Blake Bortles made immense progress in his second season, going from one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL to a sensational sophomore. Now, can he do it again?
No passing offense in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars has been as good as the 2015 offense under second year quarterback Blake Bortles.
Bortles broke the franchise records for passing yards and passing touchdowns, previously held by quarterbacks Mark Brunell and David Garrard. Now, they both belong to Bortles and he can only build on those strong numbers.
The modern NFL is kind to young quarterbacks. It’s no longer completely uncommon to see a Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, or Jameis Winston come out and throw for 4000 yards as a rookie. Seeing Bortles top 4000 yards in his second season was remarkable primarily because of how terrible his rookie season was.
Showing the skills to get it done consistently will be key for Blake Bortles to build on his strong sophomore campaign. He’ll need to show that it wasn’t all about throwing jump balls to talented targets like Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Julius Thomas. He’ll have to show that he can be more accurate, more decisive, and more willing to take what the defensive gives him.
Those steps forward should yield positive gains for Bortles, but they will take time to develop. No quarterback suddenly wakes up supremely better than he was before and Bortles will be no different.
Reaching the heights of his second season are within reach again. 4428 yards and 35 touchdowns are not insurmountable goals in today’s NFL. Another year in offensive coordinator Greg Olson’s system, further development from his receivers, and a talent influx on the offensive line should all help set Bortles up to at least compete with the impressive marks from 2016.
With those developments, the question of breaking his own franchise records aren’t so much an “can he do it?” sort of question, but a “when will he do it?” sort of question. The Jaguars are building themselves into a contender and 2016 seems as good of a year as any to break some records again.
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It’s a way too early bold prediction, but look for Bortles to really get after it in 2016.