Much like tomorrow’s Thanksgiving (or Friday’s Indigenous People’s Day if you celebrate that instead) meal, the Jaguars 2020 season is absolutely cooked. After starting off the season with a win against the Colts, they’ve lost nine straight while giving up an average of 30.8 points per game. In terms of EPA(Expected Points Added), they’re one of the worst on both defense AND offense. On Sunday, they plan on starting Mike Glennon, who replaces Jake Luton, who replaced Gardner Minshew due to injury. Oh, and Todd Wash is among the multiple Jaguars coaches who won’t be on the sideline against Cleveland.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’ll be comparing some current Jaguars players to Thanksgiving dishes and events. Normally, this is where I’d say, “TO THE FILM ROOM,” but I guess it’s, “TO THE THANKSGIVING TABLE?” Yeah, that works.
Turkey: QB Gardner Minshew
Coming into the 2020 season, Jaguars fans had slight reason for optimism surrounding the Jaguars offense. Gardner Minshew played well enough in 12 starts in 2019 to earn the starting spot in 2020. To say that this year has been a step back for him would be a stretch, but he hasn’t taken a big enough step forward to be worthy of retaining his starting job come 2021. He only has a 0.1 EPA(Expected Points Added), and a QBR of 57.6. The Jaguars brought in Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden and added pieces like LaViska Shenault, James Robinson and Tyler Eifert through free agency and the draft to make Minshew the centerpiece of the offense, but through ten games, he’s underwhelmed.
A Thanksgiving turkey is massively overrated, despite being the centerpiece of any and every Thanksgiving meal. It normally is dry, and doesn’t have as much flavor. Ham is the superior dish and should be the centerpiece instead (I’ll get to who that is next).
COMPARISON: Minshew’s performance on Thursday Night Football vs. Miami=putting the turkey in the fryer and setting everything and everyone on fire for the whole block to see.
Ham: RB James Robinson
James Robinson has been one of the best offensive rookies in the NFL this year. An undrafted rookie out of Illinois State, Robinson is only the fifth undrafted rookie to have 1,000 yards from scrimmage, and he’s done that in ten games. He has seven total touchdowns this season, five on the ground and two receiving. He’s shown the required burst, power, and receiving ability to be a focal point of the offense. The offensive line has certainly helped him out through their improvements, but Robinson has brung a firepower that past RBs since Maurice Jones-Drew left the team couldn’t (including L****** F********).
Ham brings a better taste than turkey, and the extra pineapple rings that your grandma puts on them is better than anything turkey has to offer. If you have turkey as a centerpiece of any meal, it’ll be a better meal than the turkey.
COMPARISON: James Robinson’s hurdle over Colts defenders Week One=Ham leaping over turkey to be the focal point of every Thanksgiving dish.
Macaroni and Cheese: WRs DJ Chark and LaViska Shenault
Much like Mac and cheese, DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault are two bright spots on the Jaguars offense this season. Despite missing two and three games respectively, the pair have combined for 857 receiving yards, and Shenault has added 54 yards on the ground. The two standout receivers give a spark to a passing game that the Jaguars were lacking before. However, they may not have the stats that would deem someone a star, or standout. My reasoning for that is simple: the QB play has been hit or miss this season. Chark has been open on various occasions and the QB has just missed him. Do I think they can be the centerpiece of an offense? Sure, if you add the right supporting cast around them (a QB. I mean a QB.)
Macaroni and Cheese is a pretty polarizing dish. It’s stupendous as a side dish, adding good flavor to any plate, but if you make it the main dish, you have to add some things in it to make it good enough. I’m of the belief that it can be a main dish, but for Thanksgiving purposes, it’s best reserved as a side.
Comparison: Both Chark and Shenault catching at least five passes for 95 and 86 yards respectively against Cincinnati=taking the mac and cheese out the oven at the perfect time and the flavors do a Dragonball Z fusion.
Collard Greens: WR Keelan Cole
If there was one word I’d use to describe Keelan Cole, I’d use the word consistent. He’s played in every game this season, and has a catch in every game this season. So far this season he has 453 receiving yards and four TDs, but he’s also added on a punt return touchdown and key moments on special teams. When Chark and Shenault were out with injury, Cole would fill their spots along with Chris Conley. Although he’s not the focal point of the offense, he’ll find a way to contribute on offense or special teams.
Personally, I’ve never had bad collard greens in my life. everything else could be the worst food ever, but the greens are always good or great. You can’t make it the main piece, but as long as the greens are there, they’ll be good.
COMPARISON: Keelan Cole shaking Packers Punter JK Scott into Waukesha=me getting past all of my younger siblings to get a plate.
Candied Yams: LB Myles Jack
Myles Jack has been one of the best off-ball LBs in the NFL this year, and certainly been the best Jaguars player when healthy. He’s second on the team in tackles and tackles for loss despite missing two games due to injury, and leaving the Bengals game in the third quarter with an injury. His 85.3 PFF grade makes him the third highest graded LB of 2020 according to Pro Football Focus, only behind Lavonte David and Bobby Wagner. Moving him back to WILL LB has freed Jack of playcalling responsibilities, and now he can do what he does best: make plays.
Candied Yams is a food that when cooked right, can be the highlight of the whole meal. The sweetness of the yams gives a different type of taste than the mac and cheese and greens on the plate. That stark difference also could create a fusion of different flavors (if you mix your food like that, definitely not side eyeing you).
COMPARISON: Myles Jack stealing the ball for a goal line INT vs. Cincinnati=getting a to-go plate or three for the road while nobody else sees you.
Salad: DL Taven Bryan
To say Taven Bryan has been a disappointment would be putting it nicely. Since being drafted in the first round, he hasn’t shown nearly enough to be a player the Jaguars extend or keep around for a long time. He instead has become a meme, a player that just can’t get out of his own way. If he doesn’t beat you off the snap, he has no leverage at the point of attack, and doesn’t produce in terms of sacks or TFLs. Recently, he lost his starting spot to UDFA Doug Costin, which tells you as much as you need to know about his play right now.
Salad has no reason to be anywhere by a Thanksgiving meal. If I fast for a day, I’m not doing it for salad. I’m going to get all the stuff that I’m going to eat and regret eating a few days later. Salad doesn’t do that, and perennially gets avoided. If you bring salad to Thanksgiving, you are THE WORST person, and probably won’t get another invite from me.
COMPARISON: Taven Bryan being compared to JJ Watt pre-draft=the one aunt who brings a salad expecting everyone to enjoy it, but it gets left at the table and made fun of (If you compared Taven Bryan to JJ Watt at all, let me know. I’ll have officers on the way soon).
SWEET POTATO PIE: DE Josh Allen
Josh Allen has had a down year, numbers and health-wise, but has shown flashes of the guy who had 10.5 sacks last year. Battling numerous injuries, Allen has only had 2.5 sacks this year(which leads the team...yeah) and has only 2.5 TFLs. Despite all of this, Allen has been getting pressure and has gotten close to getting more sacks. He just hasn’t finished. He may not get another chance however, as he was recently placed on IR.
Sweet potato pie is my favorite dessert at Thanksgiving, and is miles better than pumpkin pie (fight me, it’s true). We don’t have it often, but every holiday, you know it’s going to be there, and it’s going to be great.
COMPARISON: Josh Allen struggling while Bills Josh Allen thrives=parents talking about the other sibling at the dinner table while you sit there awkwardly.
Stuffing: Kicker (insert name here)
Boy the Jaguars kicking situation has been...a mess quite frankly. Josh Lambo has battled injury all season and was placed on season-ending IR, leaving the Jaguars kicking responsibilities to checks notes Aldrick Rosas, Jon Brown, Chase McLaughlin, and Brandon Wright. None of whom have done exceptionally well in the time they’ve played. Jon Brown didn’t even attempt a regular season kick in his career before he played for Jacksonville.
If Forrest Gump says, “Life is like a box of chocolates,” the the Jaguars kicking situation is a box of stuffing. You never know what you’re going to get, but it’ll probably be bad anyway. Stuffing is an overrated dish, mainly because if the stuffing is supposed to be stuffed in the turkey, why is it never in the turkey? What is its’ function? Most importantly, why does it look so unappealing?
COMPARISON: Keelan Cole doing the onside kick vs. Pittsburgh=literally anything else except for stuffing
BONUS! Christmas: Justin Fields/Zach Wilson/Trevor Lawrence
The light at the end of the tunnel. The saving grace for the Jaguars miserable season. It’s looking like the Jaguars will have the 2nd pick in the NFL Draft barring a miracle two victories by the New York Jets, and the Jags will have their pick of Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, both of whom play QB for Ohio State(Fields) and BYU(Wilson). While I prefer Fields dual-threat ability, Zach Wilson would be a fine QB for the Jaguars. In the event that the Jaguars do end up with the first pick, however, they should sprint to the podium to draft Trevor Lawrence.
Christmas is the far superior holiday to Thanksgiving, and the main reason it goes over is because of presents. You eat almost the exact same food, watch sports, get to be around family, but at Christmas you get presents. Case closed.
COMPARISON: The Jaguars using the 2nd overall pick to draft a RB=getting socks for Christmas.
And there you have it, the 2020 Jaguars as Thanksgiving dishes. I know I don’t speak only for myself, but everyone here at BCC wishes you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving.