The Jacksonville Jaguars offense needed a get right game last week. It didn’t happen until the middle of the third quarter, but when it did the floodgates burst.
And the New York Jets couldn’t plug the dam yesterday either.
From the opening drive, Minshew and the rest of the passing offense looked like they were in a solid rhythm — receivers were finding soft zones in the Jets secondary and Minshew quit his happy feet routine and stood tall against the blitz. And the end result was some very impressive passing.
In the midst of his three-touchdown performance was a second quarter drive that took up 17 plays, 84 yards, and nearly nine minutes of game clock. It looked impressive live. Upon rewatch this afternoon, it was a work of art.
Let’s do a deep dive and I’ll show you what I mean.
Play #3: 3rd & 4 at JAX 11
After two runs that gained six yards total, it was up to Minshew. Without this conversion, the Jets likely have the ball in Jaguars territory and with it being a six-point game — and momentum not fully swinging Jacksonville’s way yet, this could have been a disastrous series.
Minshew faced an inside blitz that saw six defenders come against five offensive linemen with no support from tight ends or running backs. There would be a mismatch somewhere.
And Minshew found it.
He floated a beautiful pass to DJ Chark who was running up the seam and had cornerback Brian Poole trailing him the whole way.
You hate to see it from Poole.
Play #6: 3rd & 11 at JAX 39
Another third down set up by another pair of ineffective runs. Except this time, Leonard Fournette and Ryquell Armstead combined for negative-1 yards.
This time, Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams brings seven defenders against Minshew who stands tall and connects with Chris Conley who ran a (relatively) easy route against the softest of coverage from (you guessed it!) Poole once again.
Play #9: 3rd & 8 at NYJ 45
At least it wasn’t two straight runs that set Minshew up into a third-and-long. A short pass to Fournette and an ineffective Armstead run sets up third-and-8. Another blitz dialed up by the Jets and their secondary is able to cover well enough to force Minshew out of his reads.
But not out of the play.
The Jets overload the short side of the field and (luckily) the receivers’ routes bring defenders away from the middle of the field. Minshew makes the decision to cut and run, picking up 13 yards and the first down.
Play #13: 3rd & 6 at NYJ 18
After a costly false start penalty by A.J. Cann, the Jaguars find themselves in their fourth third down situation of the drive. Minshew sees the mismatch for new tight end Seth DeValve against Jets linebacker Tarell Basham.
DeValve runs a good route, Minshew makes a good throw, and the offense converts another one.
While the drive ended in a field goal (because of a bogus taunting no-call) it wasn’t wasted. We got to see Minshew string together some incredibly impressive throws. While other drives this season have been more impactful — the final drive to set up the game-winning field goal against the Denver Broncos, for one — this was the drive where Minshew most put the team on his back and drove (nearly) the length of the field.