"I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team's starting quarterback," Marrone said in a statement. "I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win."
Bortles was benched during the second half of Sunday's loss after he completed 6 of 12 passes for 61 yards in addition to two lost fumbles. With the team in a 20-0 hole, Marrone yanked his embattled starter after his second fumble for Kessler, who went on to complete 21 of 30 passes for 156 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The decision to stick with Bortles makes the most sense at this point -- Kessler didn't do anything in his abbreviated stint that would suggest he's capable of supplanting Bortles as the starter. Still, Bortles seems far removed from the player who helped guide the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game last year -- a performance that landed him a three-year, $54 million contract in the offseason.
It remains to be seen if the Jaguars will try to find a reliable backup in the trade market ahead of the Oct. 30 trade deadline. Bortles' struggles are a key reason why the team is heading into the midway point of the season with a 3-4 record. If Bortles can't turn his game around, Jacksonville's chances of another playoff run look dismal.