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Is “Minshew Mania” over?
Probably one of the most entertaining stories to watch develop has been Gardner Minshew in 2019. The 2019 sixth-round draft selection has well exceeded his selection in the most recent draft by keeping the Jacksonville Jaguars alive. The mustache, headband, and phenomenal outfits along with his unique swagger have got the entire country cheering for him.
Unfortunately, Minshew had his worst performance of the 2019 season in Week 9. Taking on the Houston Texans in a divisional showdown overseas, Minshew completed just 27 of 47 passes for 309 yards while turning the ball over four times (2 interceptions, 2 fumbles). While the young quarterback made plenty of mistakes to hurt his team, his surrounding cast was atrocious on their own.
Former Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley had numerous drops throughout the contest. He was targeted seven times, but brought in only 2 catches for 32 yards. Up and coming receiver D.J. Chark struggled to gain separation for most of the day and only hauled in 4 catches on 9 targets. Many thought running back Leonard Fournette was turning a corner recently but his 11 carries for 40 yards was lackluster.
With the Jaguars heading into the bye week, all eyes will be on whether or not the team will elect to start Nick Foles in Week 11 against the Colts. Before the sloppy performance against the Texans in London this week, Minshew was a consideration for offensive rookie of the year. This game could wash away hopes for not only the award but a starting position coming out of the bye.
According to Pro Football Focus, Minshew ranked seventh in the league from a clean pocket. The former Washington State quarterback also ranked fifth on throws 15 or more yards downfield. There’s no question that there are flaws in his game like his now 11 fumbles on the season which leads the quarterbacks in the NFL. However, his ability to make big plays down the field more than made up for that.
Turning the ball over with two overthrown balls that led to interceptions in the fourth quarter will be a major mark on the evaluation of Minshew going forward. While the rest of the offense sputtered as well, the savvy QB was unable to lift his team and drive them back into a game against a divisional opponent when behind.