The Jacksonville Jaguars went to Lucas Oil stadium on Sunday and laid a giant egg against the Indianapolis Colts. It was a big time game that could propel your team right into the thick of the division, made worse once you saw the Houston Texans got trounced, and the team came out completely flat. As a fan, it was a huge gut punch and felt the air come out of the sails of the 2019 as a hole moving to 4-6 and now the playoffs seem like a total pipe dream.
It shouldn’t have been a huge shock that inserting a quarterback into the lineup who had not played or practiced for half the season was going to have a negative effect on the offense, but the team committed to make the switch to Nick Foles from rookie Gardner Minshew because of the experience and it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
The poor performance by Foles, who stats look a hell of a lot better on the box score than they did on the field when the game mattered, has led to a lot of fans to cry out to bench him and bring back Minshew, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.
Nor should it.
This is the bed the Jaguars made and they have to lie in it. They can’t make it one and done for Foles, because technically you’re not eliminated from the playoffs and they can still save their jobs, so you have to stick with the veteran because of the decision you made to go to him. You invested $88 million in Foles, you brought him back from injured reserved and inserted him back into the line up.
The hay is out of the barn.
The toothpaste is out of the tube.
Whatever other idiom you want to use.
The decision is made and there is no turning back at this point. That’s not even touching on the knee-jerk reaction of benching him after his first game back for a poor performance, and that’s coming from someone who thought switching to him was going to be a mistake.
As we discussed before, this team just isn’t very good and there wasn’t much Foles was going to add, ability wise, that would make it that much better than it was with Minshew at the helm. The team was still bad on third downs, the offensive line was more of an issue with the less mobile Foles and they still weren’t good in the red zone... did they even get there? And they still struggled to score points and get big plays from someone not named D.J. Chark.
Benching Foles right now doesn’t really accomplish anything, anyway. You’d need to win six games in a row to even have a realistic shot at the playoffs and even as someone who preferred Minshew, I don’t think this team is doing that. The other thing worth mentioning is that as soon as you bench Foles, it’s over. You can’t do this back and forth and hope something works, because that’s just taking a massive leap into desperation mode.
He is no longer a quarterback option for the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s just like when the team finally decided to sit down Blake Bortles in 2018, it was done and over. That was it. If you’re sitting Foles now for anything other than injury, he’s done as the Jaguars quarterback and they’re not willing to even approach admitting that as a mistake after one game.
As Demetrius Harvey wrote earlier, help isn’t on the way, so this is what they have.
They’ll have to hope the rust has been knocked off for Foles, else they end up on a three-game losing streak against AFC South opponents and virtually eliminating any playoff hopes whatsoever.