Blake Bortles just doesn’t look to be the franchise quarterback Jacksonville Jaguars fans have been waiting for. That thought really, really sucks, but it’s been the case all this year and we have nothing to ride on in terms of thinking he will get any better.
We entered this season with hope. Fans, Jacksonville media, even some national guys were on the bandwagon for Blake, thinking he could be a top NFL quarterback based on his record-setting 2015 campaign for the Jaguars. Hate from PFF, opposing fans, and all sorts of people who thought 2015 was a fluke for Bortles, was either ignored or ostracized by Jaguars fans and Bortles-believers.
And now, through six games of inconsistency, horrible decision making, lack of awareness, and what looks to be one of the ugliest throwing motions ever to be observed, us who believed in Bortles look to have been wrong, wrong, wrong.
Bortles has thrown an interception in five of his six games, standing at nine interceptions this year. In three of those five games (60%) with a pick, he’s thrown multiple interceptions.
His yards-per-attempt has been miserable as well in comparison to last year, which, whether it falls on coaching for bad play calling or not, comes down to his decision making as well. Last year, Bortles averaged 8.2 yards per attempt. This year, he’s averaging 5.7.
I came across a stat this morning that blew my mind today: In 36 career games (35 starts), Bortles has turned the ball over 52 times. That’s about one and a half times per game.
And, who could forget the wretched throwing motion? Here’s a picture that went viral on Jaguars Twitter today of what looks to be Bortles mimicking an Egyptian hieroglyphic:
The motion is really, really bad. And the funny thing is, even though he’s always had iffy mechanics, they seemed to be at least decent and improved last year. He looks worse this year mechanically than he did as a rookie.
Look, I hate bashing Blake Bortles. Before I started really covering the Jaguars as I do now and before I was brought onto Big Cat Country, I was a young kid with a passion for Jaguars football. I’m a UCF fan and I’m planning on attending there on a transfer program after I spend the next two years at Valencia Community College, ten minutes from the campus. I was high on Bortles as a prospect even before he jumped up draft boards after the Fiesta Bowl vs. Baylor in 2014. Was I biased as a UCF fan? Sure, but regardless, I saw the talent in the guy. He led UCF to it’s first major bowl game in school history, and in the bowl game he played spectacularly and UCF won! He was a fun QB to scout and I was excited as could be when my favorite team took my QB from my favorite school.
But we can’t deny it anymore. We can’t make excuses. Blake has been abysmal this year, and when he’s been gifted with opportunities to bounce back, like against Oakland, who has one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL, Blake crapped the bed.
With my love for Blake that goes back to his college days, as well as just about every Jaguars fan you’ll talk to, all we can do is hope that something will click with him. All we can do is see how the rest of his season unfolds, as the team has absolutely no plans of benching him.
We all want Blake Bortles to be great, just as we all wanted Blaine Gabbert to be great, because this team hasn’t had a quarterback we could be fully confident in for years.
But, if what we’ve seen in the first seven weeks of this season is any indicator of the future, it looks like we are going to be waiting a while on the franchise QB we’ve been clinging onto hope for.