Blake Bortles: Career day overshadowed by mistakes


Blake Bortles had 381 yards on Sunday against the New York Jets. It was his most prolific passing game in his career. In fact, it was almost a full 50 yards more than his next best game (336 yards against the Tennessee Titans last October).

More from Black and Teal

But none of us are talking about it because at the end of the day, the Jaguars lost and a lot of it can be pinned on Bortles.

Bortles threw for 381 yards, completed 60 percent of his 40 passes, and tosses two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions (one to end the game, one deflected earlier in the game) and lost a fumble trying to extend a play when driving deep in Jets territory.

Nov 8, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) loses control of the ball as he attempts to pass against the New York Jets during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

So instead of talking about the fourth 300-yard game of the second-year quarterback’s career, we’re left talking about how the game could have gone the Jags’ way if it weren’t for the mistakes of an inexperienced team.

I’ll come right out and say it: this is a good thing.

To clarify, it’s not a good thing the Jaguars lost the game and it’s not a good thing the Jaguars are making mistakes.

It is a good thing that Blake Bortles has progressed so much that we – the fans – are no longer excited just by our young quarterback having a 300 yard game. We aren’t excited by our quarterback having his sixth multi-touchdown performance of the season. We want more.

As the Jacksonville Jaguars work to become more mature, performances like Bortles’ are a step in the right direction. I wanted head coach Gus Bradley to rip Bortles a new one on the sideline after he fumbled away a scoring opportunity. I wanted him to tell Bortles to take the bus home after his final interception.

But those mistakes are still a part of the game for many young quarterbacks and Bortles is showing that he isn’t an exception. That’s not a good thing for now, but taking his lumps still might help him make better decisions in the future. We’ll have to measure how he turns out at the end of his career and whether these early career struggles helped him become something better.

At the end of the day, Blake Bortles turned in a near-400 yard performance without an effective running game. He made mistakes, he made plays, and in the end the loss and mistakes will overshadow the positives.

Next: Mistakes continue to mar the Jacksonville Jaguars

That’s part of football. Hopefully this less than ideal part helps shape a better player for the future.