Nick Foles was named the starting quarterback and Gardner Minshew is once again riding the bench. Head coach Doug Marrone attributed the decision to Foles’ experience and the belief that some of the close games they’d had this season turning into wins with Foles under center.
But what do you think? Would Foles have changed any of those losses into wins? If so, how many? And what does the rest of the schedule look like with Foles vs. Minshew?
Let’s discuss win-loss predictions with both quarterbacks!
Ryan Day: I’ll start with Minshew. He’s shown himself to be a guy who (at least this year) needs to improvise a bit and get out of the pocket. You split with the Indianapolis Colts since they don’t have a good pass rush, you beat the Tennessee Titans, you beat the Atlanta Falcons. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are so random, but Jameis Winston can get easily flustered. We’re not beating the Oakland Raiders. The Los Angeles Chargers is a slightly iffy game. I think a good baseline with Minshew is 8-8 but the Colts could easily sweep us and leave us at 7-9.
John Shipley: For me, it depends on the health of Jacoby Brissett. If he starts both games, I just think the Colts are flat out better than the Jaguars and sweep them there. I think they beat the Falcons and Titans with Minshew, but drop games to the Chargers and Buccaneers as well. So ultimately, I think 7-9 is likely but 8-8 is possible. The Jaguars are simply not a good team. They are entertaining at times, and are mostly not horrible, but they are certainly not a good team.
Ryan Day: Then what would the coaches or front office see in the starting Foles over Minshew? If the long term answer is Minshew (which I think it is) and the short term answer is the same number of wins, what’s the thought process here?
John Shipley: I think they would likely think Foles can swing more games in their favor, especially some of these close games they have lost. They lost by a touchdown to the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers during Minshew’s tenure, and also lost by a single point to the Houston Texans in Week 2, so the theory is Foles can use his veteran hand to get the team over the hump when it comes to pulling off close wins against good teams.
Ryan Day: Do you think it’s faulty to base a decision for the future on what could have happened in the past though? And with that same train of thought, does Foles win the game Minshew did against the Denver Broncos? I know the three games you mentioned were close, but does this team win any of those games they lost with Foles in?
John Shipley: I would probably agree with you but I’m mostly basing this off of what I think their mindset is. Ultimately it’s impossible to say if they win any of those games at all, and that’s what makes the theory a bit of a fallacy. One thought could be that Marrone, a traditional thinking coach, would assume that a veteran quarterback wouldn’t have had the same accuracy or turnover issues that Minshew had in those games, but there’s no way of knowing, especially with a streaky quarterback like Foles. Just knowing his skill set, I think Foles would’ve given them a decent shot in Week 2 but the other games would’ve been a coin flip considering the team’s pass rushes.