Skip to main content

J.J. Watt: Bortles is 'going to get better and better'

Blake Bortles is coming off the best two-game stretch of his young career, earning an AFC Offensive Player of the Week nomination after setting single-game career-highs in touchdowns (4) and passer rating (125.4) in the Jaguars' loss to the Buccaneers.

Showing tangible signs of improvement by the week, Bortles is now on pace for 4,157 yards and a 32:13 TD-to-INT ratio. In what is shaping up as a breakout season, he leads all NFL quarterbacks with 13 completions over 20 yards.

Bortles told reporters on a conference call this week that his performance has been "night and day" from his rookie struggles.

After sacking Bortles six times last season, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt expects more of a challenge on Sunday.

"I think he looks a little bit more comfortable this year," Watt said, via the Houston Chronicle. "I think he's obviously had a year under his belt. He gets to know his teammates and things like that and gets used to the game. I think he's going to continue to do that. As his career goes on, he's going to get better and better."

With Allen Robinson emerging as a playmaking deep threat, Allen Hurns coming off of back-to-back 100-yard performances and Julius Thomas finally healthy, this is Jacksonville's most effective offense since the 2007 outfit that featured Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor as a lethal backfield combination.

As Gregg Rosenthal pointed out in this week's QB Index, Bortles has been one of the most fun players to watch, pulling off a handful of plays each week that call to mind athletic, physical quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck or Cam Newton.

For all of that firepower and production, however, the Jaguars remain 1-4.

Bortles took six sacks in Tampa and failed to notice a wide open Robinson on an interception thrown to Marcedes Lewis in tight coverage. Considering the Bucs converted the turnover into a touchdown, it can be argued that Bortles' brain cramp -- in addition to other miscues such as Corey Grant's fumble -- cost the Jaguars a chance to win.

Playing through a Grade 1 AC joint sprain in his shoulder, Bortles can't afford those game-changing mistakes against Watt & Co. on Sunday.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content