The Jacksonville Jaguars came into 2016 with sky-high expectations. The offense was jelling and the defense was rebuilt thanks to the additions of Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler Jr., Prince Amukamara and Malik Jackson.
Through 12 weeks, it’s been nothing but a massive disappointment – a disaster, to put it more bluntly. One of the main reasons? Blake Bortles’ regression at quarterback, and he knows it.
“It's the biggest nightmare possible,” Bortles said, via ESPN. “But what are you going to do about it? You can't sit there in a corner and pout. You can't blame people. You can't feel sorry for yourself because I think all that's going to do is affect the way I play.”
Bortles has been a huge letdown in his third season. In 12 starts, he’s completed just 58.4 percent of his passes for 244 yards per game with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. That puts him on pace for worse numbers than last season in just about every statistical category. That’s not exactly what you want from your franchise quarterback.
His play got noticeably worse Sunday against the Broncos, who admittedly have an outstanding defense. He completed just 19 of 42 passes for 181 yards – a terrible 4.3 yards per attempt. He also turned it over three times (two interceptions, one fumble) and had one rushing touchdown.
Despite his frustrating struggles, Bortles won’t change the way he’s playing.
“You can't press,” Bortles said. “I think I was doing some of that early in the season and that didn't go well. You've got to stay true to what we do and what we believe in and go through the process. For me, it's obviously still trying to take care of the ball. All you can do is put your head down and continue to play as hard as you can and prepare each week.”
The Jaguars’ season is lost as they’re now eliminated from playoff contention. However, there’s still plenty to be decided down the stretch – the biggest of which is whether Bortles is a true franchise quarterback. As it stands right now, he doesn’t look like one.