Despite leading his team to the AFC Championship game, perception still dictates Blake Bortles isn’t a franchise QB and it shows in a recent confidence index.
There are few sure things in life but we can count in life – death, taxes, and the national folks ragging on Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.
In this context that might not be a fair way to frame the piece we’re about to highlight, but it’s part of a trend that likely isn’t ever going to change.
Dan Graziano over at ESPN recently put together his (quarterly?) QB confidence index, a ‘ranking of teams based on how confident those teams are in their quarterback situation as a whole.’ This could mean a lot of things, but based on what he wrote for the Jaguars it’s driven quite a bit by perception.
"24. Jacksonville JaguarsThe Jags gave Blake Bortles an extension early in the offseason, indicating they’d prefer to stick with him and what worked in 2017 than to go out and spend big on someone like Cousins. They didn’t draft a quarterback until the sixth round, and the backup as of now is Cody Kessler. The Jags are, for the moment, all-in on Bortles. The reason they’re down so low is that (A) the commitment isn’t an overly long-term one and (B) they don’t ask Bortles to do as much as other teams ask their quarterbacks to do. The Jags want to run and run and run some more, and while Bortles has played well in flashes, he hasn’t shown the consistency you need to see to inspire confidence. And if he flops, there isn’t much behind him."
Based on the criteria he wrote, it’s a odd to have Bortles and the Jaguars this low. The Jaguars have committed to Bortles for at least two more years and they are coming off a season where he showed modest improvement and took his team to the conference championship game. It’s clear the Jaguars have a higher level of confidence in Bortles compared to most analysts and that’s fine, but the whole conceit of this article is rankings how the teams feel themselves, not how the writer or the football cognoscenti feel about said quarterback.
The jury is obviously still out on Bortles, but it’s hard to take this index seriously when the New York Giants with Eli Manning are ranked 13th, and the Broncos and Ravens are ranked above the Jaguars. Those teams are hampered by well past their prime or quarterbacks or complete question marks.