Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles didn’t have a very good game against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday afternoon. I think that’s fair to say, despite his stat line. When he was up against the Vikings first team defense, the offense struggled to move the football outside of a few screen passes and a nice third-down scramble by Bortles to put the team on the goal line.
He even threw a God awful pick that he shouldn’t be throwing anymore, but like... can we just chill out a little bit?
It’s probably because it was the only game on in the middle of the day, but the knee-jerk reaction of Bortles play on Saturday was beyond absurd. It started as soon as he hit Harrison Smith in the chest with an interception, where Bortles didn’t even see the safety trailing across the middle in man coverage, and just reverberated throughout the day on social media.
As I mentioned, Bortles didn’t have a great game but it was far from make a panic trade immediately bad. This time last season Bortles was getting benched to give Chad Henne a legitimate shot at the starting job.
Bortles ended the day going 12 for
120 20 with 159 passing yards and the interception, which even looking at straight up box score, isn’t that bad! Watching the game, it looked rough until the screens started moving, but it wasn’t even close to bad enough to make me the slightest bit concerned.
I am saying that!
The game in itself was really just an encapsulation of what Bortles is and likely always will be. Frustrating with some boneheaded mistakes, but never quits and is always trying to win. It’s a big reason why, despite all his short comings, he’s so easy to root for. He’s the same guy he’s always going to be and right now, that’s fine.
Players don’t change that much, but I think he’s improved enough to where you don’t need to go into every game worrying about how he’s going to tank it for you or make it harder than it should be. Is he still going to have those games? Yes, absolutely, but they should be more like every fifth game now, not every other game like in the past. Saturday against the Vikings wasn’t even one of those games, it was just a quarterback having a tough time against an elite defense.
I’m not sure what else people expected from him out there, but he gave about exactly what I thought he would.
The reactions however, jumped the shark pretty quickly. It started up about how the Jaguars would be crazy not to at least call the New York Jets about Teddy Bridgewater and see what it would take to get him. At this point, it would be crazy to do that.
Look, I’m a big Teddy Bridgewater fan. That’s no secret. He’s who I wanted the Jaguars to draft in
2015 2014 and I thought they made a mistake picking Bortles over him. Considering the injury he’s coming back from and the length of time he’s been out of football, Bridgewater’s preseason has been impressive and if/when he’s fully healthy he’s probably a much better passer than Bortles is.
All that being said, can we just chill out a bit? Cody Kessler looks like more than an adequate backup right now and unless you’d be trading for Bridgewater to snap-start right away it makes little sense and the matter of fact assertion that he’d automatically make a team who made it to the brink of the Super Bowl in 2017, make the Super Bowl in 2018 is uh... crazy. The overreaction to Bortles game on Saturday has been way over the top.
At this point, he’s earned getting the chance to change your mind in the 2018 regular season.