Bortles Finds Hurns on the Scramble Drill

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills traveled across the pond for a meeting on the pitch at Wembley Stadium in London. Mark Schofield fired up Game Pass once it was over to look at the Blake Bortles scramble drill.

This game made history off-the-field, as it was the first NFL game streamed live, carried by Yahoo to a worldwide audience. But on the field, the two teams gave the 84,021 fans in attendance a thrilling contest that came down to the final moments. After Jacksonville roared out to an early 27-3 lead, the Bills scored the next 28 points to take a 31-27 lead with 5:21 remaining.

On the ensuing possession, the Jaguars moved the ball down to the Buffalo 31-yard line, where they faced a 2nd and 5. Blake Bortles lines up under center with 12 offensive personnel on the field, slot formation left and an offset i-formation in the backfield, and tight end Nic Jacobs (#85) lined up as a fullback. Buffalo has their 4-2-5 nickel defense in the game showing zone coverage in the secondary:


As the play begins, the Bills roll their coverage into Cover 6, dropping safety Duke Williams (#27) into an underneath zone:NFLR7JacksonvilleStill2Jacksonville uses play action here, with Bortles taking the snap and opening to his left to fake a halfback lead play to T.J. Yeldon (#24) before executing a drop into the pocket. Marcedes Lewis (#89) is the weakside TE, and he runs an out route. Allen Hurns (#88) is the slot receiver, and he runs a deep over route while Allen Robinson (#15) runs a deep curl:NFLR7JacksonvilleStill3

After taking the snap and carrying out the fake, Bortles faces pressure off the edge from Jerry Hughes (#55). The linebacker begins the play in wide 9 alignment, and does a good job of using speed to get upfield, and then dipping his inside shoulder under left tackle Luke Joeckel (#76). Outside pressure forces the quarterback to climb the pocket and then drift toward the sideline. Bortles can run for the first down here, but instead keeps his eyes downfield:

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As the QB rolls out, he is able to spot Hurns near the goal line. As the receiver comes across the field on the deep over route, he mirrors Bortles when he notices his quarterback in scrambling. Both he and Lewis adjust their routes in the scramble drill, with the TE cutting off his out route and breaking toward the end zone. Bortles decides on Hurns, and the deep route, and the receiver makes a great diving catch, falling inside the pylon for the score.

From the end zone, we can see how Bortles uses solid mechanics on the throw, curling his left shoulder inward to the target before coming through the throwing motion, generating enough torque on the throw:

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Bortles finds Hurns, who secures the football and crashes into the end zone with the game-winning score.

The execution from quarterback and receiver are tremendous, and should give Jaguars fans hope for the future. Bortles does a great job of climbing the pocket, extending the play while keeping his eyes downfield, and executing a difficult throw with sound mechanics. Hurns shows great awareness in continuing his route in relationship to his QB in the scramble drill, and then is able to finish the play using pure athletic ability. Great signs from a young roster looking to improve for the future.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.

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