The Jacksonville Jaguars have firmly come back down to earth after a 37-16 home opener loss to AFC South division rivals the Tennessee Titans. And while the whole team was bad, they were spearheaded in futility by quarterback Blake Bortles, as they so often have been the past three years.
It was a hard game to assess — the third quarter is when the Titans went on 17-0 run and really ran away from Jacksonville, but the one constant throughout the match was Bortles’ (and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s) inability to score.
As alluded to, they were not all quarterback problems, but Bortles’ statistics heading into the final quarter, with the score 23-3, were 11-of-25 passing, 89 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
The defense, and Leonard Fournette, will not be able to carry the team every week. Sometimes they will (like against the Houston Texans) and sometimes it will only be for half a game (like we saw on Sunday), but the fact remains — this team needs better than Bortles under center to compete against most of the league.
How that plays itself out across the year is unknown, but no matter how it does, Bortles will likely be out as starter by next season.
With that in mind, the search for a new quarterback begins now at the earliest, and one name to consider should be injured Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford.
In Week 1, Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns, with an uncharacteristic 10.8 yards per completion. It was an excellent start to the year succeeding a career season, even showing glimpses of an ability to throw the ball down the field.
Bradford is off contract next year, and while he won’t be breaking NFL financial records like Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford did last offseason, he’s in line to receive a fair chunk of money from someone.
Let’s not dive into the intricacies of how Bradford may fit into the Jaguars’ offense. We still don’t really know the offense ourselves and a new quarterback could (and would) likely change a lot.
However, off what we’ve seen thus far, the 29-year-old would fit Doug Marrone’s style fairly well: Bradford likes a short gain and would not be wasted deferring to Fournette for a large amount of downs.
Will this opportunity prevent itself? If the Vikings decide to go with Teddy Bridgewater, and forego a franchise tag on Bradford, it very well could. And is it a worthwhile opportunity to explore if it’s there at the end of the season?
What do you think? Would Bradford be a good option going forward for this Jaguars team after they move on from Bortles?