The Jacksonville Jaguars have decided to go back to quarterback Blake Bortles for the finale against the Houston Texans, announcing on Wednesday that he would make the start. It’s not too much of a surprise, given how ineffective the offense remained after he was benched in favor of Cody Kessler.
Coach Doug Marrone:— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) December 26, 2018
Blake Bortles will start at quarterback against the Texans this week. pic.twitter.com/943xBBjUM5
Kessler was pulled from the game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, where after the opening touchdown drive, the offense went nonexistent. Bortles was inserted into the game and ran a few read option plays and led the team to a go-ahead field goal, and the game was later cemented for the Jaguars with a Telvin Smith pick-six.
Bortles was benched after the Jaguars lost to the Buffalo Bills a few weeks ago and most figured that was the last we would see of Bortles as a Jaguars player barring injury. While Kessler didn’t necessarily get injured, it was clear with the state of the Jaguars offense as it is right now, he was just going to get hit repeatedly when dropping back to pass.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone intimated as much in his post game press conference when he explained why he went back to Bortles. That same line of thought went into his decision for this Sunday against the Texans as he said that Bortles’ mobility was a big reason he’ll be the starter for the season finale.