Back to Blake: Jaguars announce benched Blake Bortles will start Week 8

Realistically, it’s not like the Jacksonville Jaguars had much choice but to try Blake Bortles at quarterback again.

Bortles has struggled mightily for a few weeks and coach Doug Marrone reached his breaking point Sunday in a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans. He benched Bortles, not that it helped much.

But what were the Jaguars going to do, turn to Cody Kessler full-time? The Jaguars surprised very few people by announcing that Bortles will start the Jaguars’ next game, which will be Sunday in London against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Jaguars don’t have a great QB option

The easy thing is to shout that the Jaguars need to bench Bortles. The tougher thing is telling them who should replace Bortles.

Kessler wasn’t terrible as a rookie on a bad Cleveland Browns team in 2016, but he’s limited. Very few people would consider Kessler the type of quarterback who can help his team get to a division title or an AFC championship game. At least Bortles has done that. The Jaguars came very close to a Super Bowl last season with Bortles at quarterback.

While there is an argument to be made that the Jaguars can’t be worse at quarterback than they have been the past few weeks and there’s no harm in making a change, it’s not like they had a great other option. It’s tough to fault coach Doug Marrone for figuring his best choice at the moment is hoping Bortles hits a hot streak again, which he has done before. The team will still give Kessler time with the first team in practice this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said, just in case Bortles struggles again.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) will start the team’s next game, despite being benched on Sunday. (AP)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) will start the team’s next game, despite being benched on Sunday. (AP)

Blake Bortles is extremely streaky

It’s always worth pointing out that Bortles has good games. They’re entirely overshadowed by his bad games, which are usually dreadful and there are clearly too many of them. But he’s the same guy who threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns in a Week 2 win over the Patriots. He had a three-game stretch late last season in which he threw for 903 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions for a 128.6 rating. He had a 96.6 passer rating in the Jaguars’ last two playoff games last season and the Patriots needed a miracle fourth-quarter comeback to win.

All of that led to the Jaguars bringing Bortles back for another season as their starter. It looked like a decent decision early on. Then the bottom fell out, and Jacksonville’s best remaining hope is that Bortles finds whatever fleeting magic he has had here and there through this career.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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