Coming into Thursday’s game with the Titans, many were down on the Jaguars. The team was 0-2, and one of their best players had just requested a trade, but by the end of the game, there was a lot of optimism. Minshew was impressive yet again, and the defense shut down the Titans as the Jaguars beat Tennessee 20-7 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
The rookie signal-caller, who was a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft, completed 20 of 30 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and more importantly, no turnovers.
“Every week I come to think, ‘OK, what’s going to be the hurdle? What’s going to be the stopper of the progress?’ And I think you’re correct in your statement; you just see him getting better and better each week,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Friday. “And I really was going into this game; I’m thinking, ‘How many times has this guy played a game and then had a short week to prepare to play another one?’ That doesn’t happen in college. In college you have some time, you don’t have a lot of short week’s against NFL defenses, and no disrespect to college. You know how I always say it’s hard to put my finger on it, but nothing rattles this kid, and he’s such a hard worker, and he prepares so well. And he has a lot of support around him. [Quarterbacks Coach] Scott Milanovich has done a great job, obviously [Offensive Coordinator] Flip [John DeFilippo], Nick Foles is involved. Even Chase [Litton] and Joshua [Dobbs]. But the kid has a lot of self-confidence.
“He has a lot of great demeanor, meaning he shows real good energy. If he does something well, you’ll see him pump his fists on the field, but by the time he comes over to the sideline, he’s moved on, he’s ready to go. ‘Hey, I have to do this better. Hey, this happened on the fourth play of that series. Hey, did you guys see this the way I saw it?’ He’s really good at communicating, and I think he’s really good at preparing himself and I think that he’s really good at making sure that there are no surprises out there for him. And that’s just a guy that has a maniacal work ethic.”
The Jaguars are now 1-2, and if Minshew can just hold the fort down until Foles returns or if Minshew plays well enough where he keeps the job when Foles returns, Jacksonville could possibly sneak into the playoffs, especially if the defense continues to play well. The AFC South does not seem very formidable this season, which means the Jaguars have a shot. No matter what happens, Minshew has shown that he has some ability.
Also, based on the report that Jaguars owner Shad Khan is willing to make Ramsey the highest-paid corner in football, maybe things can be worked out with the two-time Pro Bowl corner.
Thursday went from tears to cheers in Duval County, and if the Jaguars keep winning, things will get even better!