Jacksonville Jaguars: Offensive Preview – Is this the year for Blake Bortles?
Jacksonville Jaguars have had high hopes and expectations since they drafted a young kid named Blake Bortles out of the University of Central Florida. It just has not connected for them yet whether it be because of Defense or because of his inconsistent play. He has been in Jacksonville now since 2014. Since being there his starting running backs have been as follows; 2014-Toby Gerhart, 2015-Tj Yeldon. and 2016-Chris Ivory. This year they went and got by far the best running back in the draft in Leonard Fournette. What will this mean for the Jaguars and Bortles? Well if they can run the ball with the wide receivers they have it will make them a very dangerous team. Here is what Bortles has done with no running game; in 2015, he threw for 4,400 yards with 35 TDs and 18 INTs last season he threw for 3,900 yards with 23 TDs and 16 INTs.
Time is running out for Blake Bortles though as some of the fan base is saying they do not believe he can make that next step from middle of the road QB to elite. This is a put up or shut up season for Bortles and he will have to rely on a rookie RB and his receivers to continue to be the force they were the last couple of seasons. Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson will have to continue their success, and with the addition of Fournette should keep defenses more honest, which can make this offense nearly impossible to contend with.
My predictions for this team on the offensive side of the ball is Bortles gets 5,000 yards passing and beats his career high for TDs with 38 this season. He also cuts back on the interceptions throwing just 15. Fournette will be the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2011 when Maurice Jones Drew did it. Hard to believe that this team has only had 2 1,000-yard rushers since its inception in 1999. The other was Fred Taylor. Fournette will become the team’s third and will also finish with 10 or more rushing TDs. This will lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 10-6 season, which will be more than enough to win the AFC South.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.