No team in the NFL has yet to prove themselves capable of slowing down Chiefs rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Jaguars might have had a shot at it today, if not for Blake Bortles.
The interest leading into the game was mostly about seeing what Mahomes could do against the Jaguars’ defense, unquestionably the best he’s faced this season. After the first drive of the game, in which Mahomes brought his team 73 yards down the field and scrambled for a touchdown, it looked like Jacksonville wouldn’t have much luck. But after that they succeeded, if not in shutting Mahomes down completely than in making him at least look human. He finished the game with 313 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. It was the emptiest he’s left a box score yet this season.
The Jaguars still managed to lose the game 30-14, without ever allowing Mahomes to throw a TD and picking him off twice. They were able to do this because their own quarterback just kept giving the game away. He finished the afternoon with four interceptions and a fumble, and each turnover came at the worst possible time.
First there was the fumble, which happened on the play immediately following the Jaguars’ first interception of the game. Bortles’s turnover killed the momentum and set Kansas City up for an easy field-goal drive that made it 13-0. Next came an embarrassing pick-six on the first play of the Jaguars’ next drive, which made the score 20-0. Bortles managed to get his team into the red zone on the next drive, but then ended it by doinking a ball of his own lineman’s head, leading to an interception in the end zone.
His third interception of the game was just as ill-timed, ending an 11-play drive that had reached the red zone.
To make things even more frustrating for the Jaguars, Bortles actually played pretty well in various spurts in the second half, tossing one touchdown late in the third quarter and running another in himself in the fourth. Maybe those drives would have meant more if he’d not killed his team so badly in the first half. Fittingly, the game ended with Bortles leading the Jags on one last drive in garbage time, which he completed by throwing a pick into the end zone.