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Pre-Game Recon: Is Blake Bortles Improving?

Ryan Day from our sister site, Big Cat Country, takes some time to answer all of our burning questions on his beloved Jacksonville Jaguars before this Sunday's divisional showdown.

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

1. Here we are in year two for Blake Bortles. What are your early impressions of him this season?

I like Bortles. He scared me his rookie year, but he had an incredibly strong preseason and while he's still making mistakes this year, they're limited. But above all that, he's making great throws. Yes, a lot of his yardage is coming at the expense of defensive backs losing out on jump balls to Allen Robinson. However, you look at his pocket presence, his poise, his willingness to make a second or third read before just tucking and running -- he's greatly improved and is showing himself to be worth the No. 3 overall pick.

2. Julius Thomas finally returned from his finger injury last week. How did he look, and what do you expect from him this Sunday?

He looked okay. Bortles missed him down the sidelines on what would have been a touchdown. He was a gametime decision and because of that he had limited snaps and not much scheme around him. This week, offensive coordinator Greg Olson has had a lot more time to think about how to use him. I expect a breakout game and I expect it to be very apparent very quickly why we went after him as hard as we did in free agency.

3. What would you say the Jaguars' greatest weakness on defense?

The middle of the field, without a doubt. Even with Paul Posluszny likely back at middle linebacker, he's awful in pass coverage. If Brian Hoyer has enough time, and your receivers run enough patterns over the middle, you'll get big gains.

4. How about a weakness on offense?

Our offensive line, specifically left guard Zane Beadles, has been on a downward trend. They gave up six sacks last week and Beadles was the worst offender. They've also been inconsistent in run blocking too, and with T.J. Yeldon as a gametime decision -- and Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart as our only legitimate options -- I'd say you have some opportunities there.

5. What is your prediction for the game this Sunday?

I think it'll be a low-scoring game. For some reason, the Jaguars just always play to their opponents, and because we're playing a lackluster offense in the Texans this week, I could see the total being under 40. But I think Jacksonville wins. Give me Jaguars 19, Texans 17.

A big thank you to Ryan for stopping by. You can catch his work as well as other excellent pieces on all things Jaguars over at Big Cat Country.

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