At some point, the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff may have to change its tune when it comes to Blake Bortles. The rookie quarterback went out again and showed that he could play in an offense with the first team and show success. The 13-12 loss in Detroit wasn’t a true indication of what happened on Friday night. What Bortles did on the field was – a bold statement that he is the best rookie quarterback in the class, and the fact he has gotten better in each of the three preseason games.
Many of the fans think Bortles should start week one against Philadelphia, and although head coach Gus Bradley continually says Chad Henne is the starter, both quarterbacks are on two different paths. While Henne is a game manager and does a good job of leading an offense, Bortles is the future and is “Mr. Excitement” from the moment he runs onto the field. Maybe the future of this organization shouldn’t wait until 2015, in fact maybe the team should take a chance and make No. 5 and the future of this franchise happen now.
Bortles threw for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars. Jacksonville started Chad Henne, but Bortles -- the third pick in this year's draft -- was impressive in relief. He completed 10 of 16 passes, including a 13-yard touchdown to Allen Hurns.
Henne went 9 of 14 for 70 yards and avoided any major mistakes. But Bortles, the first quarterback taken in this year's draft, was able to move the Jaguars down the field. Jacksonville started at its own 5 with 1:43 remaining in the first half, and Bortles was able to guide the Jaguars into position for Redfern's kick as time expired.
In the third quarter, Bortles took the Jaguars from their own 14 to the Detroit 27 before Redfern's kick was blocked by Xavier Proctor. On its next drive, Jacksonville went 49 yards in four plays for its only touchdown.
Hurns had seven catches for 113 yards.
Here are a few things we learned from Friday night’s game.
DEFENSIVE LINE WOES
This is a unit that was supposed to be better this season, but it was exploited by the Detroit running game. Reggie Bush broke free for an 86-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The team had 178 yards rushing on the night.
All three of the Jaguars passers (including Ricky Stanzi) threw for 275 yards on the night. Stanzi looked mobile in mop up duty, but he also threw the team’s only two interceptions on the night. Last week, Henne threw the team’s only touchdown. This week, it was Bortles.
AN OFFENSIVE LINE
The Detroit defensive line manhandled the Jaguars offensive line in the first half. There were many times when the Lions read the snap count and there was a defender in the backfield. Center and left tackle are still areas of concern for this team.