The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their week 3 preseason game to the Detroit Lions 13-12 on Friday night, but the final score was the least notable occurrence of the night. The 3rd preseason game is traditionally used as the dress rehearsal for the regular season where the starters play into the 3rd quarter, but the Jaguars decided to put in “backup” quarterback Blake Bortles in with about 2 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.
The consensus was Blake Bortles already outplayed Chad Henne in only 1 minute and 43 seconds before halftime.
Chad Henne’s most memorable play of the night might have been a late hit by the notorious Ndamukong Suh.
While it seems Henne is a lock to start week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s borderline impossible to justify it at this point. Including his stats from Friday night, Henne has completed 25 passes on 38 attempts this preseason for 230 yards and a paltry 6.1 yards per attempt. A majority of his throws have been short or check-downs, and he’s been hesitant to test the deep part of the field. Conversely, Bortles has 28 completions on 45 attempts this preseason for 435 yards and a terrific 9.7 yards per attempt.
In addition to being much more willing to stretch the field vertically, Bortles already appears to be mentally more capable of running the offense than Henne. The touchdown pass to Allen Hurns was the result of an audible by Bortles.
Speaking of Allen Hurns, he was the star of the night, and he is now a virtual lock to make the roster. Hurns racked up 113 yards and a touchdown on 7 receptions on Friday night, and he seems to already have a strong rapport with Bortles. He’s had lots of opportunities to shine with the injuries to Cecil Shorts and Allen Robinsons, and he’s made the most of them.
– Daniel Lago