Blake Bortles did everything he possibly could to earn the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting quarterback job this month. He made sure to leave with a strong closing statement Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Bortles delivered on a 57-yard touchdown to fellow rookie Marqise Lee before leaving the game early in the second quarter. The play typified much of Bortles' preseason. He showed some veteran poise with a great pump fake, and then showed off a big arm with impressive accuracy on the deep throw.
It wasn't a flawless night for Bortles. He nearly threw an interception on a poor decision earlier in the game, and the Jaguars barely moved the ball in their first three drives due to terrible pass protection. Still, Bortles is already the best quarterback on the Jaguars roster. He completed 32-of-51 passes in the preseason for 521 yards and two touchdowns. He wasn't picked off.
The Jaguars have already announced that Chad Henne will start Week 1 in Philadelphia. Jacksonville is also on the road in Week 2. We wouldn't be totally shocked if Bortles was in the starting lineup in time for Jacksonville's home opener a week later.