The Jacksonville Jaguars rebounded from their loss against the Arizona Cardinals last week, dominating the Indianapolis Colts 30-10 to pick up their eighth win of the season. The Jaguars have now guaranteed they will not have a losing season for the first time since 2007, and a big reason they won the game on Sunday was the play of quarterback Blake Bortles.
Prior to the game I had a lot of fans ask me what I thought was going to happen at kickoff, clearly still nervous from the team’s performance the week prior. I continuously said I think the Jaguars would handle the Colts and win because the Colts are 1. Bad and 2. Blake Bortles absolutely owns the Colts.
If you ever have to bet one game a year where Blake Bortles will look fantastic, bet one of the Colts matchups.
“Everyone says the identity of our team is go out and play good defense and run the football, control the clock. I think we’ve been put in a couple of situations where we’ve had to throw the ball, and I think we’ve delivered. We’ve done some good things,” Bortles said on Sunday about rebounding after taking flak all week. “ I think last week was kind of uncharacteristic of our passing game, so it felt good to be able to get back on track on really the whole thing, from up front to the guys running around to the guys in the back in protections and check downs. I thought it was a good day all around.”
Sunday was one of the better Bortles games that I can remember, as far as a complete game. Bortles hit shots down the field, in the intermediate areas and played in control. What I mean by in control, is that he didn’t have any of those panics throws that make you ask what in the world he was doing. He didn’t have any desperation hook shots as he’s getting tackled in the pocket. He did fumble on a play he should have felt the pressure and stepped up in the pocket, but it wasn’t a turnover so there’s no need to harp on it.
Including yesterday, Bortles for his career is 161/264 (61 percent), 2,064 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. I’m not sure what it is, and it’s not just because the Colts are so bad this season, but Bortles has always had amazing games against the Indianapolis Colts. Sunday at EverBank Field was no exception as he completed 74.3 percent of his passes, threw for over 300 yards and had two touchdown passes. Bortles added some running the football too, but it wasn’t really needed because he carved them up. It was his second 300 passing yard day of the season, the other being against the Colts back in October.
It wasn’t players making circus catches either, though guys like Marqise Lee and Keelan Cole made some excellent grabs, but Bortles was accurate on some of the key throws. In particular the deep shot to the sideline to Cole was exactly where it needed to be, in the spot between the corner and safety where only Cole could make the reception, and he hauled it in knowing he’d get blasted by the safety. Cole had another excellent catch in the back of the endzone where Bortles once again put the ball where only he could catch it.
Hopefully the Jaguars will be able to carry some of this offensive momentum into Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, where they’ll face arguably their toughest challenge all season.