Jalen Ramsey thinks Blake Bortles could have won Jags AFC Title
USA Today Sports
Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has made his name as one of the NFL's most outspoken and meteoric players. In a recent tirade in GQ magazine, Ramsey took aim at the Patriots and the AFC Championship Game, specifically talking about Blake Bortles and how the Jags lost because of heir conservative play calling in the second half:
Blake do what he gotta do… I think in crunch time moments, like last year's playoff game—not as a team, because we would have trusted him—but I think as an organization, we should have trusted him more to keep throwing it. We kinda got complacent and conservative. And I think that's why we lost. We started running it on first and second down, throwing it on third down, every single time we were out there. [The Patriots] caught on to that.
The Jaguars definitely tightened up their play calls after intermission--even before the half, they opted to sit on the ball with nearly a minute left rather than try to mount a drive for points going into the break. Much like the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, the overly cautious playbook allowed the Pats a chance to climb back into a game that at times looked over in the early going. Jacksonville still held a 10-point lead with under 10 minutes remaining in the game, only to fumble it away as Tom Brady rallied the Patriots into a pair of surgical touchdown drives.
But with that said, is it true Blake Bortles could have been the answer? While, knowing the outcome, allowing Bortles some more leash to work with couldn't have hurt, he could have also easily caused just as bad a result. The Jaguars--some might say correctly--seemed almost surprised by how well they performed early, and were just trying to hold onto that magic the rest of the game. Given his play throughout the regular season Bortles could possibly have dispelled that magic on his first drive. Conversely, he could have reversed the negative result, injected the Jags with some new energy, and led his team to the W. At this point, we'll never know. While I'd definitely bet against Ramsey/Bortles if I ever had the opportunity, ultimately the only way to change the debate will be a potential rematch this year.