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Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles-Jaguars make statement in decisive win over Patriots

Florida Football Insiders

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is no ambiguity, now. It is not a fluke or a mistake. The Jacksonville Jaguars are clearly one of the best teams in the NFL.

And Sunday, they demonstrated by going toe-to-toe with the iconic franchise of the 2000’s, the Patriots, that they may very well be the AFC front-runner to be in the Super Bowl this season.

Yes, it’s only September, but let’s be honest: Jacksonville is tough defensively, solid offensively and they keep winning important games.

Oh, and in the process, quarterback Blake Bortles is silencing his critics, yet again.

Bortles had a fantastic Sunday going 29 – 45 for 377 yards and four touchdowns, as the Jags built a 21-3 halftime lead and never looked back.

Yes, the Patriots were trying to make a game of it, and got within 11 (24-13) on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal early in the fourth.

However, Bortles calmly got this ball to Dede Westbrook for a back-breaking score:

 

At 31-13, the issue was all but done and the Jaguars improved to 2-0 for the second straight year.

Back to the Jacksonville defense. They were as good as advertised holding a Hall of Famer Tom Brady and New England to just three first-half points. For the game New England was just 4 of 12 on third down until a garbage drive late in the game. Until their final drive/points, Brady had not surpassed 200 yards in passing.

Factor in with the game on the line early in the fourth, that Dante Fowler had a sack fumble recovery of Brady to help squash that Patriots scoring opportunity, and defensive coordinator Todd Wash and his unit have to be smiling ear-to-ear Sunday night.

Coming off a division win and two playoff victories last year, Jacksonville was hosting arguably their biggest regular-season game in 15 years Sunday. And, they rose to the occasion.

Big Time.

Bortles even added one more reminder that he can make just as many plays with his feet:

No. The Jaguars haven’t really won anything as of yet for 2018, but a clear message was sent on the second weekend of NFL play: If you’re going to win the AFC, you’re likely going to have to do it by beating the Jaguars.

Just ask New England.

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