Tennessee will be in Jacksonville to face the 2-11 Jaguars in the final Thursday night game of the year. The Titans have already beaten the Jaguars once, so another win this week would guarantee they finish ahead of Jacksonville and that they will pick no higher than second once the first round gets underway.
There’s a chance that they’ll be facing Chad Henne instead of Blake Bortles in that contest. Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports that Jaguars coach Gus Bradley deemed Bortles questionable for that game because of a sprain in the middle of his right foot.
As the story says, Bortles played every snap in Sunday’s 20-12 loss to the Ravens and absorbed eight sacks on the way to defeat, but it wasn’t immediately apparent during the game that he suffered an injury. He’s been on the injury report in recent weeks, perhaps because of the 46 overall sacks the team’s allowed since he took over for Henne earlier this season, but not because of a foot issue.
Colts beat writer Mike Wells on the team's surprising defensive prowess: I didn’t think this defense had a chance once linebacker Robert Mathis, last season’s sack leader, was lost for the season with a torn Achilles. The unit appeared to be headed for a rough season after it had only one sack over the first two games. But defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has taken a hold-nothing-back approach with his defense. With two cornerbacks who can blanket receivers, Greg Toler and Vontae Davis, Manusky is loading the box and constantly blitzing. That is why the Colts have 20 sacks and nine turnovers during their five-game winning streak. They have also held their past four opponents to 4-of-41 on third down. People might not have respected the Colts' defense before, but now teams have to take notice.
The unit has averaged 12.9 FP per game over the last five weeks, but has had the benefit of facing Chad Henne/Blake Bortles, Charlie Whitehurst, Ryan Fitzpatrick and an A.J. Green-less Bengals team. Starting with Week 12, the Colts defense has a pretty nice schedule to close the season.
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 9:20pm
There was a time not long ago that no football team ran plays out of the pistol formation. In fact, there was no such thing until longtime Nevada coach Chris Ault designed the formation about a decade ago.
Now the pistol is everywhere, including the Jacksonville Jaguars' playbook.
With Chad Henne first and now Blake Bortles, the Jaguars have used the pistol formation plenty, but the most successful play has been the strong left motion 3 wide pistol zone stretch — a running play that isn't easy to defend.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin took notice of the difference between Bortles and Henne heading the pistol.
“They do some shotgun and pistol-like plays, some quarterback keeps and zone read stuff that really slows you down a little bit defensively,” Tomlin said. “Or at the very least it makes you acknowledge some of the responsibility football associated with some of that multi-dimensional offensive attacks like that.”
As the story points out, in the pistol formation, the quarterback lines up 4 yards behind the center, which is much closer than the 7-yard setback in a traditional shotgun formation. The running back lines up 3 yards directly behind the quarterback at tailback. The pistol is used for a number of reasons: It makes the defense defend both sides of the formation. It can spread the field by formation. It can use the quarterback as a runner. It can use the quick passing game to keep defenders out of the box. It's becoming a more popular formation in the NFL because it can freeze defenses with a mix of downhill rush plays and wide-open passing from the same formation.
Being outscored by 78 points pointed out the obvious for the Jacksonville Jaguars: A change at quarterback was needed.
After losing 34-17 and 41-10 in Weeks 1 and 2, and facing a 30-0 halftime deficit in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts, the Jaguars finally made the decision to bench Chad Henne and make the move to first-round pick Blake Bortles.
It's also time for Bortles to take over the starting gig from here on out. Head coach Gus Bradley said after the game that despite the rookie's up-and-down game, he had seen enough from Bortles (14-of-24 passing, 223 yards, two TDs, two INTs) to announce that he'd be starting next week against the San Diego Chargers.
It was only a matter of time... Bortles sparked the offense a bit after the change and at least put up nice fantasy numbers in mop-up time of a blowout loss to the Colts. Bortles can now grow with what is a very young group of WRs like Marquis Lee, Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Cecil Shots. He'll likely have a lot of chances to throw the ball a lot with a running game that can't seem to get going. He'll at least have QB2 value going forward.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been outscored 75-10 since jumping out to a surprising 17-0 halftime lead at Philadelphia in the season opener.
Although the offense has ground to a halt, coach Gus Bradley said Monday, via The Florida Times-Union, Chad Henne will remain the starting quarterback for this week's game versus the Indianapolis Colts.
"There's going to be some changes," Bradley added, per the team's official Twitter feed. "If you're asking solely on the quarterback, that hasn't come up. ... Right now, Chad Henne's our starter."
Bradley told reporters that Henne has played well, but it's been a challenge to grade his performance with 14 sacks through two games.
It seems like it's only a matter of time before the team turns to Blake Bortles at QB - whether Henne is to blame for 10 points in the last game and a half or not. WR Allen Hurns is a question mark as is WR Cecil Shorts so the team could be looking at Marquis Lee and Allen Robinson starting this week. And the line hasn't opened many holes for RB Toby Gerhart so it's an offense to stay away from in terms of fantasy football.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles was 10-of-16 passing for 158 yards and a touchdown Friday night against the Lions. That pushes his preseason totals to 28-of-44 for 435 yards and a touchdown, or a passer rating of 103.9.
Nevertheless, head coach Gus Bradley said after the game that Chad Henne will start the opener, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
Depending how competitive the Jaguars are during Henne's starts will determine how long he holds the job. The writing is on the wall. We expect that Bortles will be under center at some point this season.
Monday, August 18, 2014, 5:49pm
QB Blake Bortles finally took his long-awaited reps with the Jaguars’ first-team offense on Monday.
It didn’t last long.
Bortles took three snaps during an 11-on-11 red zone period and coach Gus Bradley said he was pleased with the way the rookie quarterback handled himself. That was just as important as the result of the plays.
"I think the speed of the game, it was good for him to see that," Bradley said. "I was sitting back there and I thought it was really good for him to go against the ones like that to get a feel for the speed, to get a feel for the rush.
"Sitting back there and watching it, I just felt like that was good for him."
It's a start for Bortles who is still fully expected to sit behind Chad Henne once the season starts.
"I think he'll get some reps with the ones tomorrow," coach Gus Bradley said after Sunday's practice, per The Florida Times-Union. "I know the plan was sometime during this week."
The impressive rookie quarterback has earned a look with first-team after two exciting preseason outings against second- and third-team defenses.
Looks like Bortles will get time with the first time offense against the Lions on Friday, but the plan still remains to let Chad Henne start the season with Bortles on the bench. Like we said before, unless Henne starts winning, it will be tough for the Jags to not play Bortles sooner than later.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles is progressing rapidly, and very much passing the eye test early in his first preseason. He looked good in a controlled scrimmage two weeks ago at EverBank Field, looked good again the preseason opener against Tampa Bay and looked good again Thursday in Chicago. That’s a lot of looking good. The Jaguars like how Bortles approaches preparation and game-planning, and he has progressed quicker than many around the organization expected. All good signs.
Bortles is starting to get a lot of attention. After two preseason games it’s obvious Bortles is very good throwing on the run. Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has created situations to allow him to get outside the pocket, and Bortles has shown big-time accuracy outside the pocket. Looks like now the big question is how long does Chad Henne hold down the starting job. He's likely going to have to put up wins or there's a good chance we'll see Bortles sooner than later. From a fantasy perspective, Bortles could be worth owning as part of a committee or a QB2 in certain matchups. But keep in mind, there are a lot of live situations Bortles hasn't seen yet in games that he'll have to adjust to, however it's going to be hard to keep him out of the lineup it looks like.
He was anything but against Chicago on Thursday night at Soldier Field. The second-round pick caught four passes in the first three possessions of the game. Lee finished with 27 yards and scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chad Henne.
Lee figures to start opposite the (currently injured) Cecil Shorts, and should make an immediate impact for a team desperate for playmakers in the passing game. His ADP is currently sitting in the 14th round, but will likely rise after Thursday's performance.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 10:19am
Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles played well in his preseason debut on Friday night, leading coach Gus Bradley to say that the team may change plans to keep Bortles from playing with the first team until the final preseason game.
If they do make a change, it doesn’t sound like it will happen in the team’s second preseason game. The Jaguars face the Bears on Thursday and Bradley said on Saturday that no one should expect Bortles to take any snaps away from Chad Henne in the immediate future.
“I wouldn’t count on it this week,” Bradley said, via the Florida Times-Union.
Jaguars rookie receiver Marqise Lee spent the entire open locker room period this morning sleeping in a cozy, leather chair. It wasn’t because he ran himself to exhaustion in Friday night’s win over Tampa Bay.
Coach Gus Bradley had strong words for the second-round pick from USC:
“I think that’s one of those things we’re looking at – it’s the consistency. Run your routes [like the football] is coming to you. You can’t change speeds. You can’t choose when and when not to. I’ve told you before that I’ve seen him switch to where he’s more focused.
“I’d like to visit with him about what happened [Friday]. He did play good, but he could have done some things even more precise. It wasn’t exactly where we need him to be.”
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 9:22am
The rookie quarterback was solid in his preseason debut Friday night, throwing for 117 yards and leading a second-half drive for a field goal in a 16-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"There was some good stuff, some bad stuff, things that I've got to overcome," Bortles said.
"It's a process, it's not going to happen overnight," he added. "The chemistry felt really good with the second unit, we've been working really well together during camp. I thought the offensive line did a really good job of protecting up front."
The third overall pick in the draft completed 7 of 11 passes, including a 31-yarder down the middle of the field to Mike Brown to set up a 26-yard field goal that gave the Jaguars a 10-3 lead late in the third quarter. Chad Henne still has a good shot to win the starting job, but the Jags are young and likely not looking at a winning season, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Bortles at some point this year to grow with the young WRs.
Friday, August 1, 2014, 12:43pm
Not that Bortles is a legitimate threat yet to unseat veteran starter Chad Henne, whose experience and knowledge of Fisch's system give him a sizable advantage.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 11:07am
“He’s pretty much given us all the tools. Whatever we see out there, if we have to throw it every down because they’re giving so many guys at the line of scrimmage, we’ll throw it,’’ Henne said.
He added, “It’s still difficult at times because the defense is throwing everything at us right now, but if we see something we like, we have the green light to go get it. That’s what makes a good quarterback in this league, getting in the right plays,’’ he said.
This could give Henne a little boost in value, especially with some young and talented WRs surrounding him. But Henne is still probably not going to be more than a very low-end QB2 or committee-type fantasy QB.
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