Raise your hand if you had any rookie quarterback, not named Kyler Murray, starting in Week 2 of the NFL season.
*Looks around – sees no hands raised*
Week 2 saw Gardner Minshew start for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Many had no idea who this guy was until he replaced starter Nick Foles in Week 1 against Kansas City after Foles went down with a broken clavicle. Now, for the foreseeable future, Minshew will lead the way for the Jags.
So, who exactly is Gardner Minshew?
The Jaguars drafted Minshew in the sixth round (178th overall) of this year’s draft out of Washington State. In his senior season, in which he was a graduate athlete, Minshew led the Cougars to a school-record 11 wins. He threw for 4,776 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while completing 70.7% of his passes. In 2015, he led Northwest Mississippi Community College to the NJCAA National Football Championship before transferring to East Carolina University for two seasons, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 2017.
Minshew was the 10th quarterback out of 11 selected in 2019. He wasn’t ranked very high coming out of high school, a three-star recruit, and he wasn’t ranked very high coming out of Washington State (projected 7th round pick). In seven-plus quarters, Minshew has not played all that bad.
When he replaced Foles against Kansas City, he completed 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception. His completion percentage of 88% was the highest by anybody in NFL history making his debut with at least 15 pass attempts. He also set the single-game record in Jaguars history. Jacksonville lost 40-26, which all things considered, isn’t the worst outcome against one of the league’s best teams.
The next day, Minshew was named the starter as it was announced Foles was out for the season.
Minshew and company traveled to Houston for a divisional showdown with the Texans. In a 13-12 loss, Minshew completed 23 of 33 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 56 yards, which a chunk of that was during a comeback attempt in the game’s waning moments. Trailing 13-6, he found wide receiver Dede Westbrook in the end zone to bring the score within one. Instead of going for the tie and potentially overtime, head coach Doug Marone sent the offense back out for a two-point attempt. Running back Leonard Fournette was stopped just shy of the goal line, thus putting an end to the comeback attempt.
The legend of Minshew will continue to grow the more we get to see him play and develop. He is taking the league by storm, in a sense, but not all because of his play in a limited amount of time, but rather his appearance. Minshew looks like a guy straight out of the 1970’s and is rockin’ a pretty impressive mustache. To add on to his mystique even further, it was reported that Minshew stretches in the locker room in nothing than a jock strap. Naturally.
If the 23-year old rookie can manage games and continue to makes plays, both on his feet when need be and with his arm, this team might not be in too bad of shape. The AFC South is completely up for grabs this year with Colts quarterback is no longer playing. Can the legend grow, resulting in Minshew leading this team to greater heights? We will find out moving forward, and that will start this Thursday when Jacksonville hosts the Tennessee Titans in another divisional showdown.