Sometimes lost in the heat of the moment, is the ability to take a step back and look at other thoughts. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are names most fans don’t put in the same sentence as Blake Borltes, but maybe they can.
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been benched
One September 24th back in 2014, Tom Brady threw two interceptions (including a pick six), gave a fumble and was so bad, they lost 41-14. During that game, he was benched in the 4th quarter.
At that point, they were 2-2 had lost to the Miami Dolphins, and Brady was only completing 59% of his passes. The headlines ran the gamut from asking if this was the end of Brady, to wondering about Belichick and the New England dynasty.
After the benching, they went on to Cincinnati, blew them out 43-17 and finished the season 12-4 with home field advantage.
A little over a year later, during the third quarter of a game, Peyton Manning was benched after throwing four interceptions. He was so bad, his passer rating was 0. He completed 5-20 for a total of 35 yards. They too lost to the Chiefs, 29-13.
The Broncos were 7-1 going into that game, but then lost three more, ending their season 12-4. That last win against the San Diego Chargers was the difference between home field advantage and the #1 spot, or being the 6th seed and playing three straight on the road.
Manning threw 17 interceptions in ten games to 9 TDs, 5.1% int rate. He had a total 67.9 rating and only completed 59.8 of his passes. B-A-D.
Both New England and Denver were counted out after those benchings. The media had their quarterbacks dead and buried and fully expected their back-ups to remain the starters.
A funny thing happened tough, both teams, who suffered through a litany of injuries throughout the seasons, emerged with rings.
Down, but NOT out
I’m NOT saying Blake Bortles is Brady or Manning. Nor am I saying Doug Marrone is Belichick (he is better than Kubiak, though), only that overreactions are easy and it happens to every team, fan base and the media.
Are the injuries to Jacksonville far more severe than those to NE* and Denver? Yes, but Jacksonville is playing in a division that is lacking a dominating team to overcome.
As a reminder, the 2012 Ravens won a Super Bowl with an 11-6 season. Denver lost to their division opponents, the Chiefs and Raiders. NE* lost to Miami and the Bills.
All is not lost.
Carlos Hyde can put the run back into the run-first game plan. After the bye, Leonard Fournette and he could be a powerful 21 personnel grouping that helps the banged up offensive line and most importantly, Bortles.
With the run game back, the offense can burn more clock. This helps the defense. Not to mention, if they can be the team they were set up to be before the injury bug struck with a vengeance, they can score. When they do, that makes defenses have to pass more. Guess what?
Jacksonville is #1 against passing scores
The defense is set to defend against the pass and they do that remarkably well. When teams have to go to the air, it means less wear and tear on the defensive line to defend against the run.
If offenses can run all day and avoid the ferocious secondary, why wouldn’t they? That’s what’s happening. To make matters worse, Calais Campbell, the anchor, is dealing with a hip injury which zaps his power and now everything is a snowball.
The defense just needs some rest from the bye and a little help from the offense. His name is Hyde, Carlos Hyde and I wish he could wear the 007 number. If he can be what they hope, he’s our secret agent man.
Right now, it’s easy to panic, to want to throw Cody Kessler into London. That’s the wrong mindset.
- it’s a loser mindset. It says, you’ve conceded defeat, and don’t trust that Hyde can replace Fournette for one week. Blake has won the last three times in London. It’s a big deal playing there. Not just the time change. Tossing in an inexperienced QB into that isn’t going to change anything except disrupt the locker room even more.
- if fans (or coaches) want to enter the loser mindset, then play Tanner Lee, not Kessler. Toss him to the wolves, ride him the rest of the season and then see if drafting is the answer, or he is.
What I know is this defense, who is also banged up, can win. It just needs a little help and that can come from a run game. If fans want to enter panic mode, fine, but let’s wait until after London. Mr Hyde may actually be our Dr Jekyll on the field of play and slay those in his path.