London Fletcher: Protection Has Been Issue For Bortles

The Jacksonville Jaguars have one of the youngest, most talented teams in the NFL, which is why many analysts predicted they would contend for a division crown in a mediocre AFC South this season.

Well, if they lose Thursday in Tennessee, they’ll be 2-5 and will likely miss the playoffs for the ninth straight year.

That’s pretty disappointing, no?

“I would agree with you as far as them being disappointing,” That Other Pre-Game Show host London Fletcher said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “You look at the season that Bortles, Hurns and Robinson had, you think this team, that offense, that trio, they’re going to hit the ground running this season. But it hasn’t taken place.”

One year after throwing for 35 touchdowns, Bortles has thrown for just nine through six games. He also has nine interceptions, while Robinson, who is coming off a 1,400-yard, 14-touchdown campaign, has just 296 yards and three scores.

Jacksonville, which started 0-3, barely eked out a win against the woeful Bears and looked helpless against the Raiders this past Sunday, failing to reach the end zone until the fourth quarter and ultimately losing 33-16.

“Protection has been the issue for Bortles,” Fletcher said. “He’s still getting hit a lot. He’s still turning the football over too much. Nine interceptions, only nine TD passes. (I’m) definitely disappointed that this unit has not played better, particularly those three guys.”

The defense, meanwhile, ranks ninth in yards but 26th in scoring (26.7). That shouldn’t happen with Malik Jackson, Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler and Myles Jack, among others.

“You get those guys and your defense is still not playing well,” Fletcher said. “It’s mind-boggling. Gus (Bradley) has a defensive background and this unit is not playing well. Eventually somebody has to take the blame. I’m sure the Jacksonville management is looking closely at that.”

Bradley is 14-40 in three-plus seasons in Jacksonville.

While Jacksonville has underachieved, so too have the Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1) – despite the fact that they have just one loss.

“I think it’s been a disservice to what the Seahawks have done to Russell Wilson with the offensive line they have in front of him,” Fletcher said. “They’re atrocious. When I look at that offensive line, that’s not an offensive line that you can say will get you to the Super Bowl. That’s really what this unit is about. This is not a team where making the playoffs, winning the division, is the goal. They’re talking about winning the Super Bowl. They took a pretty bad beatdown Sunday night (in Arizona). That’s concerning to me. You cannot trot that offensive line out there. They can’t block anybody. Nobody.”

The Seahawks will look to rebound against the Saints (2-4) in New Orleans this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The Saints rank last in the league in scoring defense, allowing 32.5 points per game.

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