While it’s starting to become a tiresome topic, it’s hard not to talk about when newly drafted quarterback Blake Bortles is going to start for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Barring some kind of catastrophic meltdown in their week 3 game against the Detroit Lions, it appears Chad Henne will start week 1 and there really isn’t anything Blake Bortles conceivably can do to change that.
So if Bortles doesn’t start the season, when does he make his first appearance in a regular season game? It’s hard to predict that because of so many contributing factors, but I think the coaching staff and front office will feel comfortable inserting Bortles into the lineup as early as week 5 at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jaguars have a tough 4 game stretch to start the season with 3 playoff teams from 2013, so it’s reasonable to expect the Jaguars to make a change if they are 1-3.
If he starts week 5 and beyond, Bortles should get 12 starts under his belt in his rookie season. The rest of the schedule is noticeably softer and Bortles should get the opportunity to get comfortable.
Over at CBS Sports, John Breech is even bold enough to predict at least 5 wins for Bortles under center this season.
5. Blake Bortles wins more games than any other rookie quarterback – You might be thinking that this bold prediction isn’t that bold because Bortles was the first quarterback drafted so he should win the most games. But keep in mind though, Bortles was drafted by Jaguars, a team that hasn’t won more than five games in any of the past three seasons. Also, Bortles isn’t even the starter in Jacksonville yet. That honor currently belongs to Chad Henne.
I don’t expect Bortles to take the Jaguars to the playoffs, but I do expect him to win at least five games, which I think will be more than Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr.
In my scenario, Bortles would have to go at least 5-7 in his 12 starts, which would honestly be pretty good for a rookie quarterback taking over a team that won 4 games the year before.
– Daniel Lago