andrew Luck and Cam Newton. What's the deal? Why's he getting worse here?
A: I'd probably pin this drop in completion percentage to a change in offensive schemes. Last season, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch's offense utilized more components that carried Bortles down the field. Read-options, cute screen plays, and other flat concepts allowed Bortles a cushion to develop a passing game, but the system never unfolded fast enough to create real offensive success. Blake Bortles has since been freed in Greg Olson's offense, allowing Blake more opportunities to uncover deeper routes and push the ball down the field. The scheme change is still an ongoing process, and it's reasonable to expect Blake's completion percentage to dip a bit.
Mike from Stamford, CT
Q: With the Jaguars only one game out of first place in AFC South at this point in the season, can we label it a disappointing season if they do not find a way to take the weak division from the Indianapolis Colts this year?
A: We wrote briefly about this on Monday. Yes, all things remaining constant, the Jaguars should take this division and it would be disappointing if they couldn't. But that's the thing -- things don't remain constant. The other three teams in the AFC South are sitting in pretty much the same position as the Jaguars. Whichever team can turn things around slightly will win the division. The AFC South has been bad, but we don't know how competitive the second half of the season will be.
James from Louisville, KY
Q: Would you rather the Jaguars win 6-7 games and make the playoffs with the very possibility of an early and ugly exit or win 6-7 games but not make the playoffs and have a higher draft pick?
A: Playoffs. I want the playoffs. Every. Damn. Time.
Alan from Aurora, IL
Q: Which Jaguars players will you be voting into the Pro Bowl? And which if any have a legit shot of making it?
A: Telvin Smith is the first one that comes to mind. I think that's about it on this roster. Allen Robinson needs more catches, Blake Bortles needs to get better in the red zone, and Aaron Colvin needs another year. As far as where to vote, you can do that here.
Paul from Queens, NY
Q: I'm going to the Jaguars game at MetLife on Sunday. How much crap do you think I can talk without being beaten up?
A: I think even this email should put you on alert.
MakhLakh from Adelaide, Australia
Q: Do you still blame Gene Smith?
A: Yes. In all things, yes.
Dave from Oakland, CA
Q: What happened to Demetrius McCray?
A: It appears that McCray fell victim to a deep position group early on this season. McCray did, however, get some burn at the starting cornerback position opposite of Aaron Colvin in Wednesday's practice. McCray, Davon House, and Dwayne Gratz are all candidates for that spot, and Gus Bradley will probably make a decision on who is starting in Sunday's game at some point in the next couple of days.