Blake Bortles' debut in Jacksonville was impressive as the Jaguars opened the preseason with a 16-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at EverBank Field.
The third overall pick in May's NFL Draft completed 7 of his 11 passes for 117 yards in his first game in a Jaguars uniform. He entered the game midway through the second quarter and connected with Allen Hurns on a 24-yard pass.
“It's an honor. It's a blessing. I couldn't be more excited and happy to be here playing in Jacksonville and have an opportunity to step out there with my teammates tonight," Bortles told News4Jax from the sideline during the game.
Bortles also found Mike Brown for a 31-yard completion that led to a field goal in the third quarter.
“I think I played alright. Obviously there's still room for improvement," Bortles said. "There's footwork things that I know I didn't do right. A couple of bad balls here and there. But I think for the most part it was a successful night as an offense. We'll try and continue to grow and get better.”
Denard Robinson broke a 10-10 tie with a 23-yard touchdown run with 6:27 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Jacksonville also scored on Winston Guy Jr.'s 68-yard interception return in the first quarter (pictured).
“Defensively, we want to be able to go after the football, so to make a great play like that early on in the preseason, that's a great motivator for us," LB Paul Posluszny told News4Jax after the game. “Our defensive front played really well early on, and we were able to make some big plays because of it. That's something that we need to continue to do throughout the season.”
Tampa Bay's first-team offense sputtered while playing into the second quarter. In addition to throwing the interception that was returned for a TD, Josh McCown was sacked twice and lost a fumble.
Chad Henne started for the Jaguars and played four series before being replaced by Bortles, who has yet to take a snap with Jacksonville's first-team offense in training camp.
The rookie received a nice ovation from the announced crowd of 59,100 at EverBank Field before completing his first pass for 24 yards to Hurns.
The Jaguars played without starting running back Toby Gerhart and receivers Cecil Shorts III and Allen Robinson.
The Jaguars are back in action next Thursday when they go on the road to face the Chicago Bears.