Gardner Minshew, Jaguars lose late gamble against Texans on the road

Zach Yearwood, Sports Reporter

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost a tough division game, 13-12, in Houston on Sunday. The defeat brings them to 0-2 in a young NFL season.

Both offenses struggled early in the game. The Texans went into the half leading 9-6 and neither team scored a touchdown until the fourth quarter.

Early in the fourth, the Texans capitalized on a Jaguars fumble and scored a touchdown. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson completed the 11-yard drive with a two-yard run where he juked and ran through Jaguars defenders.

With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars kicked a field goal to make the score 13-6. The Jaguars staunch defense held the Texans on the next drive and got the ball back with 3:36 on the clock.

Gardner Minshew, on what might have been his first career game-winning drive, impressed many fans. On the Jaguars final drive, Minshew completed five of nine passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. The rookie quarterback also displayed his running ability when he gained 18 yards on 4th and 10 to keep the drive going.

After Minshew’s touchdown to DJ Chark, the Jaguars decided to go for two to win the game. The gutsy call back-fired: Leonard Fournette’s run up the middle was stopped inches short of the goal line.

Three takeaways from the game


The Jaguars are in competent hands at quarterback

Down a touchdown in the final minutes of the game, the Jaguars needed to move the ball 68 yards to have a chance to win. The result of the game rested on the shoulders of a rookie sixth-round quarterback. Gardner Minshew had to lead his team on his first potential game-winning drive.

Minshew looked great on the final drive of the game. He showed that he is capable of leading the team in the clutch and that he can extend plays with his legs. His accuracy and arm strength also impressed in his first NFL start.

Many people had doubts about Nick Foles’ replacement. Minshew showed the Jaguars fans that he can keep the team in a position to win games.


Infighting among the team is indicative of bigger issues


Last week, Myles Jack was ejected for swinging at a Chiefs player last week. This weekend, there was more drama as Jalen Ramsey and Doug Marrone were involved in a heated exchange on the sideline.

These issues aren’t new for the Jaguars. There were several confrontations last season involving multiple players.

The team’s repetitive chemistry problems could point to a larger issue within the Jaguars’ locker room.


The defense has a chance to return to 2017 form


The Jaguars defense struggled against the Chiefs. Missed assignments and confusion contributed to allowing 40 points.

Despite not having A.J. Bouye or Yannick Ngakoue, the defense performed exceptionally. The team held Deshaun Watson to 159 passing yards and no passing touchdowns. They also held all-pro wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, to 40 yards on five catches.

The defensive line also shone Sunday. The Jaguars only recorded two sacks but they pressured Watson all game.

If the Jaguars defense can continue to play like on Sunday, then the team should be one of the top defenses again this season.

The Jaguars will play the Titans at home on Thursday night at 8:20 p.m.


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