Like every other year since 2011, when Jack Del Rio was canned mid-season, the Jaguars are a horrible football team. But 2016 was supposed to be different; the organization spent the offseason acquiring young, fast defensive playmakers, and franchise quarterback Blake Bortles is now in his third year in the league.
Yet here we are, six games into it, and the Jags are who we thought they were. They were outflanked at home by the Jack Del Rio’s Raiders on Sunday, 33-16, and Bortles finished 23 of 43 for 246 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions in one of his worst performances this season. The 24-year-old quarterback now has as many picks as TDs — 9 — and is completing fewer than 60 percent of his throws. Hardly what the team had in mind for the guy they drafted third overall in 2014.
But there also aren’t any plans to make a change.
“I firmly, firmly believe in Blake Bortles,” coach Gus Bradley said, via ESPN.com. “Without a doubt. I think it was a challenging day yesterday about some of the situations we were in, but as far as the competitor … and what he brings to this team, there is no doubt [about Bortles].”
One of the many frustrating aspects to Bortles’ start is that he’s coming off a career year; he set franchise records is passing yards (4,428) and passing touchdowns (35) in 2015 and he’s gone from that … to this:
If a change was made, Chad Henne would replace Bortles, but it’s not like a veteran journeyman would magically fix all that’s wrong with this team. Plus Bradley, three and a half years into turning the Jaguars around, needs to win now. As is stands, he’s 14-40 as the Jacksonville coach, a winning percentage (.259) that’s higher than the Mendoza line and, well, that’s about the nicest thing you can say about it.