NFL Football

Blake Bortles rallies Jaguars past Dolphins 17-7

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)


AP Sports Writer

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Weeks after losing his job, Blake Bortles stepped back into the Jacksonville Jaguars huddle with the score tied and the offense sputtering.

"He said, `Let's go, boys, I'm back,'" teammate Dede Westbrook said.

Bortles came off the bench late in the third quarter and provided a spark Sunday, helping Jacksonville eliminate the Miami Dolphins from the AFC playoff race by winning 17-7 .

Bortles took the Jaguars 51 yards for a short field goal and 10-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. On the next series, Telvin Smith Sr. intercepted Ryan Tannehill and scored on a 33-yard return to seal the Jaguars' victory.

"To get the opportunity to go play with those guys and share a win with them is awesome," Bortles said.

The Dolphins (7-8) will sit out the playoffs for the 15th time in the past 17 years.

"We're on the outside looking in," defensive tackle Akeem Spence said, "and it stinks."

Miami will finish at .500 or worse for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons, leaving the jobs of coach Adam Gase and top executives in jeopardy.

Play-caller Gase acknowledged his offense was terrible.

"It was brutal to watch, to be a part of," he said.

Jacksonville (5-10) won for only the second time in the past 11 games.

Jaguars starter Cody Kessler bruised his throwing shoulder when hit as he threw a pass and left the game late in the first half. He returned to begin the third quarter, but after being sacked for a fifth time was replaced again by Bortles.

Coach Doug Marrone said he made the change because he thought Bortles' superior mobility would help against Miami's stout pass rush. Marrone declined to say which quarterback will start the season finale next Sunday, and Bortles declined to lobby for the assignment.

"I just work here, man," he said. "I signed up for three years, and until those three years are up or they let me go, I'll play when they need me."

Bortles finished 5 of 6 for 39 yards, and ran four times for 25 yards . The third overall pick in the 2014 draft, he lost the starting job to Kessler in Week 13.

"He gave us a huge lift," Westbrook said. "It felt like old times again."

After Bortles helped the Jags take the lead, their defense provided the exclamation point. Tannehill had a first down at his 32 when he pumped and threw off his back foot. Smith stepped in front of the intended receiver and scored untouched.

"Don't think you're going to chase me down and tackle me when I got the rock," Smith said.

Tannehill said the primary receiver was covered and he forced a pass elsewhere.

"Got to be smart there and throw the ball away," Tannehill said.

Tannehill went 15 of 22 for 146 yards with one touchdown.

There was no miracle reminiscent of the Dolphins' previous home game, when they beat New England with a double lateral on the final play. An attempted double pass in the closing minutes went haywire and resulted in a holding penalty.

The two offenses surprisingly traded touchdowns on their opening drives, which covered 78 and 75 yards, but then resumed their season-long sputtering ways. Each team committed 10 penalties.

Calais Campbell led the Jaguars' defensive charge with a forced and recovered fumble, a sack, two tackles for a loss and three quarterback hurries.


Miami and Jacksonville took turns showing why their records aren't better. Kessler lost a fumble cocking his arm to throw, but the Dolphins failed to capitalize on the gift, missing a field goal.

The Dolphins allowed a long punt return to give the Jaguars a chance at a 56-yard field goal on the final play of the first half, but Kai Forbath's kick fell short of the 20-yard line.

Campbell's takeaway gave the Jaguars a scoring chance at the Miami 17, but three plays later they were at their own 47 and punted.


Jaguars: T Josh Wells left the game in the second quarter with a concussion.

Dolphins: Reserve DT Ziggy Hood hurt his hamstring.


The Dolphins close the season Sunday when they try for a series sweep at Buffalo. Miami beat the Bills in Week 13.

The Jaguars conclude their season Sunday at the Texans, who won when the teams met in Week 7.


More AP NFL: and


Follow Steven Wine on Twitter:

Updated December 23, 2018

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Teams Score Time
American League
Baltimore   4:10pm
Chicago   7:40pm
Kansas City   10:07pm
National League
San Diego   7:40pm
Washington   7:45pm
St. Louis  
Cincinnati   8:05pm
New York   8:40pm
Miami   9:40pm
Teams Score Time
Cleveland   8:15pm
New York  
Teams Score Time
Florida   4:30pm
Boston   7:00pm
New Jersey  
Chicago   7:00pm
New Jersey   7:00pm
New York   7:00pm
Pittsburgh   7:00pm
Florida   8:00pm
St. Louis   8:30pm
Vancouver   9:00pm
Winnipeg   9:00pm
Calgary   10:00pm
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9