Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has been struggling the past few weeks, and today Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone had to do something about it. With the Jaguars trailing 20-0 in the third quarter, and with Bortles(9-12, 61 yards) struggling, Marrone decided to go with backup QB Cody Kessler.
“I just literally did it to try to get a d*** spark from this football team,” Marrone said after the game. Kessler(21/30, 156 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) did lead Jacksonville on one scoring drive, but it was not enough as the Jaguars were beaten soundly by the Texans 20-7 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville on Sunday.
The Jaguars(3-4) have lost three in a row after starting the season at 3-1, and according to Marrone, Bortles was not very happy about the move.
“He was pissed, I mean he was pissed. You know? That’s good,” Marrone said after the game. “He should be pissed. He’s pissed at me, and he should be. I have no problems with that. If it was any other way, that would be a problem.”
When asked if Bortles was still the starter, Marrone had this to say.
“It’s open,” Marrone said. “Who’s the starter at right tackle? Who’s the starter at center? Who’s the starter at receiver? Who’s the starter? Everything is open. We’ve lost three straight games, and we can’t stop shooting ourselves in the foot for lack of a better expression. “
While some fans and media may not believe Bortles is the guy to take this team forward, Jaguars DE Calais Campbell still has faith in him.
“I still believe in Blake. I understand Coach’s decision, and I respect it,” Campbell said after the game. “At the same time, I believe in Blake. He’s just got to take care of the ball. It’s as simple as that. Cody came in and played a great ball game. I wish we could have won the game and it would have been incredible. But he did bring a little spark. I have seen that in practice, and I was confident in him.”
It does not get any easier for the Jaguars as travel to London to battle the world champion Philadelphia Eagles, who lost a tough one to Carolina on Sunday.
Fortunately for Jacksonville, the division is still within reach, but Bortles/Kessler and the defense have to play much better if they want to get back to the playoffs this season.