Is Gardner Minshew the real deal or are the Jaguars tanking for Trevor?
Gardner Minshew, the beloved quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, had one of the most shocking rookie seasons in recent memory; the sixth rounder turned starter in one season. He was thrown into the fire immediately after Foles suffered an injury week one.
After leading Jacksonville to three game-winning drives, a 6-6 record, and eventually eclipsing Nick Foles as the top QB on the depth chart, here we are. He was essentially given the keys to the Jaguars offense for this upcoming season. Additionally, because of the promise he showed, head coach Doug Marrone and general Dave Caldwell seemingly had their jobs saved.
Minshew is a fan favorite in Jacksonville and nationally. He rocks a glorious mustache but is much more than the fan favorite. Minshew threw for 3,271 yards with 21 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Despite all this, we do not hear his name in the same light as a guy like Kyler Murray or even Daniel Jones for that matter. Here is how these guys stats stack up versus one another over the course of 16 games:
Kyler Murray: 5-10-1 3,722 yards 64.4% 20 TDs 12 INTs
Daniel Jones: 4-12 4,013 yards 61.9% 32 TDs 16 INTs
Gardner Minshew: 8-8 4,361 yards 60.6% 28 TDs 8 INTs
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These stats do not tell the whole story. Kyler Murray is very effective in the run game accounting for over 500 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. He took the worst offense in the league in 2018 in terms of yardage and helped the Cardinals improve significantly in presumably the toughest division in all of football.
All of these reasons helped Kyler secure the AP offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2019. Even though Minshew showed incredible promise, and took a severely diminished Jaguars roster to a .500% record in his 12 starts, he still did not garner one Rookie of the Year vote.
Minshew may be better off flying under the radar as he seems to thrive when he is counted out. As this season comes along, there are three key factors that are absolutely crucial for Minshew to help replicate and grow on his success from Year 1.