- Associated Press - Sunday, October 26, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Jacksonville Jaguars won last week despite Blake Bortles’ three turnovers. They lost this week because of them.

The rookie lost a fumble and had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a 27-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

“I’m killing us,” Bortles said. “I’ve got to try to eliminate different things and get better.”

The Jaguars (1-7) dominated the first half against Miami, but trailed 10-3 at the break because of a slew of miscues.

Bortles was the main culprit, continuing a trend that started when he took over the starting job last month.

Bortles has six turnovers in the past two weeks and 13 in six games. Four of those have been interceptions returned for touchdowns.

“Obviously disappointed,” Bortles said. “I’m not going to say I’m mad at myself ‘cause that’s not going really going to help anything. Nobody cares, and it’s not going to help me do anything. You’ve just got to learn from it. You’ve got to go figure it out, start watching film and find out what you can do to try to be better.”

Bortles became the first quarterback since the New York Jets’ Geno Smith last year to have two picks returned for TDs in the same game. Smith did it against Cincinnati, also in Week 8.

“We have to come back and truly attack these things because we can’t continue in this fashion,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.

Bortles completed 18 of 34 passes for 221 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. He threw a 48-yard strike to Allen Robinson with 2:19 remaining, but it was largely overshadowed in Jacksonville’s 14th loss in the team’s past 19 games.

The Jaguars expected Bortles to make mistakes this season, especially with so many first- and second-year players around him.

But they were hoping to see more week-to-week progress. Instead, Bortles is repeating some mistakes. His first interception Sunday was eerily similar to one in last week’s 24-6 victory against Cleveland. He rolled left and threw across his body.

Louis Delmas dropped off his receiver, stepped in front of tight end Nic Jacobs and went untouched the other way for 81 yards and a 7-0 lead. Making matters worse for Jacksonville, Josh Scobee had a field goal blocked and had a 46-yarder negated by a holding penalty.

Bortles’ first interception returned for a score came after he found Cecil Shorts III for an 18-yard gain to the 5. Shorts fumbled, and teammate Allen Hurns recovered at the 1. But the play was nullified by an illegal shift. Bortles was picked off on the next play.

Bortles had another head-scratching moment later in the second quarter. He scrambled up the middle and probably should have slid. Instead, linebacker Jelani Jenkins got a clean shot and forced a fumble that Delmas recovered. The Dolphins turned that into a field goal and a 10-3 lead.

The backbreaker for Jacksonville was Brent Grimes’ 22-yard interception return early in the third, which made it 17-3.

“If it doesn’t make you mad, then something is wrong with you,” said Bortles, who also overthrew Robinson in the end zone on the first drive.

Aside from Bortles’ errors, the Jaguars played well.

Denard Robinson ran 18 times for 108 yards, becoming the first Jacksonville player to top the century mark in consecutive games since Maurice Jones-Drew in 2011. Robinson caught five passes for 82 yards.

The defense played well enough to win for the fourth consecutive week. The unit was without linebacker Paul Posluszny, cornerback Alan Ball and defensive end Andre Branch, but allowed 326 yards, held Lamar Miller to 78 yards on the ground and harassed Ryan Tannehill much of the day. Jacksonville finished with three sacks and an interception.

But much like the previous losses, Jacksonville’s passing offense didn’t do enough.

“We have to grow and we have to move forward from this,” Bradley said. “(Bortles’) mentality, his attitude and not making the same mistakes repeatedly. That’s part of growth, too. I love his attitude and mentality, but making mistakes, I think we need to look at it and find out what are his strengths. We are learning what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are and keep him more in his strength area.”


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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