Blake Bortles leads Jaguars to road win over Miami
By David Levin
Blake Bortles relieves starter Cody Kessler, leads the Jacksonville Jaguars to 17-7 road win over the Miami Dolphins.
It wasn’t the made-for-television heroic effort that we have seen over and over again, but it did what it was supposed to do. Blake Bortles, the often maligned quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars came off the bench to replace starter Cody Kessler and rallied his team to a 17-7 road win over the Miami Dolphins.
The win raised the Jaguars win-total to five on the season, but more important than that, it knocked their in-state rivals out of the playoffs. For Bortles, it was a small sample of a quarterback who loves playing football walking on the field and leading his team, not being the cause of another loss in the record books.
"“I just work here,” Bortles, a fifth-year starter in the NFL, told the media following the game when asked about his performance and his future."
It’s that kind of candor that has been a staple of the former first-round draft pick’s time here in Jacksonville. No one on this roster rolls with the punches like the player everyone wants to eliminate from this franchise even when they win football games.
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The numbers weren’t gaudy. He was 5 of 6 passing for 39 yards and was sacked once because of an offensive line that has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese. He did not throw a touchdown nor an interception. But he managed to run for 27 yards on two plays and kept a drive alive that lead to the go-ahead field goal that proved to be the game winner.
While his season has been anything but successful, the win and the performance was what this team needed on Sunday. The man who wears No. 5 delivered when it mattered most. And while there is plenty fo speculation about his past and the contract extension he signed last offseason, the focus on Sunday afternoon was a win and nothing else.
"“I signed up for three years, so until those three years are up or until they let me go, I’ll play when they need me,” Bortles said."
The Jaguars are almost guaranteed to grab a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft in April (I still say they take an offensive lineman and seek a signal caller at the back end of the first round or at the start of the second round). There are some who still think that with his salary cap and the dead money on the books, there is a way he still remains with the organization, which may send fans into a frenzy of disbelief.
Head coach Doug Marrone would not comment on who will start the season finale against the Houston Texans. Marrone, who is now rumored to be staying in Jacksonville for the 2019 season, has said he wants to win and will play the players who give the Jaguars the best chance to do that.
On Sunday, in Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, that was Blake Bortles.