A look at Blake Bortles' time with the Jaguars

The former first-round pick had his share of ups and downs in town

By Justin Barney - Sports Editor
Associated Press

Blake Bortles’ up-and-down career with the Jaguars is over.

A look at some of the highs, lows and notable off-the-field contributions of Bortles.

He finished second in franchise history to Mark Brunell in passing yardage (17,646) and touchdown passes (103) and showed flickers of potential that kept the team hopeful he'd become a franchise quarterback. 

That never came.

What did, however, was an up-and-down ride that won't soon be forgotten in Jacksonville. He had 75 interceptions and lost 16 fumbles. 

 

 

Love him or loathe his inconsistencies, Bortles gave Jaguars fans plenty to remember. On the field, he was 24-49 as a starter, played through three offensive coordinators and two head coaches, and was the guy under center who took Jacksonville to within a quarter of Super Bowl 52.

He was known as the BOAT (Best of All Time), a play off of the GOAT acronym (Greatest of All Time), and Bortles was widely praised as as genuine and aproachable as they get.

Off the field, he was the inspiration for the the incredible Twitter handle @BortlesFacts (currently at 104,000 followers and counting) and started the Blake Bortles Foundation, which continues to help children and first responders in Jacksonville and his hometown of Oviedo. 

A look at some of Bortles' moments with the Jaguars. 

May 8, 2014: Bortles is selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft, a spot that is widely regarded as far too high to draft the redshirt junior from UCF. He begins the season No. 2 on the depth chart to Chad Henne. 

Sept. 21, 2014: Bortles makes his debut in a 44-17 loss to the Colts, going 14 of 24 for 224 yards (2 TDs, 2 INT).

Oct. 19, 2014: After three losses as a starter, Bortles wins his first with a 24-6 victory over the Browns. 

Dec. 28, 2014: Bortles finishes his rookie season with a 23-17 loss to the Texans. He was 280 for 475 passing for 2,908 yards (11 TDs, 17 INTs and 7 fumbles). He was sacked 55 times as the Jaguars finished 3-13. 

Oct. 25, 2015: The Jaguars reach the bye week with a 2-5 record, but Bortles appeared to have made progress (17 TDs, 8 INT, no lost fumbles at the break). They’d win two of their next three games, but couldn’t stack victories together. 

Jan. 3, 2016: Bortles finishes his second season in the league with 4,428 passing yards (35 TDs, 18 INT, 5 lost fumbles) and a 5-11 record. Despite the bad finish, Bortles did enough statistically, even if it wasn’t good across the board (58.6 completion percentage, 51 sacks) to denote that he’d taken steps forward. 

2016: Bortles establishes the Blake Bortles Foundation. Its primary goals are to support those with intellectual disabilities and assist first responders. The foundation has numerous events such as golf tournaments and performance football camps. 

Dec. 18, 2016: Bortles passes for 92 yards (12 of 28) in a 21-20 loss to the Texans. Coach Gus Bradley is fired after the game. 

Jan. 1, 2017: Bortles and the Jaguars finish 3-13, headlined by a woeful nine-game losing streak. He passed for 3,905 yards (23 TDs, 16 INT, 6 lost fumbles).

Aug. 24, 2017: Chad Henne starts the Jaguars third preseason game over Bortles, whose preseason and practice efforts had been terrible. He was intercepted five times during one session.

Sept. 10, 2017: Bortles starts the regular season opener with quite a bit to prove, and he passes for just 125 yards in a 29-7 win over the Texans as the defense delivers a dominant effort. 

Oct. 22, 2017: The Jaguars reach their bye week at 4-3, with Bortles playing well. There’s even talk about playoffs, which only grow after the team rips off a three-game winning streak out of the bye. 

Dec. 24, 2017: The Jaguars lose to San Francisco (44-33), but clinch the AFC South title. 

Jan. 21, 2018: Bortles and the Jaguars nearly reach the Super Bowl, winning playoff games against Buffalo and Pittsburgh before coming up short at New England (24-20). Bortles has three TD passes in the playoffs and was turnover-free. He finishes the season with 3,687 passing yards (21 TDs, 13 INT, 3 lost fumbles).

Feb. 24, 2018: Thinking that Bortles’ play in the postseason proved that he had turned a corner in his development, the Jaguars sign Bortles to a three-year, $54 million extension. 

Sept. 16, 2018: Perhaps the best game of Bortles’ career in a 31-20 rout of the Patriots. Bortles passed for 376 yards and four TDs in the win. The Jaguars, trendy preseason picks to reach the Super Bowl, ultimately start the season 3-1.

Oct. 21, 2018: Bortles was benched in the third quarter of a 20-7 loss to the Texans. Bortles was pulled for Cody Kessler. This came three weeks after Bortles turned the ball over five times in a 31-12 road loss to Kansas City. 

Nov. 26, 2018: Coach Doug Marrone, whose team was mired in a seven-game losing streak, announces that Kessler would start over Bortles, the first time since his rookie season in 2014 that Bortles would be a backup. 

Dec. 6, 2018: Bortles is a nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year. 

Dec. 15, 2018: The Blake Bortles Foundation helps raise $34,674 to donate to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s Jack Adams. Adams was severely injured, and his wife, Cathy, killed when they were hit by a drunk driver. 

Dec. 30, 2018: Bortles’ last time in a Jaguars jersey comes on the road at Houston in a 20-3 loss. He is 15 of 28 for 107 yards and an interception. 

 

 

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