The Jacksonville Jaguars sure aren’t lacking confidence under head coach Gus Bradley these days.
Soon-to-be third-year quarterback Blake Bortles is just the latest representation of this. The former top-three pick gave what amounted to nothing less than a subjective opinion regarding his team’s wide receiver situation.
When posed with the question about which squad had the top receiver duo in the league, Bortles told the NFL Network this his young pair is the best around:
“I’d say they’re No. 1. They’re special, man.”
They being youngsters Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns who combined for 144 receptions, 2,431 yards and 24 touchdowns last season.
When compared to some of the best receiver tandems in the NFL, these two are right there statistically.
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker of the New York Jets led in these specific categories with 189 receptions for 2,529 yards and 26 scores.
Though, stats don’t come close to telling us the entire story here.
“A-Rob (Robinson) is obviously the guy that can go downfield, can jump and can make the big play,” Bortles continued. “And (Allen) Hurns is Mr. Reliable, doesn’t drop a whole lot of balls, is always in the right place at the right time. And they work well together, they feed off of each other, they root for one another. So it’s pretty cool to see, to watch them grow and grow with them as an offensive unit.”
Would we expect anything else from a player that’s turned into a team leader in an incredibly short period of time?
Looking at it objectively, there are issues with Bortles’ claim.
Robinson and Hurns combined to see 256 targets a season ago, coming down with a catch 56 percent of the time. Those aren’t great numbers right there. To compare for a second, Marshall and Decker caught 62 percent of the passes thrown in their direction last season.
Also a factor here, Jacksonville ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in red-zone efficiency last season. And while their skill-position players were fantasy football juggernauts, the team finished 14th in the league in scoring.
The confidence is real from Bortles here. It just seems he’s living in fantasy-land with the rest of a Jaguars fan base that’s dying for this team to become relevant once again.