Bortles Era Offers Hope

The Jaguars are still one of the NFL's worst teams. With that said, they finally have a direction and better days appear to be ahead.

The Blake Bortles era as starting quarterback might have produced the same ultimate result as the Chad Henne era, but it felt much different for the Jaguars.

Sure, Jacksonville went on the road as two-touchdown underdogs and lost by more than two touchdowns. But the game had a much different feel to it.

For one half, the Jaguars looked like a real football team. The times that they looked like that over the past seven years can be counted on two hands. The Jaguars saw something that they really hadn’t seen from the quarterback position in years. An ability to throw the ball downfield, make reads and most importantly not play scared. That’s what Blake Bortles gave Jacksonville.

“He got into a rhythm so it’s good. What can you say? He completed 78 percent his first debut. He is frustrated that he threw the couple of interceptions but we will continue to grow with him.”

Was Bortles day perfect? Absolutely not. He threw a pair of interceptions and wasn’t able to lead the team to points in the second half. But there was definitely more good than bad.

“(Bortles had) 5-6 mental errors, but not so bad,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said. “He had some chances to throw to the hot receiver and get an explosive play but chose to throw it to a check-down or to the flat.”

Sure, it was only one start and the Jaguars struggled mightily to move the football in the second half. Sure, Jacksonville was blown out and still dropped to 0-4, and the team’s prized possession made some mental errors, but there were plays that gave Jaguars fans something they haven’t had in years.

Hope.

The Jaguars are still a very bad team. Their offensive line is mediocre on a good day. In a league where most teams have several capable running backs in their rotation, the Jaguars don’t appear to have a single one. The wide receivers are mediocre and the secondary is as bad as any in the NFL.

This isn’t going to be an overnight rebuilding process and despite having some hope now that there’s a functional quarterback, the Jaguars are still likely to be underdogs in every remaining game.

Still, the team is in much better shape than it was over most of the last decade.

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