Blake Bortles Implodes In Jaguars’ Jarring Loss To Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) behind perennial superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes blasted the shaky Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) 30-14 after an abysmal performance from not-so-super quarterback Blake Bortles.
In what was primed to be a Game of the Year candidate — and even a potential preview of the AFC championship — the Jags laid an egg against an electric quarterback that looked above average at best on Sunday: Mahomes had the worst statistical game of his career that saw his first two interceptions, 313 yards passing, and zero touchdowns.
With the Chiefs shootout style of play in mind and the bruising defense of the Jags, (it allowed the least points per game coming into the matchup) Mahomes’ stat line spelled panic for Kansas City at the very least. A strong defensive game from Jacksonville was the nail in the coffin for an embarrassing loss for the Chiefs. This was the NFL’s most riveting narrative of the 2018 season, right? Not if Bortles has something to say about that.
Bortle’s play singlehandedly lost the football game for the Jags, as he often does for the most talented defense in the league, and a trendy pick for the AFC representative in the Super Bowl. If Bortles had just played a bad game, the Jags might have won. But his fumble and four interceptions made the game unwinnable. The Jags defense snagged a pass from Mahomes over the middle down ten points, the first attempt at a momentum swing, and the first sign of Mahomes being human. Bortles immediately fumbled on the next play.
After that untimely turnover that led to more points on the board for the Chiefs, Bortles got the ball back and again ventured into a daunting comeback attempt (something he’s only ever done once) before the half was over. He threw a pick-six to Chris Jones on the first snap. It seriously doesn’t stop there. Unfathomably, it gets worse.
He was picked off again in a goal-to-go situation, this time after flinging the ball off of a teammate’s helmet to end the half. There was nobody in the vicinity, and the Jags’ chances at revival were lost at the hands of the incompetence of No. 5. He lobbed two more picks after halftime, and his 61 passes in the Jags’ comeback attempt were the most of his career. Consequentially, the Jaguars are 1-4 in contests where Bortles has logged three or more interceptions.
The Jags will likely see the playoffs again, and hiding the quarterback looks like its game plan going forward. That didn’t go so well last season against the Patriots, and the defensive quicksand it drags other teams into won’t be enough to get very far.