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The Jaguars could have played against an entire roster of Pennywise clowns and it wouldn’t have been as nightmarish as what actually transpired on Sunday at the Big Chlorine Tank. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs rolled up nearly 500 yards on Jacksonville’s vaunted defense, and Nick Foles suffered a broken clavicle one quarter into his Jags debut. With Foles headed to injured reserve (whether he returns or not remains to be seen), it’s more than fair to question why the Jaguars didn’t have a better backup plan in place at quarterback. Gardner Minshew played as well as could have hoped in relief — in fact, he was pretty damn great, given the circumstances — but it’s hard to imagine the sixth-round rookie (or the recently acquired Josh Dobbs) keeping Jacksonville in the AFC South race. Sometimes, it’s not too early to panic.
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Rookie who flashed: Gardner Minshew, QB
How the newcomer starred: Minshew completed his first 13 passes — the most by a rookie quarterback to begin his career over the past 40 years, per Elias Sports Bureau research — en route to 275 yards and two touchdowns. Minshew completed 22 of 25 passes, with one of the incompletions a pass that bounced off Leonard Fournette’s hands and was intercepted. Minshew’s completion percentage (88.0%) was the highest in league history for any player with at least 15 pass attempts making an NFL debut. It is also a franchise single-game record among players with at least 25 pass attempts. — Mike DiRocco
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Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew showed some poise in emergency duty for Nick Foles. Now he meets J.J. Watt and company.
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With Nick Foles out with a broken clavicle, it’s Gardner Minshew time. The rookie impressed against Kansas City, but can he do it for the long run?
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The Jaguars’ defense was supposed to give the Chiefs problems. Unfortunately, that defense was the problem, given the offense looked good even when rookie Gardner Minshew had to take the controls after Nick Foles broke his collarbone. Who knows? Maybe Minshew, Leonard Fournette, D.J. Chark, Chris Conley and Dede Westbrook can help them stay legit on one side of the ball.
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The broken clavicle suffered by QB Nick Foles is devastating. Yes, Gardner Minshew played well in relief. But he’s still a rookie who was drafted in the sixth round. He has plenty to prove, and he’s not a former Super Bowl MVP. The Jaguars’ hopes for a return to contender status had been tied to Foles’s arrival.
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Rookie QB Gardner Minshew surprisingly solid in relief of Nick Foles. Minshew must step up further with consecutive AFC South games on tap.