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How do Jaguars fix Blake Bortles quarterback conundrum as they prepare for Wembley return?

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-10-27 02:15:31

The Jacksonville Jaguars are sticking with Blake Bortles as starting quarterback at Wembley on Sunday.

Not that the Jaguars' faith in Blake is particularly convincing, nor deserved. Bortles has turned the ball over 11 times already this season, and over Jacksonville's three-game losing streak on arrival in London, Bortles threw four interceptions - and lost a fumble - against the Kansas City Chiefs, had another against the Dallas Cowboys and was benched after fumbling twice against the Houston Texans.

It's all a far cry from the quarterback who led the Jaguars all the way to the AFC Championship last year - felled by the New England Patriots one game shy of the Super Bowl - and who tossed four touchdowns in a Week Two revenge win over Tom Brady and co earlier this year.

Highlights of the Patriots against the Jaguars in week two of the NFL

So, why the sudden slump? What is going wrong?

Former NFL defensive coach Rob Ryan tells Sky Sports the answer lies in Bortles' throwing fundamentals. "I have a coaching friend of mine who is a quarterback guru in the NFL, and he has noticed a change," says Ryan. "Last year, the Jags did a great job of emphasising fundamentals to Bortles. Bringing the ball up, keeping it by his chin and being able to execute a perfect throw that way."

"But you have to stay on the young man, because in the past he has had problems with his fundamentals. This year, he is back to his old habits - he is dropping the ball down by his waist, and then his throws are sailing on him after he takes a big wind up."

Meanwhile, from Takeo Spikes' perspective - a quarterback hunter during a 15-year NFL career as a linebacker - Bortles' struggles are also mental.

"After the fundamentals, there's an obvious lack of confidence," adds Takeo. "When you see a quarterback turn the ball over as much as Bortles has done, as a defensive player, I want to see into your eyes, see your mindset.

"I can see through the fake chatter that you're coming out with, trying to convince your team-mates. He is hurt from a confidence standpoint, and that's something that really shows from his eyes.

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