There he was on Thursday, starting for the Jags in their preseason tilt with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though his numbers looked fine—8-for-13 passing for 65 yards—they’re much worse when you consider that production accounted for virtually an entire half (he played all but the last drive of the first two quarters). And the team didn’t score in their 12-8 loss until Bortles came out of the game.
The performance was paltry enough that Jacksonville fans rained boos upon him, particularly after some embarrassing misses when targeting stud wide receiver Allen Robinson.
I’m sure Allen Robinson was thrilled. Smoked the DB and Bortles pulled a Bortles. pic.twitter.com/4VKr9ViZIt
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) August 18, 2017
Another pinpoint accurate throw from Blake Bortles.
— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) August 18, 2017
Bortles is a red line kind of guy pic.twitter.com/FuLgmTSCpC
— Cian Fahey (@Cianaf) August 18, 2017
Blake Bortles: “Twins right, 72 all-go on 2 on 2, Allen get open and I’ll hit ya, ready break!!”
Allen Robinson: pic.twitter.com/hQKThEEQrh
— Not Robert Griffin (@Pseudo_RGIII) August 18, 2017
Boo birds (or Jags) are out after Bortles skips a stone to Allen Robinson on an intermediate throw.
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) August 18, 2017
— Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541) August 18, 2017
Even this completion to Robinson was an awful decision on which the QB got lucky.
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) August 18, 2017
“It’s hard to not hear people booing,” Bortles said after the grim night. “But if they’re cheering or booing, it’s kind of irrelevant, at least for me it is. I think you’ve got to treat adversity and prosperity the same way. They’re not booing for no reason. They’re booing because you didn’t do your job.”
Head coach Doug Marrone, in his first season in Jacksonville, said that Bortles’ performance opened the door for a positional battle at quarterback. Behind him on the depth chart sit Chad Henne and Brandon Allen.
“I’m looking for someone who is going to lead this offense,” Marrone said. “I’m not happy with the performance. I’m not going to sit here and BS anyone. Everyone saw it out there. Whatever you want to call it, I’m still trying to evaluate who the best person is at that position.”