JACKSONVILLE – A big victory in a big game. Really big.
A couple of quick reactions, with one being that Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was so beyond impressive in a 31-20 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday that you wonder if it might take a step toward changing the national narrative about him. Probably not, but it should.
Another quick reaction:
The Jaguars' coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for an aggressive offensive game plan that stayed that way through the third and fourth quarters. Credit the Jaguars' defensive game plan, too: tight end Rob Gronkowski was never a factor, catching two passes for 15 yards. It wasn't cornerback Jalen Ramsey covering "Gronk" all over the field; rather, it was safety Tashaun Gipson much of the game, with a variety of coverages once the Patriots got near the red zone.
Remember this, too:
While the Patriots cut into the lead in the second half, this game was never close. The Jaguars led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and the Patriots never cut the lead under 11 points after that.
Yes, as players and coaches said, this was just a regular-season victory and it was just Week 2 – not the playoffs. But this was a big-time victory against a big-time opponent.
Let's get to it…
Mark from Archer, FL
I feel bad for Blake Bortles because even though he had a great game people are going to point to the one interception. That pick was not his fault that ball should have been caught instead it was tipped and picked off. If Bortles plays like that every week we will be going to and winning the Super Bowl.
Yeah, there will be people criticize Bortles for the interception, but people who know football will have watched that game Sunday and realized Bortles played at a high level. I wouldn't feel too sorry for Bortles, though. He hasn't cared much about criticism for a long time. I can't imagine he'll care this week.
Deadzone Darling from Philly
Still no love for the Jags. This is borderline infuriating. I can't wait til this game ends and the Patriots go home with a big "L". And for good measure one NOT fer Adam Schein. That guy's a real knucklehead and big-time jerk.
This was not the much-anticipated, mega-ballyhooed First Email of the Game because this was sent before the game. So, yeah … one not fer Adam Schein. I guess.
John from Section 116
Great start for us because Pats chose to receive.
This was the real First Email of the Game. John was right, as it turned out.
Damon from America's Finest City
We don't have a No. 1 receiver? I strongly disagree. He wears No. 84 and his name is Keelan Cole. Get this man the ball!
Cole absolutely looked like a No. 1 receiver for a series in the first quarter. And Donte Moncrief looked like a No. 1 receiver for a few plays on the previous series. And Dede Westbrook looked like one in the fourth quarter. My guess is that's going to be how this receiving corps looks a lot this season, and that's by design.
Renee from Duuvaal
Hey John. Changing of a dynasty? GO JAGS!!!
Let's not go that far yet. This was Week 2. I think the Jaguars have a good chance of going to the postseason this season and Sunday sure didn't hurt on that front. But if they do get there, I have a feeling the Patriots will be around, too.
Shane from Atlanta, GA
Never a doubt.
This was sent early in the third quarter. I didn't quite believe it then. I believed it a lot more after defensive end Dante Fowler Jr.'s strip-sack-recovery in the fourth quarter.
Josh from Harrisburg, PA
John, I broke my pinky toe this morning. I have nine others available if that is what it takes for this team to look this good.
I'll check into this.
Wilfredo from Corpus Christi, TX
That has to be, hands down, one of the best Jaguars drives I have ever seen! What a catch! What a way to get yards after the catch! What a bomb and catch into the end zone! Go Jags!!!
This came after Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole's first-quarter touchdown reception, a drive that he started with a mind-blowing 22-yard one-handed reception that will go down as one of the most memorably catches in franchise history. It indeed was a phenomenal drive. It gave the Jaguars a 14-0 lead. It set the tone.
Kris from Neenah, WI
No question, just a statement. Somebody put some respect on his name. Blake Bortles played his heart out.
Frankie from London, UK
He has flaws and he'll likely always have flaws as a quarterback but that was some of the best football I've seen from Blake. Outstanding plays both from Bortles and called by offensive coordinator Nate Hackett.
Yes. I doubt one game will change the lingering perception that this isn't a good offense. It was a silly perception all offseason; the Jaguars' offense ranked fifth in points and sixth in total yards last season, after all. It seemed really silly after Sunday.
Nick from Panama City, FL
So, how'd the game go?
It was a-ight.