America’s favorite hipster quarterback is making his return to the field today. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is out with an ankle injury, so for the first time since Week 14 of the 2020 season, Gardner Minshew II will be starting in an NFL game.
This being Minshew’s first start in nearly a calendar year, the NFL fashion icon had to wear something special for the occasion. Of course, he arrived at the stadium with his trademark aviator sunglasses, but he topped it off with a bomber jacket. The jacket gives off serious Top Gun vibes, and even elicited a “Talk to me Goose” tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
If Minshew’s fashion aspiration for today was to go complete Maverick, then the outfit was complete, but if wanted to really bring out the Minshew mania he needed to go with the jorts. What the Eagles are hoping for is just enough Minshew Magic — that powered the 2019 Jacksonville Jaguars to a 4-4 record at the halfway point of the 2019 season — from their backup quarterback to get them through this week without Hurts.
The Eagles are only a half game out of the playoffs, and the team that currently holds the seventh seed in the NFC is the Washington Football Team. These division rivals have yet to play each other this season and won’t until Weeks 15 and 17. The Eagles have a bye next week, but this week they’re in Jersey, playing the 3-8 New York Jets — a team they have not lost to in their franchise history.
As December begins, for the Eagles to be under .500 they could not be in a better position going down the stretch. However, that positioning means nothing if Maddening Minshew shows up today. In his last four starts for the Jaguars in 2020, he completed more than 50 percent of his passes once, averaged more than seven yards per attempt once, and lost two fumbles.
What Minshew has to do today to keep the Eagles in prime position is what is asked from a solid backup quarterback: get the team through a week with an injured starter, especially against one of the lesser teams in the NFL. The Eagles don’t need Maverick out there taking a bunch of chances today. He needs to stay with a bomber jacket in the locker room, and Minshew needs to operate today like a commercial pilot. Minshew needs to navigate whatever turbulence comes his way, and land the Eagles to a 6-6 record safely and as smoothly as possible.