Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew was almost perfect against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The second-year quarterback was 19/20 with 173 yards and three touchdowns as the Jaguars defeated the Colts 27-20 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
Minshew became the fourth player in NFL history to throw at least three TD passes and complete at least 95.0 percent of his passes in a single game.
“I’m just super grateful,” Minshew said about his near-perfect performance. “My mindset today was just to play one play at a time. I have got an offensive coordinator that is calling good plays, receivers that caught the ball, an offensive line that is giving me time, and a running game that really got us ahead of the chains. I’m just trying to do my job one play at a time, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities and the people around me.”
For Minshew to perform at a high level, he needed help from his young core, including rookie WR Laviska Shenault Jr., who had three receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown.
“Laviska [Shenault Jr.] is awesome,” Minshew said. “He’s one of those guys that plays receiver, but he runs the ball like a running back, and we just find ways to get the ball into his hands. Even the touchdown to DJ [Chark Jr.] worked because they were worried about Laviska catching the ball when we were pumping it down to him. I’m very excited for him, and I think he’s going to continue to work and stay humble, and I think he’s going to do really good things for us.”
Also, rookie free agent RB James Robinson was huge for Jacksonville on Sunday. He ran for 62 yards and had one reception for 28 yards.
“All week, really all camp, we knew what we had in James, and we knew he could do it,” Minshew said. “I’m so happy for him, a guy who really got overlooked in the whole process. He is a guy that I identify with. Coming out of high school, a very productive player, but didn’t get recruited like he should. Super productive in college, but didn’t get scouted like he should. He’s a great football player, and I’m super glad he got the opportunity to get out there, and he made the most of it.”
Winning helps young players and young teams, and Minshew discussed how vital wins are for a young team.
“It’s huge,” he said. “Until you actually do it, there’s a part of it. You have to prove it to yourself. We had a lot of rookies and second-year players step up and make huge plays for us today. When they are playing with confidence, you love a young team that plays with confidence. They have the energy. They got that swag about them. I’m very excited for our young guys who really stepped up and made some huge plays for us today.”
Not many expected the Jaguars to win on Sunday, including Las Vegas, who had Jacksonville as 8-point underdogs against the Colts. However, Minshew played well, the young players stepped up, and the Jaguars start the season on a positive note.