Derek Carr and Blake Bortles continue to battle for the title of best quarterback from 2014, but neither could gut out a win in Week 2.
There are few things more disappointing than going out on the field and playing poorly. Unfortunately for Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, they simply couldn’t put together great performances in Week 2.
Both quarterbacks lost and both quarterbacks had aspects of their game that needed work in Week 2. While Carr came much closer to victory than the blowout the Jaguars faced, he also couldn’t do enough to do the most important for any quarterback: win.
Let’s dive in quickly to highlight what these quarterbacks did and talk about the future. This one wasn’t really much of a contest.
Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) walks off the field after a 38-14 loss to San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Blake Bortles, quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bortles, on the other hand, struggled mightily against the Chargers in Week 2. With three giveaways (two interceptions and a fumble) and plenty of questionable throws, Bortles contributed more to the loss than he did to any semblance of coming back in a blowout.
31 of 50 for 329 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, Bortles was far from being able to gut it out and get a win. His statistics are bolstered by the entire second half being garbage time and the running game contributing just 35 yards without him (he had 34 on his own).
If it weren’t for the mistakes of the quarterback, the Jags may have had a closer game in this one. There was no reason for Bortles to be almost completely impotent in this game.
Two things in particular jump out from the loss. 1) Bortles threw almost exactly the same interception when targeting Marqise Lee. Again it was a crossing route, again the throw was behind him, again the pass was deflected and intercepted. He needs to learn from mistakes. 2) The play calling was shockingly horizontal after the proven success when going vertical in 2015.
In the end these are the comparison stat lines that matter:
Derek Carr: 35 of 45, 299 yards, three touchdowns (1-1)
Blake Bortles: 31 of 50, 329 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions (0-2)
It’s not hard to give Carr the nod over Bortles in this one.
The big questions for Week 3 are whether the Raiders can play defense competently and whether the Jaguars can effectively run the ball. Both would go a long way in alleviating pressure on the two QBs and opening things up for them to shine.
Hopefully Bortles will be able to make this little rivalry more of a rivalry with a better performance as well.