Jacksonville Shift’s Balance of Power in the AFC with Statement Win Over New England
Jacksonville, FL — With temperatures reaching triple digits at the 4:25 kickoff between the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-0) and New England Patriots (1-1), it’s fitting that Jags quarterback Blake Bortles came out on fire.
In his best game as a professional, most meaningful regular season game as a pro, Bortles is shaking off the “game-manager” label. Bortles finished the game with 377 yards, four touchdowns, and pick off a dropped/tipped pass.
The Jags took a 21-3 lead into halftime as they seemed to be in complete control. However, the Patriots threatened as they tightened the game to a 24-13 deficit in the fourth quarter. Due to the result of last year’s AFC Championship game, Jacksonville was all gas and no brakes as Bortles threw a 61-yard touchdown pass with 7:35 left in the game.
“It’s the home opener,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said after the Jaguars took a double-digit first-quarter lead and retained it thereafter. “It’s a win. We felt comfortable going into the game. I can’t explain it any other way.”
- Jacksonville now holds the head to head tiebreaker over the New England Patriots in concerning playoff seeding down the road.
- The Jaguars sit atop the AFC South due to its first 2-0 start since 2006.
- Running Leonard Fournette was inactive for Sunday’s matchup. The Jags are 4-0 when they play without their star running back.
- It’s only been two weeks, but the Jaguars have a top-ten offense and defense. The start of something special or too soon to tell?
- Jacksonville’s offense was clicking on all cylinders as Bortles hit nine different receivers for a completion.
Defense Still Dominant
Jacksonville’s defense was imposing as they took on the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady. The Jags held Brady and the Pats’ offense to 4-12 on third down, 2 sacks, and crucial strip-sack in Jacksonville’s lone turnover.
Defensive end Calais Campbell: “We have some ballplayers on this team. Different guys show up each and every week, and it’s fun to be a part of this defense because we have so many different guys that can play this game.”
Most notably, the Jags were able to lock down All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, holding him to 2 catches for 15 yards. The team seemed to back up Jalen Ramsey’s trash talk about Gronk earlier this month.
- Side Note: Jacksonville Jaguars starting left tackle Cam Robinson has a torn ACL in his left knee. Robinson, 22, was a second-round draft pick of the Jaguars last year after starring in college at Alabama. The 6-foot-6, 320-pounder started 15 games as a rookie last season.
Up Next: The Jaguars host third overall pick, Sam Darnold, and the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field in the midst of a three-game homestand.