When the news of Nick Foles being quickly ruled out of the game in Sunday’s 40-26 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs started spreading through the stadium, you could feel the air sucked out of the Jacksonville Jaguars 2019 season. People knew that with it taking just a few minutes to rule Foles out of the game, it was likely going to be a long term injury which likely meant the season was over right when it started.
Sure enough, it ended up a broken clavicle and Foles out until Week 11 at the earliest.
The good news was though, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II came in the game and quite literally couldn’t throw a bad pass. Minshew completed 88 percent of his passes on the day, had the fourth most attempted air-yards for Week 1 in the NFL and his three incomplete passes were all clear drops.
Minshew Mania was the silver lining of the game.
“It’s been awesome, just the support,” Minshew said on Wednesday about what the week has been like for him. “I feel very blessed to have some great people around me and that’s evident in the good times and I’m fortunate it’s evident in the bad times as well, so it wasn’t too out of the norm.”
Minsew showed some nice things in the preseason, but ultimately only ever produced field goals and stat lines that left a lot to be desired. You could see why an NFL team would like him and take a flier on him on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, however it led some to wonder how he’d look not playing with a bunch of guys who would end up cut and not on any other NFL roster.
Sunday showed that and the hype started, but thankfully it’s something Minshew dealt with even in college at Washington State when he finished fourth in the Heisman voting and led the Cougars to their best ever finish and became a school legend.
“It’s pretty wild. And part of that is we have some of the best fans at Wazzou, so up there it was chaotic, it was crazy,” Minshew said about the mania in college. “In that little corner of the country, it was something else. So, that was a lot of fun, but it’s something you embrace and try to use your platform for good to share positive messages with people.”
Minshew embraced the hype and all the fake mustaches and used it to fuel the Cougars to an 11-2 finish and an Alamo Bowl victory. Given that he has seen hype like this before, and truthfully what he’s experiencing right now in Jacksonville pales in comparison with what he dealt with at Washington State, he’s still focused on the Houston Texans Sunday.
“They’re really good. They’ve got the same defensive coordinator they’ve had for a little while,” Minshew said about the Texans defense. “They’re very disciplined. 99 [J.J. Watt], awesome player. A guy I’ve watched for a long time, he’s dominated, so that’s going to be a fun challenge. And they’ve got talent across the board, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The Texans lost a tough game on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints, but the big takeaway from that game was the Texans offensive line is still a huge issue and their defensive secondary is a complete mess. The aforementioned J.J. Watt had a goose egg on the box score and former Jaguars corner Aaron Colvin was so bad the Texans released him to take a huge dead money cap hit.
I’m not sure if Minshew can continue the type of performance he had this past Sunday, but a Texans team with a secondary in shambles seems like a nice situation to try.