JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars are going back to quarterback Blake Bortles for the season finale at Houston this Sunday.

Coach Doug Marrone made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, citing Bortles’ athletic means behind a struggling offensive line as a significant purpose for selecting Bortles over Cody Kessler, who had began the final 4 video games.

“We simply really feel like his mobility will give us a greater likelihood towards clearly a really powerful group,” Marrone stated.

The Texans (10-5) can clinch the AFC South — and presumably a first-round bye or home-field benefit in the playoffs relying on the outcomes of different video games — with a victory over the Jaguars (5-10) at NRG Stadium. This will probably be Bortles’ first begin since Nov. 25, when he threw for 127 yards and a landing with two interceptions in the Jaguars’ 24-21 loss at Buffalo.

That was the fourth time in six video games that Bortles had failed to attain 150 passing yards, and Marrone benched him and fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett the subsequent day. Kessler, whom the Jaguars acquired in an offseason commerce with Cleveland for a conditional seventh-round choose, began the subsequent 4 video games. He threw for 553 yards, one landing and one interception, and was sacked 18 instances in that stretch. The Jaguars went 2-2 in these video games, although Bortles relieved Kessler late in the third quarter of final Sunday’s sport towards Miami and led the Jaguars to a game-winning area purpose.

The Jaguars’ offensive line has been a multitude a lot of the second half of the season due to accidents. 4 of the group’s 5 starters in the season opener are actually on injured reserve, and two of the present starters are gamers that weren’t with the group till October.

Bortles is a significantly better athlete and runner than Kessler and is at the moment sixth on the group’s all-time speeding record with 1,760 yards. He’s considered one of 4 gamers in NFL historical past to move for no less than 15,000 yards and rush for no less than 1,500 yards in their first 5 seasons. Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Jeff Garcia are the others.

Bortles getting the beginning doubtless would not change the franchise’s determination to transfer on from him after the season. He is performed poorly this season and leads the NFL in turnovers (93) and interceptions (74) since he entered the league in 2014 because the third general choose. Whereas he is also second in franchise historical past in passing yards (17,539) and passing touchdowns (103) in 72 begins, his maddening inconsistency is making the franchise begin over on the place.

Bortles doubtless will probably be launched in the offseason, simply 11 months after he agreed to a three-year, $54 million contract extension with $26.5 million assured. He carries a wage cap determine of $21 million and a lifeless cap determine of $16.5 million in 2019. The Jaguars (5-10) are anticipated to draft a quarterback with their first choose — and doubtlessly signal a free agent to be a bridge quarterback as effectively.

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