Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

A Tale Of Two Quarterbacks

There was a franchise quarterback sighting in Jacksonville on Sunday at Everbank Field! Unfortunately for most of the fans that attended the game, it was not Blake Bortles.

If you want to make the claim that the loss to the Chargers in week two the worst loss of the season, you probably wouldn't find much argument here. Jacksonville got absolutely dominated that game in every phase of the game, as San Diego scored 35 points before Jacksonville scored any. 

However, I think there is a legitimate claim you could make for this game being the worst of the season. The game really wasn't as close as the final suggested. Jacksonville imploded late in the game culminating in Malik Jackson and Jalen Ramsey being ejected in the 4th quarter. Following Jacksonville's meltdown, questions will be asked about whether or not Gus Bradley has lost the locker room.

The more important question, I think, is whether or not Blake Bortles has lost the locker room, or even if he ever had it in the first place. 

The Jaguars collectively looked at the other side of the field and saw a third year quarterback guiding his team to a 5-2 record. Carr looked sharp on Sunday, and displayed all the things that make him a franchise quarterback. 

Meanwhile they had Bortles, who looked lost for much of the game. The Jaguars saw a quarterback that had just about half of his first half passing yards on one 37-yard throw to Marqise Lee. They saw a qaurterback that was inaccurate. They saw a quarterback known for being a Brett Favre gunslinger, except with all of the turnovers and none of the upside. 

Which brings us back to why this game against the Raiders was so important. Record aside, win or loss aside, this was about Bortles matching Carr, who has had a much better start to his career than Bortles. According to the expectations prior to the start of the season, Jacksonville was supposed to be right there with Oakland as a sleeper in the AFC. Oakland has risen to and beyond those expectations, and currently sit at first place in the AFC West. Meanwhile, Jacksonville is floundering, and you could name the number of teams worse than them on one hand and still have fingers left to spare. And a large part of why the Jaguars are where they are is due to Bortles' play. He has been the complete and opposite of Carr.

The one mistake everyone makes is that when a team drafts a quarterback high in the first round, that the quarterback is automatically the franchise quarterback. That is wrong. If a team drafts a quarterback high in the first round, it's because they hope the quarterback will be the franchise quarterback. There is an important distinction there. To this point, Bortles has not solidified those hopes. 

With Bradley coming closer and closer to getting fired with each passing game, it makes you wonder if Bortles' job will be inevitably tied to his. If a new coach comes in, is there anything stopping him from drafting a new quarterback as opposed to sticking with Bortles?

At this point, no.


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