USA Today

The Gun Shy Gun Slinger

Though the Jags got their first victory in London over the Colts, Blake Bortles showed he is still gun shy. He not only underthrew two open receivers in the fourth quarter, but also struggled to throw the deep ball consistently. The stats looked good on paper as he compiled three total touchdowns, but the tape says otherwise.

Everyone knows the upside of Blake Bortles. He has a big arm, can scramble outside the pocket and has a big body he uses to his advantage. His mechanics are not always pretty, but he can make plays in tough situations. Since the start of this season, Bortles has been gun shy. He won’t take shots down the field as regularly and too often has been bailed out by short passes taken for long distances. Bortles wasn’t drafted to be a check down quarterback and he will need to get over this hump in order for this Jags offense to reclaim their 2015 form.

 

It’s not just the fact Bortles isn’t taking shots down the field, he is holding onto the ball too long. Of course the offensive line isn’t great, but they have given Bortles time in the pocket and he has shown hesitation when the opportunity is there. There are always excuses for “franchise” quarterbacks, and though Bortles has as much upside as anyone in the league, his problems with consistency are glaring. He could have put the Colts game to bed in the fourth quarter, but his accuracy issues showed and he had to rely on his defense. They came through this time.

 

How does one overcome this? The Jags need to get Bortles rolling early. This does not mean throw screen passes to get early completions. The best thing for Bortles is to have the run game succeed early. He can take full advantage of the play action passes and hit a receiver deep. With T.J. Yeldon looking solid against the Colts, he can carry this momentum over and pull Bortles out of his slump. We know what Bortles is capable of we saw it last year. He wasn’t afraid to throw the deep ball, and that is how you win in this league. He has all the weapons at his disposal, now it’s time to step up and make it all happen.


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