Week 18: Williams, Jeudy, Diggs, Hines headline NFL Players of the Week

On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Lions running back Jamaal Williams, Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs, and Eagles kicker Jake Elliott were name NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 18.

OFFENSE: RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS, DETROIT LIONS

Williams rushed for 72 yards and two second-half touchdowns, including the go-ahead touchdown with under six minutes remaining in the Lions’ 20-16 win at Green Bay on Sunday Night Football. He led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns this season and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (16 rushing touchdowns in 1991) for the most in a season in franchise history.

DEFENSE: S QUANDRE DIGGS, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Diggs recorded an interception in overtime and added four tackles in the Seahawks’ 19-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams. It marked the fifth overtime interception in the NFL this season

SPECIAL TEAMS: K JAKE ELLIOTT, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Elliott converted all five of his field goal attempts – from 32, 52, 39, 54 and 22 yards – and led all kickers in scoring (16 points) in Week 18 as the Eagles defeated the New York Giants, 22-16.

AFC Players of the Week:

In the AFC, Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen, and Bills running back/KR Nyheim Hines were named AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week.

OFFENSE: WR JERRY JEUDY, DENVER BRONCOS

Jeudy led all players and set career highs in receiving yards (154) and scrimmage yards (193) during Week 18 as the Broncos defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 31-28.

DEFENSE: LB JOSH ALLEN, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Allen recorded six tackles, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble and recorded the game-winning 37-yard fumble-return for a touchdown with 2:51 remaining in the Jaguars’ 20-16 win over Tennessee. Jacksonville completed the “worst-to-first” turnaround and clinched the AFC South division title for the first time since 2017.

SPECIAL TEAMS: RB NYHEIM HINES, BUFFALO BILLS

Hines recorded two kickoff-return touchdowns (96- and 101-yards) in the Bills’ 35-23 win over the Patriots in Week 18 as he became the first player since Leon Washington (Week 3, 2010) with two kickoff-return touchdowns in the same game.

Eagles led the way with eight Pro Bowl selections

The Philadelphia Eagles, who have the best record in the NFL at 13-1, led all teams with eight Pro Bowl selections as the NFL announced on Wednesday night the AFC and NFC rosters for the 2023 Pro Bowl Games.

Thirty teams had at least one player selected to the 2023 Pro Bowl Games roster.

The players from each conference will compete in a series of exciting Pro Bowl Skills competitions throughout the week and the first-ever AFC vs. NFC Flag football games on Sunday, February 5, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The 2023 Pro Bowl Games will begin with both new and fan-favorite Skills and continue on Sunday with Skills and Flag games

There will be a lot of youth in the quarterback rooms in this Pro Bowl. Four of the six quarterbacks selected to the initial roster – Buffalo’s Josh Allen, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts(first time), and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes – are age 27 or younger.

Seattle quarterback Geno Smith, who is having the best season of his career, was chosen for his first Pro Bowl in his 10th career season

The Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs each had seven players chosen. Three additional teams – the Baltimore Ravens(six), Minnesota Vikings(five) and San Francisco 49ers (six) – each placed at least five players on the Pro Bowl roster.

Twenty-five of the players selected to the Pro Bowl today are first-time All-Stars.

Roster selections are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players.

Below are the complete Pro Bowl rosters for the NFC & AFC:

2023 PRO BOWL GAMES PLAYERS BY POSITION

 (*First-time Pro Bowl selection; Bold/Italic: Starter)

AFC

OFFENSE (21)

 

QUARTERBACKS (3)

TIGHT ENDS (2)

Josh Allen, Buffalo

Mark Andrews, Baltimore

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati

Travis Kelce, Kansas City

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City

TACKLES (3)

WIDE RECEIVERS (4)

Terron Armstead, Miami

Davante Adams, Las Vegas

Orlando Brown, Kansas City

Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati

Laremy Tunsil, Houston

Stefon Diggs, Buffalo

Tyreek Hill, Miami

GUARDS (3)

Joel Bitonio, Cleveland

RUNNING BACKS (3)

Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis

Nick Chubb, Cleveland

*

Joe Thuney, Kansas City

Derrick Henry, Tennessee

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas

CENTERS (2)

*

Creed Humphrey, Kansas City

FULLBACK (1)

*

Mitch Morse, Buffalo

Patrick Ricard, Baltimore


DEFENSE (18)

 

DEFENSIVE ENDS (3)

 

INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKERS (2)

Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas

C.J. Mosley, N.Y. Jets

Myles Garrett, Cleveland

*

Roquan Smith, Baltimore

Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati

CORNERBACKS (4)

INTERIOR LINEMEN (3)

*

Sauce Gardner, N.Y. Jets

Chris Jones, Kansas City

Xavien Howard, Miami

Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee

Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore

*

Quinnen Williams, N.Y. Jets

*

Pat Surtain II, Denver

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (3)

FREE SAFETY (1)

Matthew Judon, New England

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh

Khalil Mack, L.A. Chargers

T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh

 

STRONG SAFETIES (2)

 

Derwin James, L.A. Chargers

 

*

Jordan Poyer, Buffalo


SPECIALISTS (5)

 

PUNTER (1)

  RETURN SPECIALIST (1)
* Tommy Townsend, Kansas City Devin Duvernay, Baltimore
   
  PLACEKICKER (1)   SPECIAL TEAMER (1)
Justin Tucker, Baltimore * Justin Hardee, N.Y. Jets
 
LONG SNAPPER (1)
Morgan Cox, Tennessee

 

2023 PRO BOWL GAMES PLAYERS BY POSITION

(*First-time Pro Bowl selection; Bold/Italic: Starter)

NFC

OFFENSE (21)

  QUARTERBACKS (3)   TIGHT ENDS (2)

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota

T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota

*

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia

 

George Kittle, San Francisco

*

Geno Smith, Seattle

 

 

TACKLES (3)

WIDE RECEIVERS (4)

Lane Johnson, Philadelphia

A.J. Brown, Philadelphia

 

Trent Williams, San Francisco

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota

 

Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas

 

*

Terry McLaurin, Washington

 

GUARDS (3)

*

Landon Dickerson, Philadelphia

RUNNING BACKS (3)

*

Chris Lindstrom, Atlanta

Saquon Barkley, N.Y. Giants

 

Zack Martin, Dallas

*

Tony Pollard, Dallas

 

*

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia

 

CENTERS (2)

 

Jason Kelce, Philadelphia

 

FULLBACK (1)

 

Frank Ragnow, Detroit

 

Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco

 


DEFENSE (18)

 

DEFENSIVE ENDS (3)

INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKERS (2)

Nick Bosa, San Francisco

*

Demario Davis, New Orleans

Brian Burns, Carolina

Fred Warner, San Francisco

Demarcus Lawrence, Dallas

CORNERBACKS (4)

INTERIOR LINEMEN (3)

Jaire Alexander, Green Bay

Jonathan Allen, Washington

Trevon Diggs, Dallas

Aaron Donald, L.A. Rams

Darius Slay, Philadelphia

*

Dexter Lawrence, N.Y. Giants

*

Tariq Woolen, Seattle

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (3)

FREE SAFETY (1)

Micah Parsons, Dallas

Quandre Diggs, Seattle

*

Haason Reddick, Philadelphia

Za’Darius Smith, Minnesota

STRONG SAFETIES (2)

Budda Baker, Arizona

*

Talanoa Hufanga, San Francisco


SPECIALISTS (5)
 

 

PUNTER (1)

 

RETURN SPECIALIST (1)

Tress Way, Washington

*

KaVontae Turpin, Dallas

 

PLACEKICKER (1)

 

SPECIAL TEAMER (1)

Jason Myers, Seattle

*

Jeremy Reaves, Washington

LONG SNAPPER (1)

*

Andrew DePaola, Minnesota

NFL playoff scenarios for Week 16

Things are starting to heat in the NFL, and as we get closer to the end of the season, more teams are beginning to clinch playoff spots. 

The Chiefs(AFC West) and Bills have clinched in the AFC, and in the NFC, the Eagles, Vikings(NFC North), 49ers(NFC West), and Cowboys are all in.

Below are the playoff scenarios for Week 16 in the NFL:

AFC

CLINCHED:

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title

Buffalo Bills – playoff berth

BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-5)

Week 16 – vs. Atlanta (5-9), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX

Week 17 – vs. Pittsburgh (6-8)

Week 18 – at Cincinnati (10-4)

Baltimore clinches playoff berth with:

  1. BAL win + MIA loss or tie + NE loss or tie OR

  2. BAL win + MIA loss or tie + NYJ loss or tie OR

  3. BAL win + NE loss or tie + NYJ loss or tie OR

  4. BAL tie + NE loss + NYJ loss OR

  5. BAL tie + NE loss + MIA loss + LAC win OR

  6. BAL tie + NE loss + MIA loss + NYJ tie OR

  7. BAL tie + NE loss + NYJ tie + LAC win OR

  8. BAL tie + NE tie + NYJ loss + MIA loss OR

  9. BAL tie + NE tie + NYJ tie + MIA loss + LAC win OR

  10. NE loss + NYJ loss + CLE loss or tie + LV loss or tie + TEN loss or tie + LAC win\

BUFFALO BILLS (11-3)

Week 16 – at Chicago (3-11), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS

Week 17 – at Cincinnati (10-4)

Week 18 – vs. New England (7-7)

Buffalo clinches AFC East division title with:

  1. BUF win or tie

    OR

  2. MIA loss or tie

CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-4)

Week 16 – at New England (7-7), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS

Week 17 – vs. Buffalo (11-3)

Week 18 – vs. Baltimore (9-5)

Cincinnati clinches playoff berth with:

  1. CIN win or tie

    OR

  2. NYJ loss or tie

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-6)

Week 16 – at Indianapolis (4-9-1), Monday, 8:15 PM ET, ESPN

Week 17 – vs. L.A. Rams (4-10)

Week 18 – at Denver (4-10)

L.A. Chargers clinch playoff berth with:

  1. LAC win + LV loss or tie + NE loss + NYJ loss OR

  2. LAC win + LV loss or tie + NE loss + NYJ tie + MIA loss OR

  3. LAC win + LV loss or tie + NE tie + NYJ loss + MIA loss

NFC

CLINCHED:

Minnesota Vikings – NFC North division title

San Francisco 49ers – NFC West division title

Dallas Cowboys – playoff berth

Philadelphia Eagles – playoff berth

NEW YORK GIANTS (8-5-1)

Week 16 – at Minnesota (11-3), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX

Week 17 – vs. Indianapolis (4-9-1)

Week 18 – at Philadelphia (13-1)

N.Y. Giants clinch playoff berth with:

  1. NYG win + WAS loss + DET loss

    OR

  2. NYG win + WAS loss + SEA loss OR

  3. NYG win + DET loss + SEA loss

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-1)

Week 16 – at Dallas (10-4), Saturday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX

Week 17 – vs. New Orleans (5-9)

Week 18 – vs. N.Y. Giants (8-5-1)

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division title with:

  1. PHI win or tie

  2. Philadelphia clinches homefield advantage and NFC’s lone first-round bye with:

  1. PHI win

    OR

  2. PHI tie + MIN loss or tie

Jets’ Huff: ‘We’re not the same old Jets’

The New York Jets(6=3) showed the AFC East and the NFL that they can compete with the top teams as they defeated the Buffalo Bills(6-2) 20-17 Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Many are shocked by this win for the Jets, but according to head coach Robert Saleh, he’s not surprised.

“Last week, we felt like we gave one away,” Saleh said after the win. “We practiced well this week. Not that practice ever translates, but I feel like it does. Last week wasn’t demoralizing to anyone. It was like, ‘damn, we are pretty good’ when you’re feeling like you should win football games. There wasn’t a coach or a person in that locker room that didn’t think we were going to be able to get this one done.”

Jets DE Bryce Huff, who had a huge strip-sack of Josh Allen on the Bills’ final drive, says this is not the same old Jets.

“We’re not the same old Jets,” he said. “We’ve got a group of guys here that love to work. We show up to work every day with the same mindset, just get better and go 1-0 on Sunday.”

One of the biggest reasons the Jets got the win was their defense. New York’s defense held the Bills to a season-low 17 points; they held one of the best quarterbacks in football, Allen, without a touchdown pass for the first time this season, and they intercepted him twice. In addition, they sacked Allen five times in this one, and the Pro Bowler completed only 52%(18/34) of his passes.

Coming into this game, the Jets were in the top ten in total defense and sacks, and after two picks on Sunday, they are now second in interceptions. One of the things the players believe makes this defense go is their relationship off the field.

“We really love each other,” Jets corner D.J. Reed said. “We hang out outside of football; everybody’s close-knit, just close, it’s family. I think that’s all we’ve got to go play for each other that hard.”

DE Jermaine Johnson added on the defense: “We really forget the business side of the NFL. It feels like we’re on a high school team, like that’s the camaraderie we got, and we’re just close. Like we hang out outside the building, we have fun when we’re in the building; it’s not just business to us. So, there’s a real-life connection here, and we display it. It’s getting better every Sunday.”

With the Jets trailing 14-10 in the third quarter, New York’s rookie corner Sauce Gardner intercepted Allen, which set up the Jets’ final touchdown and gave the team a lead late in the third. Gardner discussed what he saw on that interception.

“We were in a cover-two concept, to my side,” he said. “The receiver got outside of me, and they had a running back there sat in front of me. It was a running back or receiver; I don’t know. I just, I felt like I had a feel for Josh Allen and the throws he likes to make. So, I was just taking away the throws to the running back; I tried to time it up to make the play.”

Defense wins championships, but that’s not to say the Jets are a championship-caliber team; however, it says because of its defense, New York will be able to compete with some of the better teams in football, and they showed that on Sunday.

Jags’ Allen: ‘It feels good to be a part of a professional locker room’

In 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars struggled from the start to the end; they won only three games and fired their head coach Urban Meyer 13 games into the season.

Meyer, who won big on the collegiate level, had many hiccups last season, including being seen on video dancing with another woman who was not his wife after staying back in Ohio following the team’s tough loss to Cincinnati.

In addition, former Jaguars K Josh Lambo accused Meyer of kicking him before practice last August, which Meyer denied.

However, Meyer, who many felt treated NFL players like college kids, is gone, and Doug Pederson, who won a Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2017, is the head guy in Jacksonville.

According to Jaguars LB Josh Allen, the team now has a “professional locker room.”

 “It feels good to be a part of a professional locker room, not only in the locker room but also when you talk to the coaches,” Allen said. “It’s a professional setting. You have to hone in to the details. If you’re not listening to the details, it’s not getting onto you; it’s telling you what’s right and what’s wrong. As guys, as grown men, we’ve got to understand that, and he puts it in a way we can understand it and grow. He’s not getting on us, he’s letting us know what’s real, and he’s talking to us like grown men. With that, nothing but respect. We want to grow. We want to be great, and plus, he has the respect in his resume. We want to be an organization where we can get to that point someday. If we do things right and we listen, I feel like we can get to that point.”

Clearly, Jacksonville made a mistake when they hired Meyer. He was not the guy for the job. With the addition of Trevor Lawrence last season, there was a lot of excitement around the team, but incident after incident and report after report kept coming out of Jacksonville, none of which were pretty.

Fortunately for the team, it’s a new day and a new year.

Jaguars exercise fifth-year option on DE/OLB Josh Allen

The Jacksonville Jaguars have exercised the fifth-year option on DE/OLB Josh Allen, the team announced Thursday.

Allen will have a guaranteed salary of $11.5 million in 2023.

The 24-year-old is entering his fourth season with the team after originally being drafted by Jacksonville in the first round (seventh overall) in the 2019 draft. He has appeared in 40 games (26 starts) and has recorded 128 total tackles, including 25 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one interception.

Allen was voted as a team captain the last two seasons and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2019. He was the first rookie in Jaguars history to be selected to the Pro Bowl.

In 2021, Allen recorded 15 starts, 71 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, four passes defensed, one forced fumble, one interception and one fumble recovery. Following the team’s Week 9 victory against the Bills, Allen was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording a career-high eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and 1.0 sack, one INT and one fumble recovery.

Jags’ Lawrence on win over Bills: ‘That’s one of the best defensive performances I’ve seen’

On any given Sunday, anything can happen in the NFL, which was on full display at TIAA Bank Field as the Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Buffalo Bills(5-3).

Coming into this game against Jacksonville, Buffalo was averaging 29 points per game. However, the Bills’ offense did not score a touchdown against the Jaguars, and they would lose 9-6.

There was no touchdowns on Sunday as both defenses came to play.

The six points were the fewest points Buffalo has scored since the 2019 season. Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 264 yards but had no touchdowns and threw two picks. He also lost a fumble. In addition, the Jaguars sacked Allen four times and limited Buffalo to 72 rushing yards. It was the third consecutive game the Jaguars have allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards.

The Bills’ Josh Allen struggled on Sunday, but Jacksonville’s Josh Allen was big time. 

Allen sacked Allen, marking the first time a player sacked a QB with the same first and last name in NFL history. Allen finished the game with a career-high eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. He also recorded the first interception of his career, becoming the second defensive lineman in franchise history to post at least 1.0 sack, one interception, and one fumble recovery.

“We’re not going nowhere,” Allens said postgame. “We’ve got — we’re going to build on this. I’m glad I’m not up here saying, oh, we’ve got to do better. No. When we’re on our stuff, we can be a really great defense, and it showed today. Our defensive line can go against any offensive line any time of the week, any offense, stop any run, stop any pass. We did what we needed to do.”

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, who was 18/26 for 118 yards, interception and left the game with an ankle injury but returned, was very impressed by the defense.

“I mean, it’s great. It speaks to the progress that we’re making,” Lawerence said. “I mean, our defense today, that’s one of the best defensive performances I’ve seen, and that’s a great offense. Obviously, Josh Allen, quarterback, and their wideouts and O-line, all those guys, they’re great players, and to see what our defense did, all the takeaways, the big stops on third and fourth down. I mean, it was just fun to watch.”

After losing their first five games, Jacksonville has now won two of three. This game was all about the defense, and the Jaguars’ defense shut down the Bills’ offense and led the team to victory.

 

Allen, Garrett, Tucker named AFC players of the week

Quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, defensive end Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns and kicker Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 3 (September 23, 26-27).

OFFENSE: QB JOSH ALLEN, BUFFALO BILLS

  • Allen completed 32 of 43 pass attempts (74.4 percent) for 358 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions for a 129.8 rating and added a rushing touchdown in Buffalo’s 43-21 victory over Washington.

  • This is the seventh-career Offensive Player of the Week award for Allen:

    • 2018: Week 17

    • 2019: Week 11

    • 2020: Weeks 2, 9, 13, 15

    • 2021: Week 3

  • Allen trails only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly (10-time winner) for the most Offensive Player of the Week awards by a Buffalo quarterback.

  • He joins Patrick Mahomes and Derrick Henry as the only players to win a Player of the Week in each of the past four seasons (2018-21).

DEFENSE: DE MYLES GARRETT, CLEVELAND BROWNS

  • Garrett recorded seven tackles and a franchise-record 4.5 sacks in Cleveland’s 26-6 win over Chicago.

  • This marks the second Defensive Player of the Week award for Garrett (Week 4, 2020).

  • He becomes the first Brown to win multiple Defensive Player of the Week awards since defensive end Courtney Brown (Week 5, 2003 and Week 3, 2000).

SPECIAL TEAMS: K JUSTIN TUCKER, BALTIMORE RAVENS

  • Tucker converted four of five field goals, including an NFL-record 66-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Detroit, 19-17.

  • This is the 12th-career Special Teams Player of the Week award for Tucker:

    • 2013: Week 10, 12, 15

    • 2014: Week 3

    • 2015: Week 4, 8

    • 2016: Week 12

    • 2018: Weeks 3, 17

    • 2019: Weeks 5, 6

    • 2021: Week 3

  • He is now tied with Jason Hanson (12) and Matt Prater (12) for the third-most all-time by a kicker. Only Adam Vinatieri (19) and John Carney (13) have earned the honor more.

Bills’ Allen: ‘We gotta find a way to finish in the end zone’

For most of their game against the Jets on Sunday, it was not pretty for the Buffalo Bills, but fortunately for them, there are not any style points for wins in the NFL. Behind six Tyler Bass field goals, the Bills(5-2) defeated the lowly Jets(0-7) 18-10 at MetLife Stadium.

Buffalo’s defense made it a long day for the Jets. After leading the Bills 10-6 at halftime, Buffalo shutout New York in the second half. Ultimately, they sacked Jets QB Sam Darnold six times and intercepted him twice.

On offense, Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 307 yards and ran for 61 yards, but they were not able to score touchdowns, which Allen said is on him.

“It was a situational football type of win today,” Allen said after the game. “It took all three phases, but we can do a better job on offense, myself, emphasize there myself. We could do a better job and put some more points on the board and make it easier living for our defense.”

Buffalo had 422 yards of total offense on Sunday, so they could move the ball against New York, but according to Allen, penalties hurt the Bills, and Buffalo finished the game with 11 penalties. 

“i think we did a good job of moving the ball,” Allen said. “Obviously, the stats speak for themselves. We gotta find a way to finish in the end zone. It’s gotta be better on my part. Couple penalties pushed us back and put us in bad a position, and shoutout to T-Bass(Tyler Bass) for obviously making those field goals and getting us the win.”

In the end, a win is a win, and now Buffalo will host the New England Patriots next week.

“It’s a division win,” Allen said. “These aren’t always going to be the prettiest of wins, and we understand that, so we’ll take them when we can get them.”

This was a game Buffalo had to have, and a loss to the jets would have been inexcusable. With the Patriots struggling, and the Dolphins going to a rookie quarterback, it appears the Bills are the class of the AFC East. Now, they must continue to show it as the season progresses.

Jags’ Allen on Minshew: ‘He’s a superstar on and off-field’

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew came out of nowhere as a rookie and played some solid football for the team last season. In fact, the Jaguars had so much faith in the former sixth-round pick that they decided to trade Nick Foles and make Minshew the team’s starting quarterback this season.

At this point, the 24-year-old Minshew is rewarding Jacksonville’s faith in him. After two games, the second-year quarterback has thrown for 512 yards with six touchdowns and 115.7 quarterback rating. In Week 1, Minshew was close to perfect as he completed 19/20 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 27-20 victory against the Colts. 

Last week, against the Titans, Minshew brought his team back from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit before falling to Tennessee 33-30. On Thursday night, the 1-1 Jaguars have an opportunity to move to 2-1 at home against the 0-2 Miami Dolphins. 

According to Minshew, going 1-1 against the Colts and Titans gives the team a lot of confidence as they prepare for the Dolphins.

“Those were two very good teams, two very good divisional teams we’ve played so far,” Minshew said on Tuesday via a video call. “[We] competed well, had a chance to win both. So, it’s just taking those good things we’ve done and building on those and then trying to fix the stuff that we haven’t done well.”

On the Thursday Night Football stage last season in Week 3, Minshew got his first victory as a starter, and “Minshew Mania” grew from there. According to his teammate, DE Josh Allen, Minshew is now a superstar on and off the field. 

“I think he’s a superstar,” Allen said. “But him on and off the field, he’s a great guy, great quarterback, and he’s also a special human being, and he’s just a guy that you just want to be around. He gives off that energy. My wife loves him, probably more than she loves me, which I’m kind of a little mad at. She thinks he’s a superstar, so I kind of have to check him about that. But that’s just the vibe he gives. He’s a superstar on and off-field, but he doesn’t give off that attitude, and I love Gardner. That’s my guy, G-Money. He signed my gloves, ‘To Josh.’ I’m about to frame this.”

Minshew is not a superstar at this stage of his career, but he is definitely growing as a player. He’s very confident in his ability, and the confidence is spreading throughout Jacksonville’s locker room. Thursday’s night game against Miami is very winnable, and if the Jaguars want to continue to prove they can make some noise in 2020, it’s a game they have to win.