While eyes have been on the quarterback competitions surrounding rookies Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, and DeShone Kizer, a new competition has taken shape. After an underwhelming performance in Week 2’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, veteran quarterback Blake Bortles finds himself on the hot seat in Jacksonville.
Bortles struggled mightily Thursday night as he misfired on a number of throws and seemed to lack confidence. He did not appear to be very commanding in the huddle or on the sidelines. Moreover, he failed to lead a scoring drive in almost a half of play.
I’m sure Allen Robinson was thrilled. Smoked the DB and Bortles pulled a Bortles. pic.twitter.com/4VKr9ViZIt
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) August 18, 2017
The relationship between Bortles and his star wide receiver Allen Robinson continued its hardship as well. The two were not nearly on the same page on a couple of throws, which has also been the case plenty of times in training camp. Tempers flared in a recent Jags’ practice when Bortles overthrew Robinson on a particular play.
My man Allen Robinson deserves better than Blake Bortles. He even sounds sick of him in this video pic.twitter.com/Dxa4wMTu50
— Buddy 🤠 (@TacoBeIIGawd) August 15, 2017
Blake Bortles clearly is not improving at the rate the new Jaguars front office would like. In fact, after the game, new head coach Doug Marrone went as far as to say that Bortles’ status as the starting quarterback for the team is very much uncertain.
Doug Marrone on Jaguars QB battle: “It’s right up there for grabs and either person can grab it.”
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) August 18, 2017
This is awful news for Bortles, but great news for backup QBs Chad Henne and Brandon Allen.
Brandon who? Many of you may not be familiar with Allen. He was a 6th-round pick out of the 2016 NFL Draft from the University of Arkansas. With decent mobility, decision making, and arm talent, Allen is certainly someone to watch in the new QB competition in Jacksonville. In fact, take a look at the combined box score for games 1 and 2 of the Jaguars’ preseason games this year.
Combined Box Score for Games 1 and 2 of the Jaguars preseason
Judging by the box score alone, Brandon Allen has been the best quarterback for the Jags with Chad Henne not far behind. Blake Bortles, on the other hand, is very far behind. Obviously, box score scouting is not the best talent indicator in the preseason because…well, it’s the preseason. Still, the disparity between Bortles and his counterparts is staggering, and a quarterback competition is underway.
Who will come out victorious in the battle to lead the Jaguars to a likely sub-.500 record? My money is still on Blake Bortles, but I’m feeling less and less confident in that by the day.