The Jacksonville fans need to realize that this team is real. Sitting there watching the game I am getting ready to jump on the bandwagon. The defense is so young and explosive upfront. The first three drives Tyrod had no time in the pocket even while having the bigger back (Tolbert) in the game for protection. One weakness on several third down plays defensively was at the linebacker level, as the Jags repeatedly got beat underneath to the middle of the field. But the defense continued to hold up and force punts over and over again. Offensively, they are young and athletic.
No noticeable collapses on the o-line occurred and with Fournette in the backfield it seemed like a guaranteed 4-yard rush each time he touched the ball. The receiving core looked solid filled with young athletic talent with deep ball skills and vision after the catch. The one questionable spot I kept noticing was at the QB position with Blake Bortles under center. Key misses on third down passes easily convertible into first downs.
Even on simple check down passes facing 2nd and 4’s he simply missed from 10-yards away. The offense was however starting within the 15 for most of the first half on starting drives. Late in the first half the Bills drove down the field thanks to a couple of key 3rd down defensive penalties. However afterwards an encroachment call gave the Bills first and goal from the one. The defense stepped up by forcing an offensive PI, followed by three defensive pressures forcing a field goal from the 14 yard line. When the Jags were in the two minute drill, Bortles misfired several times forcing them to punt right before the half. The third quarter was dominated by the Jags defense forcing punts by the Bills, and long 3rd down attempts. Bortles surprisingly played well in the third quarter, hitting some short check downs and using his legs to gain key first downs.
On a pivotal fourth and goal from the one yard line Bortles set up quick after a play action fake, and he found tight-end Ben Koyack for a TD to give the Jags a 10-3 lead nearing the end of the third. The fourth quarter brought more big runs by Blake Bortles and more missed passes. As a result they Jags were able to move the ball and chew some clock but couldn’t come up with any more points. The defense continued to dominate the game pressuring Taylor as they did early on in the game.
Late in the fourth a key pressure by Dante Fowler Jr. on a third down sack knocked Tyrod Taylor out of the game with an apparent concussion. Two plays after a wild scramble by backup Nathan Peterman picked up a key first down for the Bills, cornerback Jalen Ramsey sealed the game when he jumped the shit out of a route and tipped the ball to himself to make a diving interception. The defense of this young Jaguars team is seemingly unstoppable at times. The d-line lead by Calais Campbell who couldn’t be blocked was coming up with big pressure after big pressure. The linebacker play was solid and one young linebacker who stood out was Miles Jack, the recent UCLA star-backer.
The secondary was impressive to say the least, especially the play of Jalen Ramsey. With this defense the team should no doubt be in the middle of the Super Bowl discussion. However, as good as the O-line looks and the talent at receiver and in the backfield, the one major flaw is the QB position. While Bortles made some plays with his legs he threw for less yards than he ran for all game. Key throws were missed throughout the game, especially short throws within 5-yards that he just flat-out missed.
This team is one QB away from being in legitimate contention for the Super Bowl. Baker Mayfield should be the answer for the Jags. Mayfield has the athleticism and speed to make the plays that Bortles made with his legs on Sunday. Baker’s arm is far better than Bortles and his accuracy is noticeably better. The only real thing Bortles has over Baker is size. Although, this should immediately be thrown away because of the success and competitiveness of Baker. This dude is a straight up winner.
He’s a gamer and this is the kid you want leading this young Jags team that feeds their energy, swagger, and cockiness. Given the Jags are projected to draft in the 20’s range, the fact that Baker is completely overlooked, and given the fact that he is projected to go fourth amongst QB’S, the Jags have a real shot of getting Mayfield. I am making the push for this talented team to draft the QB that will win them a championship. #BAKENOTBLAKE!!!!