One time is a fluke. Two times makes you scratch your chin. Three times in a row is a pattern.
For the past three weeks, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has been playing on another level. The past three weeks Bortles has thrown for 903 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. He’s not only done well in the passing game, but he’s carried the Jaguars offense, hitting throws that make your jaw drop and wonder where those have been the past few seasons.
The way the Jaguars are playing right now, they look unbeatable thanks to the play of their quarterback.
“Honestly, I just kind of feel like I have been playing the same the whole time,” Bortles said after Sunday’s 45-7 win against the Houston Texans when asked if he felt like he finally hit a rhythm.
“Obviously, the results and numbers are a bit better but I feel just as comfortable and as confident as I did six or seven weeks ago. I think guys are starting to make unbelievable plays,” Bortles added. “You’ve seen Dede [Westbrook] and Jaydon [Mickens] and Keelan [Cole] really come on and the offensive line has been really good. They’ve definitely made my job easy and allowed me to give those guys the ball and kind of let them do what they do best.”
Bortles won’t say it, but I will. He’s hit his stride the past three weeks and it’s making the Jaguars the team no one in the NFL wants to play. We don’t need to be talking about “what if he has a clunker” anymore, if it happens it happens, but right now it’s hard to see it happening.
It’s not just that Bortles is putting up good stats, he is, but some of the throws and plays he’s making are plays he was not making early in the season, even a few weeks ago. The Jaguars quarterback’s confidence is at an all-time high and he’s playing like it. He picked apart the Seattle Seahawks defense last week and did the same to the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Those passes where you wonder what in the hell he was thinking are gone. The batted balls at the line of scrimmage are a distant memory and fans, at least me, no longer have a sudden flash of fear when the ball leaves his fan to go down the field. Bortles is hitting his short throws, his hots and the passes deep down the field.
Bortles can credit guys like Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole for making plays and making him look good, which is very humble of him, but they’re making plays and looking good because Bortles is giving them that chance. He’s not behind on those crossing routes anymore, he’s leading guys which leads to huge chunks of yardage like we saw on Sunday. He’s dropping passes in the “honey hole” deep down the field and he’s moving effortless in the pocket when under pressure, keeping his eyes down the field.
If there’s a clunker game hiding in there for Bortles, it’s hard to see it, because he’s just playing on a another level right now.