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Wholesale Authentic Jaguars #5 Blake Bortles NFL Elite Pro Line Jersey

Wholesale Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys

When the Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, they didn’t do so hoping one day he’d be a game manager. Fast forward to the start of the 2017 season, and most within the Jaguars organization were praying he could even approach being a game manager.

Bortles was coming off a season in which he was one of the worst deep-ball passers ever charted by Pro Football Focus. He had seven interceptions and only one touchdown on deep passes (targeted 20-plus yards downfield) for a passer rating of 17.5. In 12 years of PFF data, no starting quarterback has ever had a lower passer rating on such passes.

Simply put, Bortles was awful, and he gave no indication this preseason that anything had changed. After three seasons as the starter, Bortles was in legitimate danger of losing his job to journeyman Chad Henne jersey.

Then the regular season started and something magical happened in Jacksonville: The team started winning games. It wasn’t because of Bortles initially, but the much-lampooned quarterback was at least not making the crucial mistake to cost them wins. As the season has progressed, he has not only started protecting the ball, but he is also making more and more special throws down the field.

Cheap Blake Bortles NFL Jersey Authentic

Now, despite the , over the past three weeks of the season, no quarterback in the NFL has earned a higher grade than Bortles. The man who has never thrown fewer than 16 interceptions in a full season heading into this season hasn’t made a turnover-worthy throw since Week 12. Given the quality of Jacksonville’s shutdown defense, the rest of the NFL should be terrified.

The cheap Allen Robinson Jersey paradox

The Allen Robinson paradox (also known as the Calvin Johnson Paradox) is the theory that having a true No. 1 receiver without a full complement of ancillary weapons can actually hurt the development of a young quarterback more than it helps. The theory states that instead of working through proper progressions play after play, quarterbacks will force throws to that No. 1 receiver early in their progression even when that option wasn’t actually the best one based on the coverage. The fact that receivers like Johnson and Robinson are capable of making spectacular plays in tight coverage doesn’t mean it’s a good decision to continually provide them chances to do so. The mythical 50-50 ball is not nearly as successful as the name would suggest (end zone fades had a 30 percent success rate leaguewide last year). Remove that receiver from the equation, and now all of a sudden, the quarterback is forced to work within the confines of the offense.

We’ve seen this effect with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford jersey following the retirement of Johnson, and now we’re seeing it with Bortles. In 2016, Bortles targeted Robinson 144 times — 43 more than any other Jaguars receiver. Of those, he completed only 73, and threw seven interceptions (fifth-most of any QB-WR pairing) for a quarterback rating of 63.5, the lowest when targeting any Jaguars receiver and the fifth-worst of any starting receiver in the NFL.

It’s difficult to look at the numbers above and come to any other conclusion than the proposed paradox. That’s not to say that the receiving corps wouldn’t objectively be better with Allen Robinson (and Allen Hurns) in the lineup. He’s a supremely talented player and will be paid as such this offseason. Rather, the issues lied with Bortles and no one else. But with Robinson out for the season, those issues have subsided in a big way. Bortles is currently setting career-highs in passer rating (89.7), completion percentage (61.0), and interception rate (1.8). And his leading receiver, cheap Marqise Lee jersey, is only 23rd in the NFL with 91 targets on the season.

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It’s no secret that the Jaguars were trying to rein in Bortles’ recklessness as much as possible with their play this season,. One need look no further than his average depth of target over the past three years:

Year aDoT
2015 10.0
2016 8.7
2017 8.1

As the season has worn on, though, Bortles has gotten more adept at understanding when to take his chances down the field. Over the first six games of the season, he was 24 of 62 for 419 yards (6.8 yards per attempt) on throws 10-plus yards downfield with four touchdowns and one interception. Over the last eight, he’s 40 of 83 for 987 yards (11.9 yards per attempt) with eight touchdowns and two interceptions. And Bortles has all but eliminated his turnover-worthy throw problems in the new offense.

Year TWT Rate Rank
2014 4.2% 30th
2015 5.3% 41st
2016 3.5% 20th
2017 2.7% 6th

Over the past three weeks, Bortles has taken his command of the offense to another level. Any way you want to slice his numbers over that span, he has been lethal. He is 8 of 9 on deep passes for 295 yards (32.8 yards per attempt), has a 109.0 passer rating under pressure, a 144.4 passer rating off play-action, and hasn’t made a single turnover-worthy throw. Below is a list of all the quarterbacks who have at one point topped PFF’s grading over any three-week stretch this season:

  • Tom Brady
  • Matt Ryan
  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Philip Rivers
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Blake Bortles

That’s elite company. That’s more than a fluke. It’s not uncommon to see replacement-level quarterbacks put up a high grade for one game or even back-to-back ones, but having three straight dominant performances is special — even if the stretch did come against a trio of defenses dealing with multiple injuries.

Bortles is finally putting together the immense tools that he displayed in college to become a top-5 pick, and the Jaguars are a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the AFC. It’s no longer a guarantee the Jaguars need to add a signal-caller this offseason, and it’s possible their franchise QB has been on the roster all along.

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