Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew may have only played in three NFL games, but he’s already developed a cult following. For anyone questioning that status, Minshew showed exactly why he’s been able to win so many fans over with just one play in the Jaguars’ comeback win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
That play occurred with the Jaguars trailing by 11 points in the third quarter. With 4:47 left in the quarter, the 23-year-old Minshew pulled off a gutsy touchdown play to keep the Jaguars in the game. With the Jaguars on the 7-yard line, Minshew dropped back to pass. Minshew failed to find an open receiver after completing his drop, and his pass protection started to break down.
That’s when Minshew decided to improvise. He evaded three tacklers in the backfield before firing a touchdown pass to Roc Armstead.
That ended a 16-play drive by Minshew and the Jaguars.
The touchdown pass was emblematic of Minshew’s play this season. While his numbers have been solid —not spectacular — Minshew always seems to do just enough to keep the Jaguars in the game. Jacksonville hasn’t had many big moments this season, but Minshew has come up big in the few times the team has needed it.
Minshew continued to show off that ability later in the contest, throwing another touchdown to put the Jaguars up 20-17 at the end of the third quarter. Leonard Fournette did most of the work on that drive, ripping off an 81-yard run to put the Jaguars offense in a good spot.
The Broncos battled back to take the lead late, but Minshew led a clutch drive to set up a game-winning field goal. On the Jaguars’ final drive, Minshew took a couple big hits, but stayed in the game. At one point, Minshew was limping into the huddle. A few plays later, Minshew hit Dede Westbrook on a 32-yard pass that put the Jaguars in field-goal position. Minshew also completed a 17-yard pass to Chris Conley to move the Jaguars even closer. Josh Lambo was able to drill a field goal as time ran out, giving the Jaguars a 26-24 win over the Broncos.
The Jaguars didn’t expect Minshew to see the field this season after taking him in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft, but he’s performed admirably while filling in for Nick Foles. Even if Minshew’s play doesn’t force a quarterback controversy when Foles returns, Minshew’s won over plenty of supporters in Jacksonville.
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