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Blake Bortles: Elite???

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The NFL conference championships are this weekend, and there has been a lot of press surrounding the unusual slate of quarterbacks set to suit up. Three of the four quarterbacks playing this weekend are appearing in their first ever conference championship game.

Blake Bortles, quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars, enters the game with a lot of confidence after the a landmark win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend. Bortles has come alive in the second half of the NFL season, posting at least 87 yards in every game since the Jaguars’ bye. As Bortles prepares for the most important game of his career against Tom Brady’s Patriots, the question must be asked: Is he elite?

Webster’s dictionary defines elite as “a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities.” While nearly every statistic would suggest the Blake Bortles is not an elite quarterback by these standards, there is one statistic that trumps all others. The true measure of a quarterback is where he stands on the all-time quarterback yards-per-carry list of quarterbacks with at least 200 carries. Bortles is third on the list, behind only Michael Vick, Bobby Douglass, and Randall Cunningham. Tom Brady is not even close to Bortles on the list, which is frankly embarrassing for a player many consider to be the “Greatest Of All Time”. So yes, advanced metrics tell us that Blake “Teenage Mutant Ninja” Bortles is, in fact, a elite quarterback.

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