JACKSONVILLE – In front on nearlhy 70,000 fans awaiting the rematch of a playoff game stolen in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguar fan base saw their quarterback, Blake Bortles, outduel the perennial …
JACKSONVILLE – In front on nearlhy 70,000 fans awaiting the rematch of a playoff game stolen in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguar fan base saw their quarterback, Blake Bortles, outduel the perennial best player in the NFL, Tom Brady, with the precision of a surgeon as the Jaguars bested the visiting New England Patriots 31-20 Sunday afternoon at TIAA Bank Field in downtown Jacksonville.
“We’re going to enjoy this one for a short while, it’s only game two,” said Jaguars coach Doug Marrone. “Blake played with a lot of confidence today. We know what he is capable of.”
Bortles threw four touchdown passes on the scorching hot day and the Jags defense, highlighted by a strip sack by Dante Fowler of Brady that stalled a second half drive, dominated the Patriots historic offense with All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski relegated to insignficant in the game with just two passes caught.
“He (defensive back Tashaun Gipson) did an outstanding job (covering Gronkowski),” said Jaguars coach Doug Marrone. “It’s a job a lot of people in this league have had difficulty doing. I thought he did an excellent job.”
Bortles hit scoring passes to Keelan Cole, Donte Moncrief and Dede Westbrook with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins getting the fourth score. Bortles had a fourth quarter interception off a tipped pass to intended for Seferian-Jenkins.
Jacksonville got up by as much as 24-3 in the third quarter before Brady attempted to chip away at the lead only to get stymied by Fowler’s sack and fumble recovery.
Cole topped the Jaguars’ receivers with seven passes for 116 yards and a first quarter score and had a highlight reel one-handed snag prior to his touchdown for a 22 yard gain and first down.
The Jaguars return to TIAA Bank Field Sunday for a 1 p.m. kickoff with the Tennessee Titans.