Bortles has a reputation for struggling, but not during Sunday's 45-7 dismantling of Houston, which saw him peg 21 of 29 passes for 326 yards with three touchdowns and zero picks.
Clowney managed three quarterback hits on the afternoon, but Houston's fearsome pass-rusher could only watch as Bortles and the playoff-bound Jaguars lashed the Texans for seven touchdowns and a field goal, saying: "They beat us on both sides of the ball. Ain't no defense, they beat us. Oh man, they got us. They were definitely the better team."
Clowney's teammates were more complimentary of Bortles, with linebacker Brian Cushing saying: "He's definitely more confident. He stays in the pocket. He's throwing the ball better, guys are open. You can tell his pocket awareness is much better than it has been in previous years."
Said cornerback Johnathan Joseph: "He definitely did his job. He stepped up for them and made some plays. That's big for them."
Clowney doesn't want to see it, but Bortles of late has been a reliable presence in December, going three straight games without an interception and making use of the team's gaggle of young pass-catchers.
Naturally, NFL watchers are waiting for the other shoe to drop in the form of a killer gaffe in a critical situation for Jacksonville. That's what we've come to expect with Bortles, but he's been something entirely different down the stretch.