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Blake Bortles

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Blake Bortles
refer to caption
Bortles in 2014
No. 5 – Jacksonville Jaguars
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1992-04-28) April 28, 1992 (age 26)
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:236 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Oviedo (Oviedo, Florida)
College:UCF
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2018
Pass attempts:2,557
Pass completions:1,519
Percentage:59.4
TDINT:102–72
Passing yards:17,269
Passer rating:81.3
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Robby Blake Bortles[1][2] (born April 28, 1992) is an American football quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Central Florida and was drafted by the Jaguars in the first round with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Bortles was Central Florida's starting quarterback from midway through the 2011 season to 2013. In 2012, he led UCF to a Conference USA East Division Championship and bowl victory. In 2013, Bortles led the Knights to an upset win over No. 8-ranked Louisville to win the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship, as well as an upset victory over sixth-ranked Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.

In 2017, Bortles helped the Jacksonville Jaguars reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007, defeating the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers on their way to their first AFC Championship Game since 1999. The Jaguars lost to the New England Patriots 20–24.

Early years

Bortles attended Oviedo High School in Oviedo, Florida, where he excelled in football and baseball for the Lions athletic teams.[3] As a senior, he completed 151 of 233 passes for 2,211 yards with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He finished his high school career with a Seminole County record 5,576 career passing yards and 53 touchdowns.[4]

Labeled a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Bortles was listed as the No. 44 pro-style quarterback in his class.[5] Bortles chose UCF over offers from Colorado State, Purdue, Tulane, and Western Kentucky.[6]

College career

Bortles accepted the offer from UCF, which was the first college to offer him a scholarship and was located near his home. He was redshirted as a true freshman in 2010. As a redshirt freshman in 2011, he played in 10 games, completing 75 of 110 passes for 958 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.[7] As a sophomore in 2012, he started all 14 games at quarterback. He completed 251 of 399 passes for 3,059 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 285 yards and scored eight touchdowns.[8][9] He was the MVP of the 2012 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl after completing 22 of 32 passes for 271 yards with three touchdowns and 79 rushing yards against the Ball State Cardinals.[10]

In 2013, Bortles led the Knights to the inaugural championship of the American Athletic Conference, earning the league's automatic berth to a BCS bowl, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Passing for 301 yards and rushing for 93 yards and four touchdowns, Bortles led UCF to an upset of fifth-ranked Baylor, 52–42. Bortles was named the Offensive MVP of the game, which was UCF's first major bowl win in school history.[11] In his final collegiate season, he was 259-of-382 for 3,581 yards, 25 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. In addition, he added 87 rushes for 272 yards and six rushing touchdowns.[12]

Statistics

As a starter from the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Bortles had a 22–5 (.815) record for the Knights. As of 2016, his career passer rating of 153.9 is the highest for any UCF quarterback with at least 500 pass attempts, and he was fourth in career completions, yards, and touchdowns behind Daunte Culpepper, Ryan Schneider, and Darin Hinshaw.[13][14]

Passing Rushing
Year Team GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rtg Att Yds TD
2011 UCF 10 0 75 110 67.8 958 6 3 153.9 21 4 1
2012 UCF 14 14 251 399 62.9 3,059 25 7 144.5 87 285 8
2013 UCF 13 13 259 382 67.8 3,581 25 9 163.4 87 272 6
Total[15] 37 27 585 891 66.2 7,598 56 19 153.9 195 561 15

Professional career

On January 5, 2014, Bortles announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.[16][17]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad Wonderlic
6 ft 5 in
(1.96 m)
232 lb
(105 kg)
32 78 in
(0.84 m)
9 38 in
(0.24 m)
4.93 s 1.75 s 2.86 s 4.21 s 7.08 s 32 12 in
(0.83 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
28[18]
All values from NFL Combine[19]

2014 season

Bortles against the Baltimore Ravens in 2014

On May 8, 2014, at the 2014 NFL Draft, Bortles was chosen in the first round with the third overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bortles was the first of an eventual 14 quarterbacks to be drafted.[20][21] On June 18, he signed his rookie contract worth $20.6 million guaranteed for four years with the team.[22]

On September 21, in Week 3, Bortles made his regular season debut when he came in relief of Chad Henne in the second half of a 44–17 blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts.[23] He went on to complete 14-of-24 passes for 223 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.[24] Following the game, head coach Gus Bradley named Bortles the starter going forward.[25]

On September 28, in Week 4, Bortles made his first career start in a road game against the San Diego Chargers. Bortles ended the game 29-of-37 for 253 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in a 33–14 loss.[26] His 78.4 percent completion percentage set a record for a rookie quarterback's first start.[27]

In Week 6 against the Tennessee Titans, Bortles produced 336 yards on 32-of-46 passes (three franchise rookie records), however the Jaguars lost 14–16 due to a blocked field goal.[28] In Week 13 against the New York Giants, Bortles threw for 194 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions and 68 rushing yards in the Jaguars' largest comeback win in franchise history. They won 25–24 after trailing by 21 points.[29] In Week 16, Bortles led the Jaguars to a Thursday Night Football win over the Titans, 21–13. He completed 13 of 26 passes for one touchdown and no interceptions, with 50 rushing yards.[30]

Bortles established himself as a dual-threat quarterback in his rookie season by rushing for 20 or more yards seven times in 2014, second only to Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.[31] However, he also led the NFL and set franchise records in taking 55 sacks for 345 yards lost, and compiled a 3-10 record as a starter.[32]

2015 season

Bortles, after having a strong preseason in his second year, started the 2015 season slow with one touchdown and two interceptions in a 20–9 loss at home against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.[33] In Week 2, Bortles led a comeback drive against the Miami Dolphins to seal their first victory of the season. He threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.[34] In Week 5, Bortles threw for a then-career-high four touchdowns along with 303 yards and 21 rushing yards. However, this was not enough as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 38–31.[35] In Week 13, Bortles broke the Jaguars single game record with five touchdown passes in a 42–39 loss to the Tennessee Titans.[36]

The Jaguars finished 5-11 in the 2015 season, and Bortles again led the league in sacks taken (51), and also interceptions thrown (19). However, the season was also a success for the second-year quarterback in many ways. Bortles set the Jaguars single-season franchise records for passing touchdowns (35), passing yards, (4,428), pass completions (355), and pass attempts (606).[37][38] His 90-yard touchdown throw to Allen Robinson in week 16 was the longest in the NFL that year. His passer rating was above 80 in eleven games, and he threw a touchdown pass in the Jaguars' first 15 games of 2015, a franchise record. After throwing no touchdowns in the regular season finale, he shared second place with Eli Manning, Cam Newton, and Carson Palmer, behind only Tom Brady's 36. He was also seventh in the NFL in passing yards with 4,428, behind Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Brady, Palmer, Matt Ryan, and Manning. He was ranked 56th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[39]

2016 season

Bortles compiled a disappointing 3-13 record for the 2016 Jaguars, amid considerable turnover in the organization.[40] During a 9-game losing streak, offensive coordinator Greg Olson was replaced by Nathaniel Hackett in Week 8, and head coach Gus Bradley by Doug Marrone in Week 16. The following week, Bortles caught his first career reception from wide receiver Marqise Lee on a 20-yard trick play that netted a touchdown and led to a Christmas Eve victory over the Tennessee Titans.[41] It was Bortles' only game with a passer rating of over 100 in 2016 (compared to five in 2015). Bortles finished the 2016 season with 3,905 yards passing and a 58.9 completion percentage, 23 touchdown passes, 16 interceptions (4th in the NFL), but just 34 sacks, and five 300+ yard games (7th in the NFL).[42][43] Following the season, Bortles stated that he had suffered from a Grade 1 right AC joint sprain in Week 8, and suffered from wrist tendinitis in the latter part of the season, which could explain his regression.[44]

2017 season

On May 1, 2017, the Jaguars picked up the fifth-year option on Bortles's contract.[45] On August 26, he was named the starting quarterback to begin the 2017 regular season after a competition with Chad Henne.[46]

Through the first 11 games of the season, Bortles had an excellent Week 3 with 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions for a 128.2 rating;[47] he broke 300 yards passing just once in Week 7 with 330 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions and a 124.7 rating.[48] Excluding these games, Bortles averaged 185.6 yards per game, no games of either 300+ yards or 100+ rating, and had 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in those nine games. Through 12 weeks, out of the 20 eleven-game starters Bortles was 17th in yardage and touchdowns, and 18th in rating. However, he had a 100+ rating in the next three consecutive games, compiling 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, and 300+ yards in three of the next four games.

During Week 15 against the Houston Texans, Bortles finished with 326 passing yards and 3 touchdowns as the Jaguars won, 45–7, helping the team clinch their first playoff berth in 10 years.[49] During Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers, Bortles finished with a season-best 382 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions as the Jaguars lost, 44–33.[50] Despite the loss, the Jaguars clinched the AFC South due to the Titans losing to the Los Angeles Rams.[51]

After finishing 10–6, the Jaguars made the playoffs as the 3rd seed in the 2017 NFL Playoffs.[52] In the Wild Card round, Bortles defeated the Buffalo Bills 10–3 in his first playoff game. He completed 12 of 23 passes for 87 yards and 1 touchdown, a 1-yard pass to Ben Koyack late in the 3rd quarter.[53] He also had a game-high 88 yards rushing on 10 carries.[54] He joined Michael Vick (2004) as the only quarterbacks with more rushing than passing yards in a postseason game since the 1970 merger,[55] and the 75 net passing yards was the lowest by a winning postseason quarterback since Joe Flacco in the 2009 postseason.[56] Due to his poor passing performance in the Wild Card round, Bortles received heavy criticism from analysts and even other players in the league. When confronted about these criticisms, Bortles stated that he "couldn't care less" and even said, "There's people who think LeBron James sucks, so if that happens, I’m sure there will always be people who always think I suck."[57][58] However, Bortles bounced back in the divisional round, leading the Jaguars to beat the heavily favored Steelers 45-42. Bortles completed 14 of 26 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown to stifle a Steelers comeback.[59] This would be Jacksonville's first AFC Championship game since 1999, but they lost to the New England Patriots 24-20 after spoiling a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter. Bortles finished the game completing 23 of 36 passes for 293 yards and a touchdown. He finished the playoffs completing 57.6% of his passes for 594 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also rushed for 121 yards.[60]

2018 season

On February 24, 2018, Bortles signed a three-year, $54 million contract to stay with the Jaguars through the 2020 season.[61]

Bortles and the Jaguars had a 3–1 start to the season.[62] Between sub-200 yard games in week 1 and 3, Bortles faced the Patriots in 97-degree heat and finished with 377 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, and one interception in the 31-20 victory.[63] In Week 4, he passed for 388 yards in a 31-12 win over the Jets.[64]

The next week, he recorded a career-high 430 passing yards against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, he also threw four interceptions and took five sacks in the 30-7 loss.[65] In Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, Bortles threw for 149 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception to Jeff Heath in triple coverage in a 40-7 loss.[66] In Week 7 against the Houston Texans, Bortles lost a fumble on the opening possessions of each half. He was benched for Cody Kessler after he lost the second fumble, finishing the day with a career-low 61 yards on 12 attempts.[67] At the time, the Jaguars had the league's second-best defense but had lost three games in a row; Bortles was tied for second-worst in the league with four sub-200 yard passing games, third-worst with eight interceptions, and seventh-worst with five fumbles. Nevertheless, head coach Doug Marrone elected to leave Bortles as the starter for Week 8 against Philadelphia. He fumbled the opening snap, but played through a shoulder injury to finish with 286 yards, a touchdown, zero interceptions, and led the Jaguars on three straight scoring drives late in the game to draw within six points before completing just two of his last nine passes in the 18—24 loss.[68][69] After the bye, Bortles completed 10 of 18 passes for a career-fourth-worst 104 yards in a loss to the Steelers.[70] He rebounded the next week against Indianapolis, with 320 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, which included completing 10 of 11 passes for two scoring drives to open the second half, and a drive to the 23 in the waning moments of the 4th quarter before a Rashad Greene fumble allowed the Colts to kneel out the clock and preserve a three point victory.[71] In Week 12, Bortles completed 12 of 23 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in a 21-24 loss to the Buffalo Bills.[72] The next day, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced that Bortles would be benched in favor of Cody Kessler for their Week 13 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.[73] He was then 30th of 34 qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage, quarterback rating, and yards-per-attempt, and second-worst only to Oakland's Derek Carr with eight losses.[74]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Year Team GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2014 JAX 14 13 280 475 58.9 2,908 11 17 69.5 56 419 7.5 0
2015 JAX 16 16 355 606 58.6 4,428 35 18 88.2 52 310 6.0 2
2016 JAX 16 16 368 625 58.9 3,905 23 16 78.8 58 359 6.2 3
2017 JAX 16 16 315 523 60.2 3,687 21 13 84.7 57 322 5.6 2
2018 JAX 7 7 249 151 60.6 1,735 9 8 92.5 10 77 7.7 0
Career 64 63 1,365 2,307 59.2 15,481 95 66 81.2 233 1,487 6.4 7

Postseason

Year Team GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2017 JAX 3 3 49 85 57.6 594 3 0 91.0 17 121 7.1 0
Career 3 3 49 85 57.6 594 3 0 91.0 17 121 7.1 0

Jaguars franchise records

  • Most passing touchdowns in a season – 35 (2015)[75]
  • Most passing yards in a season – 4,428 (2015)[76]
  • Most pass attempts in a season – 625 (2016)[77]
  • Most pass completions in a season – 368 (2016)[78]
  • Most passing touchdowns in a game – 5 (Week 13, 2015, vs. Tennessee Titans)[79]
  • Most consecutive games with a passing touchdown – 15 (Week 1, 2015–Week 16, 2015)[80]

Personal life

Bortles is the son of Rob and Suzy Bortles. Rob was a wrestler and football player in high school; Suzy played high school softball.[81] Bortles's brother, Colby, is a third baseman with the Ole Miss baseball team, and was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers.[82][83][84]

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External links