Jacksonville fight
Junior Browne  |  Thu 29th Nov   | NFL

At this time last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars had an attitude and swagger that was well deserved. All of that is gone and what’s left is a team that will return to the playoffs this season.

What a difference a year makes

On January 14th, the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 45-42 to advance to the AFC Championship game. It was the second time that in a few months that the Jags went into Heinz Field and beat the Steelers.

At the time they looked like the team of the future in the AFC. One week later they almost became the team of the present when they almost beat the New England Patriots on the road to advance to the SuperBowl.

Less than a year later, they’re yesterday’s news.

Gone is the mighty Sacksonville defense from a year ago. Where they’ve gone is anybody’s guess but they aren’t playing in Jacksonville this season.

Blake Bortles is on the bench.

It’s the second time this season he’s lost his starting job and this time it looks like it could be permanent. He’s the person that has received most of the blame for any ineptitude they have shown offensively for the past few years and the truth is he’s deserved all of it.

When the news broke that the Jags had fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, the consensus around the league is that he is the victim of Bortles shortcomings.

It’s hard to design a creative offense when you’re QB shows no evidence of being able to make throws.

Drafting Fournette so high was a mistake

Leonard Fournette is a very good running back. When the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted him 4th overall, they past up the chance to draft Patrick Maholmes.

What’s worse is that two pick later, their division rivals the Houston Texans also got themselves a franchise quarterback when they took DeShaun Watson.

The reason they did this is simple, they believed in Blake Bortles. The real question for Jacksonville is why?

After the 2016 season in which Bortles lead his team to a 3-13 record, the Jacksonville Jaguars respond by picking a running back 4th overall in a draft that had Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara still available in the third round.

Even if you believed in Bortles, the evidence you had to go by wasn’t enough to justify not picking up any reinforcements.

The Kansas City Chiefs finished 12-4 in 2016 compared to Jacksonville’s 3-13. The Chiefs had Alex Smith at quarterback who is much more accomplished than Bortles.

When you think about the fact that the Chiefs had enough insight to see that if they wanted to take the next step as an offense, they needed a more talented quarterback than Alex Smith, it makes you wonder what on earth the Jacksonville front office is doing.

Anyone saying that they believed in Bortles because they thought that this defense would be enough to carry them through is living in the past.

This NFL is built on offensive firepower.

People will point to the Legion of Boom winning the SuperBowl, conveniently ignoring Russell Wilson’s ridiculous talent level or Pete Carol’s coaching ability.

Wilson lead the NFL in touchdowns last year something Bortles could never do.

Blake Bortles isn’t the only reason for the Jaguars downfall, he’s just the poster boy of the Jaguars front office failures.

Junior Browne