“Bortles can actually be a quality NFL quarterback” according to Pro Football Focus


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One of our favorite resources (for now at least) to help us evaluate the individual performances of certain players is the analytics website

Pro Football Focus

. While advanced metrics alone aren’t suitable for deciding whether or not someone plays well, it does provide context with which to frame the performance when you watch it again on tape. In general, PFF has not been a fan of Jacksonville Jaguars players. Last year, quarterback

Blake Bortles

was the worst graded quarterback by a pretty significant margin (-38.9 overall with

Derek Carr

the second worst at -32.6).

Heading into this season, most expected Bortles to take a significant step forward and progress towards become at least a league-average quarterback. Bortles has looked the part and shown incremental improvement and PFF loved his game last week in a brutal loss to the Indianapolis Colts. So much so that they came away from the performance thinking Bortles can actually become a quality NFL quarterback:

"8. Blake Bortles can actually be a quality NFL quarterback.Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles posted the best performance of his career (+4.0 overall, +3.4 passing) against the Colts in Week 4, giving hope to Jags fans everywhere. The second-year quarterback started the game on fire, with pinpoint downfield passes.While Bortles has shown flashes of this type of ability, he has yet to repeat it on a consistent basis. Last year, he finished as our worst-graded quarterback. Through four weeks of 2015, however, he finds himself tied with Cam Newton and Teddy Bridgewater for the No. 8 spot."

Is Bortles the 8th best quarterback in the league? No. In fact, since posting this article early Tuesday morning, PFF has already re-graded all the players from week 4 and Bortles now has a (+2.5 overall, +1.9 passing) grade, moving him down to number 18 overall in QB grades so far in 2015.

That’s a pretty big change.

The takeaway here is that PFF has a component of subjectivity in their grading and it’s naive to accept these grades without additional information. Still, it’s nice to see Bortles finally getting a little bit of love from the analytics site.

Personally, I think Bortles played one of the best halves of his career during the first two quarters but he was underwhelming in the final 2 quarters and overtime. That’s nice, but it still wasn’t enough to beat the Colts and Matt Hasselbeck.

Hopefully Bortles carries some momentum into Tampa Bay and puts together a more complete performance on Sunday.

Next: Jags slumping in power rankings

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