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Blake Bortles, Chad Henne impress in Jaguars' loss

The Jacksonville Jaguars' backups couldn't hold off the Chicago Bears' late rally in 20-19 loss Thursday night, but the Jags came out big winners with their quarterback play.

Chad Henne moved up and down the field against a limp Bears pass defense, completing 12 of 17 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown. Though he led two drives that stalled inside the red zone, the veteran did absolutely nothing to concern the coaching staff.

"We feel very strongly about Chad," coach Gus Bradley said.

Henne is a plebeian, yet serviceable NFL quarterback, but the Jags' future clearly sits with rookie Blake Bortles, who showed off good mobility and a cannon arm on Thursday.

The first-year signal-caller completed 11 of 17 passes for 160 yards. Through two games, Bortles has completed 18 of 28 passes for 277 yards with zero turnovers.

The quarterback's play could begin to force the team's hand. (NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Friday that Bortles will get some work with the Jaguars' first team in the next preseason game.)

Bradley said Bortles has grown throughout camp and the team has seen that development in his understanding of the NFL game.

"We're trying to build this body of work for him," Bradley said. "...I think he had good poise. The backed up one that was incomplete. But the poise that he had to throw on the run, I think he's starting to grow confidence as well."

Both Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell have continually insisted the starting job is Henne's, but if Bortles continues to show off like Thursday night, the pressure and questions will become more fierce.

As for Bortles, the rookie downplayed his performance.

"I thought it was OK, decent," he said, per The Florida Times-Union. "There were some good things, but I missed a couple of throws. For the most part, we did well as an offense. We moved the ball, went up-tempo. The outside zone game was effective and we did what we wanted to."

He already sounds like a starting NFL quarterback.

*The latest "Around the League Podcast" broke down the biggest position battles and ranked the best backup QBs in the league. *

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