Jaguars' Blake Bortles says season 'is the biggest nightmare possible'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The 2016 season has been a disaster for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.

He's still on pace to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns, but he also has thrown 15 interceptions (including three that were returned for touchdowns) and lost four fumbles, and the Jaguars are just 2-10.

It's not the way he expected to follow his breakout season in 2015.

"It's the biggest nightmare possible," Bortles said after Sunday's 20-10 loss to Denver in which he committed three turnovers. "But what are you going to do about it? You can't sit there in a corner and pout. You can't blame people. You can't feel sorry for yourself because I think all that's going to do is affect the way I play."

Bortles played one of the worst games of his career Sunday. He completed 19-of-42 for 181 yards with two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He ran for a touchdown but also lost a fumble late in the game that the Broncos turned into a field goal.

His quarterback rating of 37.9 was the worst of his career.

Bortles has been battling a sore shoulder for several weeks but said that didn't impact the way he played against Denver and wasn't the cause of any of his turnovers. He has 15 career multi-interception games, which is the most in the NFL since his career began in 2014.

He has thrown a pick-six in three of the last four weeks. After the interception returned for a touchdown Sunday against the Broncos, he has more career pick-sixes (11) than career victories (10).

"You can't press," Bortles said. "I think I was doing some of that early in the season and that didn't go well. You've got to stay true to what we do and what we believe in and go through the process. For me, it's obviously still trying to take care of the ball. All you can do is put your head down and continue to play as hard as you can and prepare each week."

Bortles worked hard between his first and second seasons to fix his throwing motion and footwork by spending two weeks at noted throwing coach Tom House's 3DQB academy in California. He shortened his windup, lengthened his follow-through, and cleaned up his footwork, and the improvements allowed him to set franchise records for passing yards (4,428) and passing touchdowns (35) last season.

His mechanics have slipped significantly this season, so much so that he called Adam Dedeaux, whom he worked with at 3DQB, and had him fly to Jacksonville for two days earlier this season. It has helped some, but Bortles is still struggling and throwing interceptions.

And the Jaguars aren't winning.

"It's been tough, but something that's cool about it is you get 16 opportunities, so we've got four more chances," Bortles said. "Obviously, the first 12 didn't go the way we wanted to by any means, personally or as an offense or as a team. I think everybody knows that and understands it. You've got four more chances and then a bunch of time off, so let's go try and play as well as we possibly can for four games and see what happens."