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Jaguars vs. Steelers: Breaking down Blake Bortles' touchdown drive

Down 8-3, Blake Bortles should have been on the sidelines. Instead, Jaguars coaches gave him one more chance to get a touchdown... and their gamble paid off.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said playing time in preseason games is "kind of a feel" and that he goes with his gut on how long certain players should play.

Thank God for that.

If there were a script and Bradley followed it perfectly, Blake Bortles might have come out of the game after the second offensive drive, after leading the offense to just three points. But instead, Bradley gave Bortles one last chance to get a touchdown and feel good about the opener and it paid off in a big way for this team.

Let's break down the drive play-by-play:

1st-and-10: Bortles' pass to Gerhart

I love what new offensive coordinator Greg Olson is doing with players like Toby Gerhart and Marcedes Lewis. If the defense is giving you a cushion, especially over the middle of the field, you take it. Spread the offense, use the speed of your receivers take defenders downfield, and let Gerhart catch the easy first down over the middle.

1st-and-10: Toby keeps those legs moving

Lean forward, don't stop moving your legs, and get five or six yards, Toby. Also, look at Clay Harbor (No. 86) playing lead blocker. It'll be interesting to see who lines up at fullback this season, or rather who lines up when. I can remember Harbor, Tyson Alualu, and Nic Jacobs with the starters off the top of my head. The left side of the line (including Luke Joeckel) does a good job meeting Steelers defenders at the point of attack.

2nd-and-10: Toby is fed up

Whew. This is exactly how I hope the Jaguars use Gerhart this year. Let him settle into a hybrid running back / H-back role and give him north-south runs, easy passes over the middle, and screens where he gets to matchup against outside linebackers and defensive backs.

1st-and-10: Offensive line opening holes

It's hard to see without the All-22 available, but I love the play design. Pump fake to a slanting Tony Washington (top of screen), and let Bernard Pierce hit the hole. Again, the offensive line and tight end Nic Jacobs (No. 85) do a great job of giving Pierce a wide hole to run through for six yards.

2nd-and-4: Great designed pre-snap audible

Again, great play design. Line up in power and audible to a spread offense, to give intended target Tony Washington (No. 84) some space over the middle. Easy first down.

1st-and-10: Harbor drops it

The saddest play of the game. After dinking and dunking against the Steelers defense, offensive coordinator Greg Olson picked the perfect time to go deep. The offensive line creates a perfect pocket, Clay Harbor runs a great route, Blake Bortles puts the ball on the money, the Steelers safety is off-balance... and Harbor drops it.

3rd-and-6: Air-relious Benn makes the grab

After two plays that resulted in four yards total, the offensive line (once again!) gives Bortles more than enough time to step up into the pocket and throw downfield to an open Arrelious Benn.

3rd-and-12: Bernard makes the highlight reel

I have to believe that Greg Olson and Gus Bradley were always going for it on fourth down here, hence why they felt good about a throw to Pierce out of the flat on a long third down. Pierce makes the highlight reel and sets up the Jaguars just four yards away from capping off Bortles' last drive of the night with a touchdown.

4th-and-4: Bortles cares not for preseason injury fears

Touchdown! This wasn't a designed run, but rather a case where guys were covered. Bortles does a good job keeping the pass open until the very last second. If he'd just tucked the ball and run, defenders would have swarmed him immediately, but because he was able to threaten the pass as he ran towards the goal line, the Steelers had to hold their coverage a little bit too long.