The biggest storyline of the NFL playoffs has been the vast gulf of talent between Tom Brady the quarterback of the White Hand of Saruman and the 3 mere mortals that are leading the other 3 team’s offenses. I agree that Nick “Just do Nick” Foles is a bit of a disaster artist. I don’t agree that Case Keenum is as awful as people think he is after all the man has survived multiple years under Jeff Fisher and is still able to grasp utensils. Where I really take umbrage is with the inclusion of the North Floridian wonder that is Blake Bortles in this discussion of how awful the other QBs are.
It’s the in thing today to be in the anti-Bortles camp, since the beginning of the year when he was benched during pre-season and with last year’s sub par performance everyone’s been calling for his head. How bad have things gotten that Chris Simms a man who in his seven years in the league threw LESS (12) touchdowns than Bortles has this season (21) is constantly calling for his head. Chris Simms calling out Blake Bortles is the equivalent of Trump calling out George W Bush, yeah they both had the same job and neither of them are gonna go up on mount rushmore but one is waaaaaay worse at it an the other one. I guess ultimately the point I’m trying to make is that Blake Bortles isn’t that bad. He’s been bad before especially last year but in his fourth year in the league I’d say he’s a perfectly fine NFL QB and his ceiling still hasn’t been reached.
The NFL is weird in that players are judged on what they’ve done recently except for when a player is type cast into whatever the majority of the “cool club” thinks. This can work either in favor or against a player, there’s been so many players throughout the years that have stuck around the league a lot longer than they had any right to only because they had that one crazy season (DeAngelo Hall, Peyton Hillis) but there’s also players who got the stink on em and never got out from underneath it. This year they tried to do it to Blake Bortles. I don’t understand how people would go so far as to say they’d rather have Austin Davis, Brandon Weeden, Nathan Peterman, Mark Sanchez, Paxton Lynch OVER Blake is just ridiculous. Blake has thrown the ball less this year and has a higher completion percentage than ever. He’s getting better at reading defenses and has taken a step back with his gunslinger mentality and it shows in his Adjusted Net Yards per pass attempt which is the best it’s been in his career (6.21). We’re in the midst of the Blake-naissance! In the playoffs he’s had no INTs, and has beat teams with his legs but remains enough of a threat to have a few long passes per game.
But honestly who cares about statistics. Blake Bortles has handled the pressures of everyone calling for his head and calling him a bum with the self awareness of a guy who realizes how lucky he is to be a professional athlete and that the majority of people who are calling for his head wouldn’t be better at his job than he was. Tom Brady is the 1% percent, he’s married to a supermodel, he’s incredibly wealthy, he’s a psychopath who is still obsessed with the fact that he sucked in college and thinks people still doubt him. Blake Bortles doesn’t care about the media, when asked about criticism he’s facing his answer was “There's people who think Lebron James sucks..so if that happens, I'm sure there will always be people who always think I suck” . I LOVE THAT. Brady also is a snake oil salesmen who hates tomatoes for some reason. He’s a loon, a loon with a trump hat in his locker room. I can’t support this man. Tom Brady’s advice consists of “don’t wear sunscreen” and “elongate your body when you’re getting contact” and Bortle’s is “Try to throw it to your team as much as possible”. Blake Bortles is a fan of jean shorts, has spent his entire life in Florida and barely played in the snow for the first time THIS year. When asked what he would do for a living if he wasn’t a pro QB his answer was “Probably construction, ripping cigs.” Do you think Brady would answer that? Brady would probably go work for a hedge fund, the worst kind of phoniest money grabbing hedge-fund, the type of hedge fund that invests in “farm-to-table sustainable home delivery on the blockchain” type of companies and he’d STILL end up being loaded. Blake Bortles is a normal guy, who just happens to be a super gifted athlete and it’s that reason alone that makes him worth cheering for.
Blake Bortles is Frodo, Leonard Fournette is Samwise Gamgee and his Defense is the rest of the Fellowship. Clearly Frodo is not as strong as the others but he’s the one carrying the ring and is ultimately the one who must cast it into Mt Doom. Blake is not the strongest or best part of his team, but he’s ultimately the one that’s gotta climb that mountain, and I trust that he will. Then he’ll go back to his shire and drink some bud light while fishing off his porch into the swamp. You gonna cheer for the underpowered, lucky, charming everyman or are you gonna cheer for the freak of nature Uruk who is obsessed with receiving acclaim? I think the choice is pretty clear.