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Chad Henne named Week 1 starter for Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have clung tightly to the narrative of Chad Henne rolling unhindered into September as the team's season-long starting quarterback.

Coach Gus Bradley confirmed as much after Friday night's 13-12 loss to Detroit, once again calling the veteran his Week 1 starter against the Eagles. More fireworks from rookie Blake Bortles, though, have the Jaguars in a tight spot.

Facing a heat-seeking Lions pass rush, Henne generated just 70 yards through the air over four dead-on-arrival drives that generated a mere three points.

It took Bortles 84 seconds to outshine Henne's entire body of work, taking over just before halftime to engineer a 10-play, 79-yard drive that triggered a field goal. The rookie even did his best Dan Marino impression along the way, dialing up a fake spike on an attempted touchdown dart.

Bortles played deep into the third, seeing some of the same defensive pressure that thumped Henne for two sacks and six quarterback hits. The No. 3 overall pick, though, found ways to drive his offense to points, including a pretty 11-yard touchdown strike to Allen Hurns.

Finishing 10-of-16 passing for 158 yards, Bortles elevated his preseason totals to an eye-popping 28 of 44 for 435 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 103.9.

The rookie's positive traits have been consistent: A young quarterback able to build rhythm with his receivers, evade pressure and pile up yardage through the air. The stage hasn't been too big.

Henne's leash needs to be a short one. After all, his Hobbit-level ceiling is altogether uninspiring, while Bortles is just beginning to reveal what he's capable of. Why wait?

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