Jadeveon Clowney was right.
At least, for one day he was.
The South Carolina Gamecocks great offered a harsh commentary of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles after a Houston Texans game against the Jags this season. Although Bortles’ team won a playoff game over the Buffalo Bills Sunday, he didn’t have much to do with the positive outcome.
In fact, Bortles performed so poorly in the 10-3 victory, many people on social media brought up Clowney’s commentary, saying he was accurate with his criticism of Bortles after their Dec. 17 game.
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Following that contest, a 45-7 rout won by the Jaguars, Clowney had a terse response when asked about Bortles.
“Trash,” is what Clowney said when asked if Bortles had improved.
The Houston Texans Pro Bowl defensive end/linebacker is known for his hard hits, and this was a particularly powerful blow. While the timing of the comment was questionable, Bortles completed 21 of 29 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns in the blowout win, Clowney was vindicated Sunday in the minds of many who watched the low-scoring game.
Bortles struggled mightily in the first-round NFL playoff game against the Bills. The quarterback taken with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, two spots after Clowney was selected with the first pick, ran for more yards than he passed for in Jacksonville’s 10-3 victory.
Bortles went 12-for-23, passing for a meager 87 yards (an average of 3.8 yards per completion) and a woeful 58.6 QBR. The strong-armed Bortles, who isn’t know for his mobility, rushed for 88 yards.
While Clowney’s comment was inflammatory in NFL locker rooms, it went viral as well. In fact, Jaguar fans were so upset they taunted Clowney by delivered literal trash cans to the Rock Hill native. Clowney responded by filling those trash cans and “an entire truck” with toys to donate to a Houston homeless shelter.
Clowney wasn’t the only high-profile defensive player to criticize Bortles this season. Seattle safety Earl Thomas and Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict also ripped the quarterback in the past two months.
In spite of his poor performance, Bortles will get another chance to prove Clowney, and his supporters on social media, wrong.
Bortles’ Jaguars will play at Pittsburgh against the Steelers next weekend. Clowney, meanwhile, can only watch as he continues to recover from minor arthroscopic knee surgery as his Texans were eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago.