Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is no stranger to criticism. Since he entered the league, Bortles has been a lightning rod for analysts.
Those voices have only gotten louder as the Jaguars continue to win. Bortles is definitely aware there are some out there who think the team in winning in spite of him, but he’s not going to let those critics get in his head.
Blake Bortles when asked today about criticism/silencing haters:
— Alyssa Lang (@AlyssaLang) January 10, 2018
Well, that’s a quote.
Bortles isn’t exactly wrong, either. The best players in any sport are not immune to criticism. You’ll find people who try to poke holes in LeBron James’ game. You’ll see articles every year claiming some other pitcher has wrestled away the top spot from Clayton Kershaw.
It’s foolish to put Bortles in that same category … for now … but he did perform admirably down the stretch. Over the last five games of the regular season, Bortles threw nine touchdowns against five interceptions. Some of that is due to the teams the Jaguars faced, but Bortles did perform well.
It’s also important to remember that the Jaguars don’t need Bortles to throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns every game. Their Wild Card win over the Buffalo Bills was proof of that. Bortles only threw for 87 yards and a touchdown, but that was enough to win. The team’s defense is just that good. As long as Bortles doesn’t turn the ball over, the Jaguars should make every game competitive.
Bortles isn’t at a level where he’s immune to criticism. There are still valid concerns about certain parts of his game. While those won’t go away even if the Jaguars manage to win the Super Bowl, we’re guessing Bortles will be more focused on his gaudy ring rather than what others are saying about his ability.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik