Gus Bradley: Jaguars sticking with Blake Bortles despite struggles

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Quarterback Blake Bortles hasn't played well this season, but the Jacksonville Jaguars are sticking with the player they drafted third overall in 2014.

Coach Gus Bradley said Monday -- a day after his struggling quarterback played one of his worst games of the season in a loss to Oakland -- that he's not considering benching Bortles for Chad Henne or rookie Brandon Allen.

"I firmly, firmly believe in Blake Bortles," Bradley said. "Without a doubt. I think it was a challenging day yesterday about some of the situations we were in, but as far as the competitor ... and what he brings to this team, there is no doubt [about Bortles]."

Bortles completed 23 of 43 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions in the Jaguars' 33-16 loss to the Raiders at EverBank Field.

One of those interceptions came when he threw into triple coverage in the end zone on the Jaguars' second possession of the game. Bortles also was intercepted late in the fourth quarter when a low throw bounced off Allen Robinson's hands and Raiders safety Reggie Nelson grabbed the ball before it hit the ground.

That was Bortles' ninth interception of the season, which is tied with Jameis Winston for the third most in the NFL this season.

What happened against the Raiders has been happening all season. Bortles looks nothing like the quarterback who set franchise records in passing yards (4,428) and passing touchdowns (35) in 2015. His mechanics are sloppier, his long windup looks like it did when he was a rookie before he spent an offseason working with throwing coach Tom House, and he's holding the ball too low (a big reason for two fumbles).

He also hasn't improved his accuracy. He's completing less than 60 percent of his passes and he's off target on too many easy throws. Bortles has thrown nine touchdown passes and nine interceptions and has 11 turnovers in six games. Plus, he also is the NFL's worst third-down passer: 49.2 percent completions, one touchdown, six interceptions and a 9.0 QBR.

Bortles, who said after Sunday's loss that his confidence isn't shaken, has been victimized by drops this season, including two balls that bounced off Robinson's hands that were intercepted (the first came in the end zone against Chicago in Week 6).

Robinson said benching Bortles would be ridiculous, and the coach is not happy to hear Bortles being booed the way he was on Sunday at EverBank Field.

"When you hear the atmosphere of when we step out on the field, when we go to punt or before halftime when Blake takes a knee and you hear the booing, it's kind of funny to me," Robinson said. "It's funny that we get our best home-field advantage when we go to Wembley [Stadium].

"At the end of the day, it is what it is. People from the outside are going to make their opinions. Again, as an offense we're struggling. Not just Blake struggling. Not just I am struggling. As a whole, we're struggling. This is a team thing. At the end of that people are going to say what they want to say."