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Jaguars vs. Packers: Blake Bortles wins the game ball

Blake Bortles wins the first "game ball" of the Jaguars 2016 season.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars lost to the Packers in a well-fought game on Sunday, just narrowly losing by a score of 27-23.

Losses are losses. I'm upset and won't call it a "moral victory". But there were many positives to take away from the game. This team is much better than they have been and exceeded expectations for the challenges they faced against a good Packers team.

So, who wins the "game ball"?

Jaguars game ball winner: Blake Bortles

Blake Bortles has proven himself to be this team's franchise QB. It's no longer a "maybe he is", it's no longer a "he's a garbage time QB". You can't convince me that Bortles isn't the leader of this offense and team.

He is the future. Hell, he is the now.

Bortles went 24/39 for 320 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception, but that pick falls on intended receiver Marqise Lee, who bobbled the ball right into linebacker Joe Thomas' hands.

Bortles had the entire offense in sync. The chemistry between Bortles and his core of receivers: The big three consisting of Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Julius Thomas, has only gotten better since last year.

Here's a couple of Bortles' highlights from the game:

Bortles finds Hurns in stride on a designed stop and go route here. Bortles gets rocked as he throws and still makes a beautiful pass.

Several plays later, Bortles finds Thomas in stride on the outside -- easy money. This exact play is why Jacksonville is paying Julius Thomas $47 million. Bortles makes this throw look like a piece of cake.

Finally, on the last offensive drive of the game, Bortles avoided a sack from Mike Daniels to extend the drive on fourth down. Before the final play, which was a failed 4th down conversion, the team had gone 4/4 on 4th downs -- head coach Gus Bradley took some risks throughout the game and several of them panned out.

The Jaguars may have lost the game against the Packers, but they didn't lose in selecting Blake Bortles to be the franchise QB, and he showed us exactly why they did so on Sunday. Therefore, Blake Bortles wins the Jaguars' week one game ball.