Jadeveon Clowney’s comment about Blake Bortles wasn’t nice, and it wasn’t very well timed either.
Clowney, the Houston Texans outside linebacker, was asked about Bortles and said, “He’s trash.” Through the years you’d probably find folks that would agree with that statement (again: not nice), but it doesn’t fit lately, and it especially didn’t fit right after the Jaguars pounded the Texans 45-7 on Sunday.
Maybe you haven’t noticed, but Bortles has been good lately. He has seven touchdowns, no interceptions and has averaged more than 300 yards per game the past three weeks. If that’s trash, there are a lot of quarterback-needy NFL teams that would be dumpster diving.
“I could care less,” Bortles said Wednesday about Clowney’s comment, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “If how we’re playing and how I’m playing — if that’s ‘trash,’ then I’m fine with being ‘trash.'”
Great response. The Jaguars are 10-4 and a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Clowney’s Texans are 4-10.
Yes, you heard that right: The Jaguars are Super Bowl contenders. Why wouldn’t they be? The 2015 Denver Broncos won a Super Bowl with a great defense and worse quarterback play than this year’s Jaguars. The Jaguars’ defense might be even better than that Broncos’ defense. They have a star running back in Leonard Fournette, when he’s healthy, and Bortles has been at least good enough.
This isn’t about what you think of Bortles or what you’ve seen in the past. Right now he’s playing well. His 89.7 passer rating this season is better than Dak Prescott, Derek Carr, Cam Newton and a lot of other starters. Last week Bortles’ top two targets were undrafted rookies and he threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns. There were many times early in the season in which the Jaguars were intent on hiding Bortles and making sure he didn’t screw it up. That hasn’t been the case in a while.
The perception won’t change based on some regular-season games, though. Until Bortles goes into Pittsburgh or New England and plays well in a Jaguars’ playoff win, he’ll have the reputation of being a “trash” quarterback. But it’s still probably worthwhile to at least pay attention to what has been happening in Jacksonville these past few weeks.
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