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Jaguars vs. Ravens: Blake Bortles shines in early drive of the game

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NFL: International Series-Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars got an early jump on the Baltimore Ravens thanks in part to a defense that didn’t allow a first down until 4:18 was left in the second quarter, but also because the offense — and specifically quarterback Blake Bortles — was more than the efficient group it was in the season opener against the Houston Texans. They were good. Really good.

When did the Jaguars’ offensive avalanche start and when did the game turn into a blowout?

On the second drive of the game:

Play #1: 1st and 10 at JAX 20

It’s a simple enough play and it’s early in the game, so you want to develop some rhythm in Blake Bortles but also feed Leonard Fournette some touches and get him involved. It’s as good as a run and sets up a second down where the Jaguars are free to run almost any play in their playbook.

Play #2: 2nd and 5 at JAX 25

Another clean pocket, another underneath throw. Knowing that this drive will turn into a touchdown, it’s clear what the Jaguars want to do — soften up the coverage and force them to play tighter than they normally would. That’ll open things up when you get closer to the red zone.

Play #3: 1st and 10 at JAX 36

The Ravens are a lot like the Jaguars — control the clock, force a couple of early three-and-outs, and you’ve got them beat. The offense is running as smoothly as it could be in this early drive and nothing has gone for less than five yards so far. This run gets the Ravens to start playing closer to the line of scrimmage and Blake Bortles (Blake Bortles!) is going to make them pay.

Play #4: 2nd and 5 at JAX 41




The Ravens defense is gonna let you pick up 5, 10, 15 yards? Take it. I also really like this play design. Fake toss to the right, isolate a couple of defenders to the other side of the field, and let Marqise Lee run 15 yards after the catch. Nathaniel Hackett called a hell of a game after a disastrous one last week.

Play #5: 1st and 10 at BAL 45

It was at this point that I think everyone watching finally realized the Ravens defense was in big, big trouble. The Jaguars had run several different looks and been successful on everything. Their least successful play had gone for five yards and they were getting dominated at the line of scrimmage.

Play #6: 1st and 10 at BAL 30

It looks like this play was going to Keelan Cole all along but, again, Nathaniel Hackett is mixing it up and playing to this offense’s strengths on a drive that if the Jaguars score they’ll run away with.

Play #7: 1st and 10 at BAL 17

The Jaguars have been setting up for this play all drive. Dink and dunk and dink some more — until you can fake the end around and catch the Ravens defense playing too far underneath. Marcedes Lewis sells it beautifully too, not releasing from his block until the perfect moment.

Touchdown Jaguars. They wouldn’t need any more points to beat the Ravens on this day (but they still went out and got 34 more).