Blake Bortles Receives Mixed Grades from Jeremiah, Brooks
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The Jacksonville Jaguars are still riding high after historic comeback win against the New York Giants on Sunday and, while a majority of the credit has to go to the defense,Blake Bortles
should be getting some praise for having probably his best performance of the season. For the first time in his short NFL career, Bortles made it through an entire game without an interception. He didn’t have a lot of big plays through the air, but he stepped up when it counted in the 4th quarter to get the offense in position to kick the game winning field goal.
Bortles has probably had more downs than ups this season, which is reflected in the grades Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks recently gave out for the rookie quarterbacks. Here’s where they fell on Bortles:
"Daniel Jeremiah: Bortles has shown flashes of impressive play. He can drive the ball and is very effective running the zone read. However, he’s forced too many balls and has to cut down on his turnovers. Season grade: B-Bucky Brooks: Despite his lofty draft slot, Bortles was viewed by most NFL evaluators as a developmental prospect, and he’s played like one so far. The 6-foot-5, 232-pound rookie is completing 62.4 percent of his passes, but he has a disappointing touchdown-to-interception ratio (9:15) that highlights his judgment and ball-security woes from the pocket. To his credit, Bortles has remained confident and composed, displaying outstanding athleticism (44 rushes for 296 yards) and intriguing arm talent while directing a young offensive unit that’s beginning to jell in all aspects. Season grade: C+"
Both grades are completely understandable, as Bortles appeared to be steadily regressing before Sunday’s performance. Over the course of the last 5 games, Bortles will have a chance to at least partially answer some of his biggest question marks moving forward – the occasional mechanical breakdowns, the questionable decision making, and the inconsistent deep accuracy. Even with all of his faults so far, I would still take Bortles over any of the other rookie quarterbacks – namely Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr. He’s still trying to figure out the right balance between taking chances and being conservative, and if Bortles ever figures that out he’ll be a playoff-caliber quarterback.