I know this hurts. It was meant to.
Lose two. Win two. Lose two. Win two. Lose...
The up and down season for the Jacksonville Jaguars continues, and while the narrative for the season is just a step beyond the midpoint, what presents itself is a body struggling to stand. Garnder Minshew was again contained by a defensive scheme that served to limit his playmaking abilities. The defense was gashed in worse fashion by the Texans ground attack than the first meeting in week two. The offensive line failed to open holes for Leonard Fournette, who saw his fewest touches and yards this season.
And was it just me, or did the offensive play calling appear to be very, very bland?
Hidden behind the 26-3 scoreline was a solid game by A.J. Bouye. Matched up primarily with arguably the best receiver in the NFL, DeAndre Hopkins, Bouye limited him to only 6 YPC.
So take solace in what you can.
This must be seen as a missed opportunity across the board for the players and the coaches. The Texans defense, specifically the secondary, was seen as a huge liability and the Jaguars were expected to exploit it to extremes. However, the Texans mirrored the New Orleans Saints gameplay, covered their weaknesses, and all but suffocated Minshew Magic.
Which leads us to the elephant in the room. Who is starting at quarterback for the Jaguars after the bye week? Doug Marrone has gone on record, saying this game was not the deciding factor. He will look at Minshew’s body of work and his decision will surely be based on who gives this team the best chance to make this team competitive as they push for a playoff spot.
Foles or Minshew? Some will point to Gardner’s flurry of Rookie of the Week awards as an indication of what is bubbling to the surface. Others will counter that Foles has the pedigree to assume the role he lost in week one. It is true that against better opponents, Minshew has failed to lead the team to victory. It is also true that, in some of those loses, he was not helped by those around him. Yet this has been a rallying cry against quarterbacks of the past. Are they elevating the team, or do they require complimentary talent to be better?
This is where Foles must shine if he is to win the love of the fans, the respect of his team, and the paycheck given. He is up against a love machine that is Gardner Minshew’s following. This sixth round rookie has outplayed any expectation anyone had after his preseason audition, and his personality has been embraced as a thriving culture. For some fans, this is part of the reason why it will hurt more to see Foles at quarterback. Passion, fun, and excitement has been injected into an organization that has suffered so much under the soil of pedestrian. Additionally, Minshew has given hope that he has the talent to be the answer long after Foles is gone. Why not let the future continue its march through adversity?
And cut to the coach!
I do not want to be Doug Marrone. Add to his list another conflict in the 2019 season. Listening to his polite demeanor during post game interviews, it is all but amazing that his optics are one of calmness and composure. Even if you see the head coach position as an upgrade need, the guy seems to be comfortable in his chair of chaos. And if you think his position is a cool job, think again.
Oh yeah. I told the @BoldCityPod guys that in one of my first pressers, I asked Doug if coaching against Vic Fangio, who used to coach him, would be a cool experience.— John Shipley (@_John_Shipley) November 3, 2019
"There is nothing cool about being an NFL HC."
Grab your coffee, and read our links.
The case for and against: the Foles vs Minshew debate.
But figuring out the team’s quarterback issues may not be the panacea Jacksonville needs to find its way back to the postseason. The Jaguars are a sub-.500 team more than halfway through the season and just gave up 160 rushing yards to Carlos Hyde, a tailback they’d discarded after eight ineffective games a year earlier. Will Foles change anything for a team chasing the ghost of Blake Bortles?
John Shipley asks if “Minshew Mania” ended in London.
It is a nuanced question that has a number of layers to it. But my personal opinion on if Minshew should start doesn’t mean much. What instead matters is talking about what will likely happen and what head coach Doug Marrone’s mindset may be as his team enters their Week 10 bye with a 4-5 record.
Why the Jaguars should not bench Minshew.
The Jaguars might not have a real shot at AFC playoff contention at 4-5, but whether you call it “magic” or “mania,” the moustachioed Minshew has put them on the map nationally and reinvigorated the fan base locally. He is fun to watch and has done more to help them win than lose.
Your “need to know” for the Jaguars after this loss.
Sunday’s game brought an all-around parade of oopses for the Jaguars, from Minshew’s four turnovers to a botched snap and hold on a field goal that likely cost three points.
But some of the most inexplicable miscues plagued the defense, which simply could not bring Deshaun Watson down.
John McClain at the Houston Chronicle looks at the takeaway’s for the Texans.
In an injury-depleted secondary, cornerback Gareon Conley played like the first-round draft choice he was and not a player Oakland was happy to unload for a third-round pick. After getting a full week of practice to prepare for Jacksonville, Conley led the team with eight unassisted tackles and made two terrific plays to break up passes.
Quick thoughts from John Oehser and Brian Sexton.
Maybe the Jaguars really missed wide receiver Dede Westbrook. Or maybe the lack of productivity at tight end is catching up. Whatever the reason, Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II had one of his rougher games in eight starts Sunday, completing 27 of 47 passes for 307 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions and a lost fumble. Minshew got little help from receivers at times, but a Texans defense that had struggled mightily against the pass in recent weeks because of a depleted secondary limited the Jaguars’ downfield passing game.
PAY THE YAN!!!!
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