Can Bortles beat the Steelers with his arm?

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The Steelers, after being shredded by running back Leonard Fournette in the regular-season loss to the Jaguars, will be doing their damnedest to stop him on Sunday. But if they sell out to bottle up the rookie who ran over, around, and through the Steel Curtain for 181 yards in October, that could open up other opportunities for Jacksonville.

Specifically, it would operate as an engraved invitation to Blake Bortles to beat the Steelers with his arm.

Most would say he can’t. And most may end up being right. But remember the last time the Steelers dared an inaccurate passer to beat them in the postseason? Steelers fans definitely do. As does every Tebowmaniac in creation.

Six years and four days ago, the 8-8 Broncos hosted the 12-4 Steelers in the wild-card round. Tim Tebow, whose sporadic completions seemed often to be the product of divine coincidence, connected on 10 of 21 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns in the Denver overtime win.

And the win came on the first play from scrimmage in the extra session, when Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas for an 80-yard catch and run.

Bortles may have a chance to unleash a similar performance, if Pittsburgh decides to do to the Jaguars the same thing they tried to do to Denver, unsuccessfully, in early 2012.

28 responses to “Can Bortles beat the Steelers with his arm?

  1. You never know what you are getting with Bortles. Any given week he can be either an elite looking QB or have you scratching your head of why he is even in the NFL. It’s exhausting as a Jags fan, but I’ve seen what good Blake can do. If good Blake shows up, my Jags have a chance. If not, better hope that defense plays like they did earlier this year or it won’t end well for us.

  2. “if they sell out to bottle up the rookie who ran over, around, and through the Steel Curtain for 181 yards in October”

    I would say it was more like an “aluminum foil curtain” that game.

  3. If Bortles throws anywhere near the way he did last week against Buffalo (save for the one nice TD pass),the Jags are toast. He couldn’t even throw a 5-yarder with accuracy.

  4. Bortles does have the skill set to shock the Steelers in the playoffs this Sunday … Question is always the same … Does Bortles feel Confident and which Bortles is gonna show up on Sunday ?

  5. He was 3 games on and 3 games off during the season. He’s had 3 bad games in a row preceded by 3 great games. Did Tom Coughlin plan this out?

  6. Pats fans better hope the Steelers stumble. But, the Titans may upset if the Pats overlook them too much.

  7. Do mice bark? I saw the Bills game and I didn’t think any quarterback was that bad-this man has no feel for football especially the quarterback position!

  8. I find the good Blake/bad Blake narrative funny. Good Blake has Allen Robinson, Allen hurns, and marquis lee. Bad Blake has Dede Westbrook, jay mickens, 2 dudes who get jammed up on the line so all Blake does is overthrow them when the taller guys might be able to make a play. That said, Tim Tebow is the second best broken play quarterback alive today behind Russell Wilson and Bortles isn’t the athlete he is. Tebow would win this game, Bortles will not.

  9. Fournette didn’t run “over, around and through” the Steelers in Week 5. Yes, he had 181 yards, 1 TD on 28 carries which, of course, is an incredible stat line. But considering that outside of his 1 touchdown run of 90 (maybe 91?) yards, a stat line of 90ish yards on 27 carries is not overly impressive.

    So you can say he ran “over, around and through” the Steelers on 1 play (after the game was well in hand) 13-14 weeks ago, sure, but ultimately a ~3.4 yd/carry performance is just “eh”.

    Could be different on Sunday without Shazier, but the Jags outplayed the Steelers in their first meeting on roughly 6 plays – 5 of them by their defense.

  10. Bortles reminds me of Drew Bledsoe. There were games Drew was simply fantastic and others where everything he did made you cringe and scream at him on the TV. Getting any consistency was the problem.

  11. Funny how the NFL loves replaying that “immaculate extension” thing from AB — which wasn’t even a playoff game — while deep sixing that time Tebow blew up the Steelers in OT.

  12. The question is: can the Jags’ D stop the Steelers? If they can’t it doesn’t matter what Bortles does with his arm. Steelers will out-gun them.

  13. FatBaba says:
    January 12, 2018 at 12:55 pm
    I think Ben will have more interceptions than Bortles.


    For that to happen the Steelers would need a reason to throw it. If they get a lead with Bell running the ball they won’t throw it much. The Steelers just didn’t respect the Jags last time. This time they will play them more like they play Baltimore traditionally. Keep it close, take FGs and let the Jags beat themselves. Don’t force anything.

    For the Jags to have success they need to play from the lead. They should come out slinging it and roll Bortles out and try to get the lead early while the Steelers are expecting the run.

  14. zenofobe says:
    January 12, 2018 at 1:57 pm
    The question is: can the Jags’ D stop the Steelers? If they can’t it doesn’t matter what Bortles does with his arm. Steelers will out-gun them.


    Trying to outgun the Jags is how Ben throws 3 picks and loses. Take what they give you and win it 13-3 or something. That’s a better way.

  15. Bortles is incredibly streaky. He could luck into a hot streak and beat anybody at any time. There are times he makes great decisions and great throws. His problem is consistency. Can he do that for an entire game? Can he do that for several games in a row? The answer, based on past results, is sometimes and rarely respectively.

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