The latest reports out of Pats' camp is that Blake Bortles is raving about the Patriots’ secondary. The lovers quarrel between the Patriots front office and Malcolm Butler led to some weak knees and queasy stomachs, but all became right in the world and Malcolm is staying where he belongs. Now he has a shiny new friend in Stephon Gilmore and wouldn’t you know it, the first opposing QB that the Patriots’ secondary comes up against in preseason is already singing their praises. But let’s not get too excited…
The Jaguars have been practicing with the Pats all week. Bortles took one look at the NE DBs and became starry eyed like Pepe Le Pew with comments like, “They do a lot of different things with their safeties, whether they’re sprinting guys down or staying too high and doing different stuff.”
What does that even mean, Blake?? Bortles sounds like a boxer who got knocked out in the 3rd round trying to explain what just happened to him. It would be great to drink the Kool-Aid and assume the Pats secondary are like soldiers of the Unsullied who cannot be penetrated, but we have to remember the man who is gushing all over them.
In the past 2 seasons, Bortles has a combined completion percentage of 58.7% and has thrown 34 picks. In 2016, Ninja Bortles ranked 26th in NFL passer rating, 27th in deep ball passer rating, deep ball accuracy percentage, AND passer rating without pressure. According to Sharp Football Stats, last year Bortles completed a whopping ZERO passes that traveled 35 yards or more in the air. Unfortunately for the Jags, Bortles has another thing in common with Monsieur Le Pew. They both stink.
Now in the past 2 seasons the Patriots D has gone from 17th in the NFL in passing yards against to 12th, and 20th in the league in interceptions to 15th. Slowly but surely getting stronger, but I think it’s safe to say we shouldn’t take Blake Bortles’ endorsement as the word of God. We all know the Patriots’ “bend don’t break” defensive strategy will give us heart attacks all season long regardless. I think I’ll wait for some praise from a man like Drew Brees in week 2 before I start getting too excited.