Wake up and watch with the world. For the first time ever, the NFL is streaming a live game on Yahoo. Bills vs. Jaguars live from London, Sunday, October 25th, at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Blake Bortles (23 years old) has had his share of ups and downs, with a 4-15 record (including a 1-5 mark this season) as the Jaguars' starter. But Bortles also has made some strides in his second pro campaign, boosting his passer rating (83.5, up from 69.5) and yards per attempt (6.7, up from 6.1) while throwing almost twice as many touchdown passes (13) as interceptions (seven).
He's not the only young signal caller in the spotlight. Derek Carr (24) has the 2-3 Raiders in second place in the AFC West, while the Vikings are 3-2 with Teddy Bridgewater (22) under center. Rookie Marcus Mariota (21) had a record-breaking career-opener, but he's lost four straight and is currently battling an MCL sprain. First overall pick Jameis Winston (21) has one more win than Mariota, but his statistical production (56.6 percent completion rate, 77.6 passer rating, 7:7 TD-to-INT ratio) has left something to be desired. And don't forget about former first-round picks Johnny Manziel (22) and EJ Manuel (25), who have seen important snaps while filling in as backups with the Browns and Bills, respectively.
All of these quarterbacks, age 25 or younger, are being counted on in some fashion. But if you had to build a franchise around one of them, who would you pick?
His biggest improvement from a year ago is his discernment on where to throw the ball. Last year, sometimes he would bail the defense out by just trying to get rid of it. Now, he's making smart decisions. Instead of forcing the ball into coverage, he might throw it away. You see him taking bits and pieces from veteran quarterbacks like
Tom Brady and
Aaron Rodgers and applying it to what he does.
His improvements over two years aren't necessarily reflected in his numbers, but I think he has better command of the offense. He does a better job getting to all the options in a route concept.
The Vikings are winning, and he understands how to play winning football. He manages risky throws and knows when to dial it up and when to scale it back down, and just be OK with,
"Hey, we didn't fail. We'll punt and lean on the defense." He understands situational football and understands how to play complementary football. The other young guys are good, but
they don't have all the things Teddy does.