Blake Bortles now 5-3 when throwing zero interceptions
Blake Bortles often hurts the Jacksonville Jaguars’ chances of winning games with his costly interceptions so it’s no surprise that most of his wins come in games without an INT.
With just a 9-25 record as a starter in the NFL it can be said that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has had a rough start to his NFL career. His nine wins are 28th in the NFL since 2014 (among all QBs).
That’s hardly where someone with Bortles’ talent wants to be.
The fact of the matter is that the Jaguars make too many mistakes and the talented Bortles is often the cause of them. He’s thrown 41 interceptions since entering the NFL (most in that time period). He simply gives the ball away too much.
There’s a simply formula for winning in the NFL: keep the ball safe and you win more often than you lose. Lose the turnover battle and you’re far more likely to lose the game.
Playing loose with the football has become a bit of a hallmark for Bortles’ game but it doesn’t have to be. He has played clean games before, albeit rarely.
2016’s Week 4 win over the Indianapolis is just the eighth time in Bortles’ career that he has thrown zero interceptions in a game. He’s 5-3 in games in which he keeps the ball safe.
Importantly, Bortles has 15 touchdowns in those eight games as well, showing that he can be productive while also keeping things safe on offense.
And those three losses? Two of them were by three points exactly and one by just six points. He’s been able to keep games close (whether a 39-42 shootout or otherwise) while also keeping the ball from landing in the opponents’ hands.
In year three there is no excuse for Bortles to be racking up interceptions like he did in Weeks 1-3. He’s a better quarterback than that and has shown it on numerous occasions.
Sometimes, though, he tries to do too much.
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This is reflected in Bortles 0-9 record when he throws 300 or more yards in a game. He tries to do too much to win in those games and that often leads to mistakes. In those nine game he has 24 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. The added productivity also comes with added mistakes.
In some of those games the Jaguars are too far behind and must rely on Blake Bortles’ strong arm. All of the games with Bortles throwing 300+ yards are losses by eight points or more.
The modern NFL is a quarterback league and if Bortles can keep his mistakes to a minimum, he’ll keep the games close and winnable. If he doesn’t and is forced to throw too much, the Jags are far more likely to lose.
Hopefully Bortles can work with Greg Olson to make sure the offense is more balanced and limit the need to rely on his arm in these games. The defense seems to be stepping up (aside from Week 2) and it’s now up to Bortles to make sure he keeps the ball safe.