The Jacksonville Jaguars improved to 2–2 on the season with a comeback win in Denver on Sunday, riding a massive rushing performance from Leonard Fournette (225 yards) to a 26–24 victory. But these days, with Nick Foles out, no Jaguars win (or loss, even) is complete without a few plays from QB Gardner Minshew that make you say, “Well I’ll be damned.”
Josh Lambo might’ve sealed the win with his game-ending field goal, but it was the Washington State kid who made the key throws in the two-minute drill that set Lambo up with a chip shot to win it. And before that, it took a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes from Minshew to kickstart the offense and bring the Jaguars back into the game. His first TD, a third-down seven-yarder to Ryquell Armstead that ended a 16-play drive coming out of halftime, was the play of the game. Minshew slithered around the Broncos’ pass rush to buy himself enough time and space to loft a throw to the end zone.
Minshew’s numbers were far from spectacular—19 of 33 for 213 yards, a pair of TDs, and no picks—but when experiencing that which is Gardner Minshew, the stats don’t tell the story. Foles’s replacement just has some sort of je ne sais quoi that makes him a blast to watch and root for compared to your average back-up quarterback. That combination of off-kilter name, retro facial hair, and southern-fried charisma dipped in Pacific Northwest weirdness has created a perfectly Jacksonville celebrity, perhaps best described by this GIF.
Leonard Fournette with two gems about QB Gardner Minshew: “His name is Jock Strap King” and “He’s stronger than you think. I don’t know if the mustache gives him power or what.”
“Jock Strap King” is a callback to a Minshew routine that Fournette alerted reporters to a few weeks back:
“Our preseason games, a lot of them, he used to be in the locker room stretching in his jock strap. He must think we’re still in college, that’s some college things. But that’s his ritual, and I’m used to it now.”
We deserve at least a couple more months of Minshew Mania.