Here is your moment, Blake Bortles


The Blake Bortles experience has been a turbulent ride in Jacksonville, but the NFL playoffs provide Bortles with his biggest opportunity on the brightest stage.

May 8th, 2014- The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled the trigger with pick number three in the NFL draft on a guy viewed as the leader of the franchise for the next decade. Fast forward nearly four years, and Jacksonville is AFC South champions and hosting a playoff game on Sunday.

But woven into the fabric of the success of the 2017 Jaguars is the continuously evolving story of a sporadic quarterback, battling not only opponents, but the constant ire of local and national media alike.

Blake Bortles has become one of the NFL’s most persistent punching bags, and the volume of swings thrown his direction only grows by the week. But the biggest problem facing the Jacksonville Jaguars is the simple fact that the majority of criticism facing their signal caller has been warranted by Bortles’ erratic play.

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Bortles has had another roller coaster season in 2017, and after the best three game span of his career to start December, the quarterback has resorted back to his old flaws in the last two games. After no interceptions in weeks 13 through 15, Bortles threw five in the final two games of the regular season.

As the Jaguars gear up for their playoff run, there is already a strong consensus that Blake Bortles is playing his final (hopefully multiple) games as the Jaguars starting quarterback in this postseason. That is obviously a tough underlier on a successful season for Jacksonville, and not the kind of attention a team wants bestowed upon them.

But there is a silver lining for Bortles, and a significant one at that. There is no stage brighter than the NFL playoffs, and with that, no better platform to showcase your best football. For Bortles, stay focused, but more importantly, revel in this moment you have had a hand in creating. The stakes cannot be higher in January football, it’s win or go home. But for a guy already written off and buried, there is only one direction to go: up.

Next: Playoff QB's ranked: Where does Bortles fall in the mix?

Blake Bortles is coming off two dreadful performances, and has certainly given fans no reason to be overly confident heading into the most important game in a decade for the franchise. But Bortles should play like a man with nothing to lose, because in essence, he is. There is no reason for Bortles not to play loose and confident, and give his team the best chance to make noise in the postseason. If Jacksonville can get early December Bortles, the Jaguars will be a difficult out for any team in the path to Minneapolis.

If these playoffs are in fact the curtain call for Blake Bortles’ tenue in Jacksonville, might as well make the final act one to remember.