The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Detroit Lions on Friday night. The final score of 22-17 tells us it was a close game decided by five points, but this dress rehearsal for the regular season really showcased much more than the score suggests.
From Blake Bortles to Allen Hurns, to the five guys blocking for the quarterback, the Jaguars managed to have an impressive showing again, despite ultimately losing the game. As far as dress rehearsals go, this was one of the best in recent memory.
The final roster spots for those hoping to be a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars are being narrowed down. Some players have impressed while others have not.
We’ll take a look at those who impressed here. Some of these players are fighting for roster spots, while others have theirs locked down. Either way, these guys saw their stock rise.
Aug 28, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws the ball during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
1) Blake Bortles, quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake Bortles had a dazzling night against the Detroit Lions. He looked every bit like an NFL starter and he really showcased what the regular season could look like with him at the helm in his second season.
Going 20 of 29 (69%) for 245 yards and a touchdown, Bortles did everything asked of him and then some. He is developing into a special quarterback (if the preseason can be trusted) and he put together some promising drives during the game.
While not perfect and still being overshadowed a bit by Teddy Bridgewater of the Minnesota Vikings, Blake Bortles is showing every he needs to in his second year.
Not only are stat lines like Friday night’s becoming commonplace during the preseason, but Bortles looks comfortable and is making some incredibly tough throws look easy.
Through the preseason, Bortles is now 39 of 60 (65%) for 461 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. He also has a touchdown running the ball in. Friday wasn’t one exceptional game, it’s a continuation of an incredibly strong preseason performance.
Add in a number of dropped passes and Bortles would be jumping off the page, statistically.
Perhaps the most important thing to take away from Friday night’s game is that Bortles has, once again, managed to throw the ball safely while still taking shots. He has zero interceptions through three games and it looks like he can keep the ball safe against starters in the NFL. That’s a major improvement.
In my mind, nobody’s stock rose more than Bortles’ did this week.
Next: A wide receiver makes his case