After a difficult loss in the AFC Championship to the Patriots last season, the Jaguars got their sweet, sweet revenge.
To those who believed, the gratification feels great! To those who don’t, it’s time to get with the program. The Jaguars are an NFL powerhouse and they are here to stay. Yep, you read that right.
After the Patriots missed a 54-yard field goal on the opening drive of the game, the Jaguars took possession of the ball from their own 44 yard line. QB Blake Bortles marched the offense down the field in nine plays, capping the drive with a beautiful touchdown pass to WR Donte Moncrief. Jacksonville took a 7-0 lead.
Following a three-and-out from the Patriots, the Jaguars regained possession at their own 16 yard line. This difficult field position did not faze Bortles as he led the charge down the field in just 7 plays. On the seventh play, he connected with WR Keelan Cole on an absolutely perfect pass for a 24-yard touchdown.
The black and teal defense continued to stifle “almighty” QB Tom Brady twice more before the end of the first half, holding New England to just 3 points.
The Cole Catch
Meanwhile, Jacksonville’s offense continued to score at will and Keelan Cole made the best catch since Odell Beckham Jr.’s one-handed grab that hoisted him to overnight stardom.
Keelan Cole with an UNREAL one-handed grab vs. the Patriots
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 16, 2018
The Jaguars went into the half with a 21-3 lead over the Patriots. The scoring commenced with Jacksonville in the second half also thanks to a 28-yard field goal from K Josh Lambo.
New England showed late signs of life with 10 unanswered points. But as the Patriots were in Jaguar territory, looking to bring the game to within one possession, DE Dante Fowler made his presence known. Fowler beat his man off the line and came down upon Brady like a true jaguar attacking its prey. Strip sack, fumble recovery, Jaguar’s ball.
WELCOME TO #SACKSONVILLE
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— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 16, 2018
Then, with just under eight minutes left in the 4th quarter, Bortles connected with WR Dede Westbrook for a 61-yard touchdown. Dagger. The Patriots tacked on one more insignificant touchdown to bring the total to 31-20. The Jaguars are now 2-0 and have an AFC South matchup against the Tennessee Titans in Week 3.
Jaguar Of The Week
This week’s JOTW Award goes to… you guessed it: Blake Bortles.
Bortles completed 29 of 45 passes for 377 yards and four touchdowns in his shot at redemption against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Bortles threw one interception but it came on a pass that was bobbled by his receiver and snagged out of the air by the Patriots defense. He finished with a QBR of 95.
Bortles also rushed for 35 yards on six attempts; however, these rushing stats do not illustrate the impact he had on the ground. On several third downs, Bortles scrambled for a first down and extended the drive.
Blake Bortles is out to prove the doubters wrong and he has done just that through Jacksonville’s first two games of the 2018 season. A betting man would be wise to place his chips on Bortles to earn many more JOTW Awards this season.
Congratulations on your first Jaguar of the Week Award, Blake! I’m sure there will be many more to come!