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Brunell: Jaguars narrow win is big

'2-3 is a lot different than 1-4'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the first three quarters Sunday at Soldier Field, it looked as if the bye week did nothing to help our football team. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles couldn't get into a rhythm and the run game was nonexistent. The Jacksonville defense struggled to get off the field giving up too many third-down conversions to the Chicago Bears. Once again, it just didn't seem to be our day at first.

Then, the Jaguars came alive in the fourth quarter. Most importantly, Bortles came alive. With the Jaguars allowing him to operate in the up-tempo offense, Bortles found his rhythm. He was 11-of-14 with 133 yards and one touchdown. He just seems to be more comfortable in their no-huddle offense.

Bortles' best play was the game-winning touchdown pass to Arelius Benn. What impressed me about the pass was that it was accurate; he was under pressure with a Chicago blitz and his team needed him to step up. This was a big game for Bortles. Every time your young quarterback gets a come-from-behind win in the fourth, he takes a big step. It builds his confidence and it certainly builds the confidence the team has in him.

Let's talk about another young player who took a big jump in this game -- Jalen Ramsey.  

Ramsey was tested Sunday. He went against one of the league's best in Alshon Jeffrey. Clearly, Brian Hoyer was willing to test the Jaguar first-round pick. Early in the game, Jeffrey made Ramsey look like a rookie. And if it wasn't for an errant throw by Hoyer, Ramsey would've been beaten for a TD. 

One thing is certain, Jalen didn't lose any confidence. As the game went on, Jeffrey's catches were becoming fewer, and on the most important defensive play of the day for the Jaguars, it was Ramsey who made the break-up. I'm excited to see just how good this kid is going to be. 

This was a big win for our football team.  Although it was really only one good quarter of Jaguars football, it was a win.  And trust me, 2-3 is a lot different than 1-4.  We'll take these games one game at a time. The Oakland Raiders are next!  Go Jags!

Former NFL QB Mark Brunell answers viewer questions about the game

Why has the Jags running game been so off this season?

-- Darrell in Ponte Vedra Beach

Hard to say. Scheme, offensive line, running backs? Probably combination of all three. We'll get better as we go. 

Penalties weren’t as bad as in London. How did they address the issue?

-- Heather in Murray Hill

Not sure. They don't let me in the meetings. 

Is one sack in a game something the defense should be worried about?

-- Nick in Baymeadows

Not really. Sometimes you play QBs that do a good job getting the ball out quickly. Brian Hoyer is one of those QBs.


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