The Jacksonville Jaguars starters looked to be in midseason form on Thursday night against the New York Jets. The passing game, led by Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson, featured several 50-50 balls that Robinson won in contention, the chemistry between Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon gave us real hope that the team could boast a legitimate rushing attack this year, and the linebackers gave up back-to-back big plays in the passing game.
Like we said, midseason form.
Last year, we started a tradition like no other — charting each and every Blake Bortles pass in the preseason and breaking it down on Vine. With a near flawless performance in Week 1 we thought, “Why stop now?”
(Thanks to @ColeFartley for all the vines.)
Pass #1: 1st and 10 on JAX 30
Right out of the gate, we get to see T.J. Yeldon catching passes out of the backfield, offensive linemen blocking downfield, and Blake Bortles throwing an on-target pass with a defender near his face. (Is that Tyler Shatley getting downfield?) Yeldon is the best receiving back on the Jaguars and I pray he gets ample opportunities in the passing game this year.
Pass #2: 1st and 10 at JAX 45
After two straight first down conversions on the ground (wat?) Blake Bortles again goes to a running back, this time Chris Ivory. Tyler Shatley got beat by his man so it could have been a dump off, but Ivory could have been the primary target the whole time.
Pass #3: 2nd and 9 at NYJ 44
What a gotdamn catch and throw. Midseason form from Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson as they connect on a beautiful back shoulder pass for 19 yards
Pass #4: 2nd and Goal at NYJ 9
JULIUS! This is Blake Bortles’ only incompletion on the night and it certainly should have been caught. Yes, it’s a bit low, but that’s to keep it away from the defender more than anything.
Pass #5: 2nd and 2 at JAX 22
Oh, there’s an extra rusher? Blake Bortles just throws it up to Allen Robinson in single coverage.
Pass #6: 1st and 10 at JAX 38
This was my favorite play of the night, not simply because of the 45-yard gain but because of how Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson instinctively knew that with a guy jumping offsides (and giving the Jaguars a free play) they could break off their scripted play. Bortles said later of the play that Robinson knew it was a free play and instead of running his route, he just ran straight up field.
Pass #7: 2nd and 7 at NYJ 14
This is typically a play you’d see a receiver like Marqise Lee make, but I like Allen Hurns in this role as well. It’s a simple bubble screen that Hurns takes for 14 (and sets up a Chris Ivory touchdown two plays later) but look at Luke Joeckel, Marcedes Lewis, and Julius Thomas getting downfield and blocking at the next level.