Blake Bortles gets ‘D’ grade for season so far
Blake Bortles has held back the Jacksonville Jaguars offense so far in 2016.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been a disappointment offensively so far in 2016, one year removed from the most explosive season in terms of points production since the Mark Brunell era. Quarterback Blake Bortes made massive strides in his second season, breaking franchise passing records by consistently landing deep passes to the likes of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. There was some hesitance to anoint him as a great passer due to his penchant for interceptions and bad decisions however.
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Five games into the 2016 season, Bortles’ critics have been justified. The third year signal caller is probably at fault directly for 2 of the teams losses, and his poor performance in both the wins also raise concerns.
Mike DiRocco, the resident Jaguars blogger for ESPN, doesn’t give Bortles any excuses, handing him a lowly ‘D’ grade for the first 5 games of 2016.
"Grade: DJacksonville JaguarsBlake Bortles set franchise records in passing yards and passing touchdowns last season, so expectations were high for his third season. He hasn’t met them. While his completion percentage tops 60 for the first time, Bortles has turned the ball over nine times in five games and appears to have regressed mechanically. His windup is longer and lower, and that is costing him precious time when delivering the ball. He also had the ball knocked out of his hand when he was carrying it too low on a scramble inside the pocket. The lack of a run game hasn’t helped him, either. The Jaguars have averaged only 71.0 yards per game, last in the NFL. Defenses also are taking away wide receiver Allen Robinson deep, which is something the offense thrived on last season, and Bortles has been unable to consistently move the ball. — Mike DiRocco"
A lot has been made about Bortles’ mechanical issues but I think it’s well beyond that – Blake clearly does not have the confidence he had last year in regards to passes downfield. The pass blocking has been better, but Bortles just doesn’t appear to be as willing to test corners and safeties with deep throws. There are clearly problems with other parts of his game, but his bread and butter from 2015 isn’t there and it’s exacerbated the rest of his struggles.
Perhaps an underwhelming Oakland Raiders defense will help get him back on track.