After a promising 2015 breakout campaign, Blake Bortles has regressed and become a huge disappointment.
That’s the theme for the 2016 Jacksonville Jaguars and it should be the singular title of their “NFL Yearbook” video that comes out this offseason. From the general manager all the way down to the 53rd man on the roster, everyone is at fault for a horrific season marred by historically bad coaching and consistently poor play by the team’s most talented players.
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Probably the most shocking development of the year has been the unbelievably staggering regression of third year quarterback Blake Bortles. After breaking franchise records for passing yards and passing touchdowns, Bortles was primed to make the leap to stardom this year. Instead he’s become a punchline thanks to everyone’s favorite new stat – Bortles has more career pick 6s (11) than career wins (10).
John Clayton over at ESPN recently discussed the most disappointing players of 2016 and he unsurprisingly put Blake Bortles right at the top of the list.
"1. Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville JaguarsBortles threw 35 touchdown passes season and, like Derek Carr, looked like a young quarterback on the rise. This year has been a nightmare, however. Many believed Bortles’ 2015 numbers were tied to games in which the Jaguars trailed because they had one of the worst defenses in football. But Bortles has performed poorly this season even as the Jags’ defense has improved. He has thrown 21 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions, including three pick-sixes. His yards-per-attempt average has dropped from 7.3 to 6.1. Jacksonville’s scoring has dropped five points per game to 18.3. Coach Gus Bradley could lose his job and the organization could decide to move on from Bortles at some point. He has another year on his rookie deal, but the Jags likely will have a top-five pick in April’s draft."
Blake Bortles will be a Jacksonville Jaguar in 2017, but his role and his fit with the organization long-term is now completely unknown. There will undoubtedly be a new head coach, but the situation with the general manager will determine his outlook over the next few years. For now though, he’s no longer the unquestioned starter for this team.