The Lede: Jaguars Desperate for a QB

By Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story (as adjudged by me) and how it impacts the way you should bet.

Another Poor Performance from Bortles

During the latter stretch of the 2016 season, Jaguars fans were forced to watch a “quarterback” who could hardly throw a ball lead their offense. Blake Bortles’ mechanics had completely fallen apart, rivaling those of a 12-year-old trying to learn the position. It was downright ugly and painful to watch.

The 25-year-old spent all offseason trying to correct his mechanics. Though he isn’t dropping the ball all the way to his hip when throwing anymore, Bortles has yet to see any improvements on the field. The fourth-year pivot completed 3/5 passes for 16 yards in Jacksonville’s first preseason game, and went 8/13 for 65 yards last night. The numbers may not sound terrible, but the tape isn’t easy on the eyes.

Bortles had Allen Robinson wide open twice last night – once on a simple dig route and another on a seam from the slot – and completely missed him on both throws, with good protection. The former third-overall pick has been so unimpressive, the Jags coaching staff is starting to suggest Bortles isn’t cemented into the starting spot.

The question here is: how long is Marrone willing to wait? Bonnie Tyler was holding out ’til the end of the night, but Marrone may have to be a little more patient. The Jags don’t need him to be strong, fast, nor fresh from the fight; he just has to be able to throw a ball. However, both Bortles and Henne have been so uninspiring that third-stringer Brandon Allen is even being considered.

Takeaway: It’s hard to dispute that Allen has looked like the best QB on the Jaguars’ roster, but he is also playing against a third-team defense. Until he starts taking preseason snaps with the backups, don’t get too hyped on the Arkansas product.

As much as Tom Coughlin and Marrone have disclosed their desire to run the football, the offense needs a QB who can consistently hit open receivers deep down the field for chunk plays off play-action. Blake Bortles does not look capable of doing that right now, and the Jaguars have waited around on him long enough now.

It was very telling that Jacksonville chose to leave many of their starters in – including Allen Robinson – when Chad Henne entered the game last night. The Jags can’t afford to waste the efforts of their talented defense anymore. Unfortunately, Henne isn’t going to win them a Super Bowl, but he can earn them a couple more wins.

If Henne gets the nod Week 1, the Jags go over (-165) their 6.5 win total for the 2017 season. If they stick with Bortles, take the value on the under (+135).

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