Blake Bortles Should Start, and Other Takeaways from Jaguars vs. Bears

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Aug 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) and quarterback Blake Bortles (5) take the field before the preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

At first glance, Chad Henne’s statline is nothing to scoff at – 12/17 for 130 yards and a short touchdown pass to Marqise Lee. It’s comparable to, if not better than, Blake Bortles’ statline – 11/17 for 160 yards and no touchdowns. But after taking a deeper look and watching the throws each quarterback made, it’s abundantly clear that Blake Bortles is already better than Chad Henne.

The most glaring difference between the guys is the quality of the throws. Chad Henne had plenty of inaccurate passes, and he didn’t legitimately threaten the deep part of the field. On passes over 10 yards, Henne went 3/6 for 54 yards, while Bortles went 3/7 for 98 yards. It wasn’t just the principle of pushing the ball down the field, it was that Bortles’ clearly threw higher quality passes than Henne. Bortles was willing to throw to receivers who weren’t wide open and his ball placement was miles ahead of anything Henne has ever done.

People are going to use this performance to justify starting Henne going forward, but if anything it highlighted how Henne’s ceiling is something that Blake Bortles could consistently provide given the chance to start.