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Minshew replaces Glennon in third quarter vs Titans, Jaguars lose 12th straight game

John Watson, Sports Editor

The return of Gardner Minshew, the pride of Yulee and a big milestone for James Robinson. Both teams had hoped this was going to be a memorable game and thankfully, the possible storylines became reality after 60 minutes of football.

In Sunday’s game, one team has a solid game plan and a superb record while the other is still searching for answers and still has a disappointing record. While this is what should have happened in this matchup, Jags fans across the country were hoping for a good story at least.

All good stories have a start and an end, and this game was juicy cover-to-cover.

Pregame, the Jaguars insisted on starting QB Mike Glennon as head coach Doug Marrone believed in his ability to win football games. As Gardner Minshew was benched even after returning to full contact, Marrone commented on the QB competition in Jacksonville in an interview from earlier this week.

“I just think right now in practice Mike is throwing better and gives us the best chance to win,” Marrone said last Monday after the Jaguars’ 27-24 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

After Glennon struggled in the first two quarters, it was apparent from the boos heard throughout the stadium that the fans wanted Minshew in and there was no question about it. With the fans’ support of Minshew, Marrone knew what he had to do… start Glennon in the third quarter?

Doug Marrone stuck to the script and started Glennon in the second half after a tumultuous first two quarters. On Glennon’s second play of their opening drive, Glennon threw a deep ball to DJ Chark that was picked off by Titans DB Malcolm Butler. That would be the end of Glennon’s day under center.

As Minshew took the field for the first time, you could sense in the stadium that Jacksonville wanted their favorite mustache-bearing cowboy all along. That energy was felt, but Minshew still had a job to do.

On his first drive, Minshew led the Jaguars down the field and even converted a fourth-down play to extend the series. The drive was capped by a five-yard TD catch by Keelan Cole and the legend of Gardner Minshew had once again returned to Duval.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II, left, throws a pass over Tennessee Titans linebacker Derick Roberson (50) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (AP)

While Minshew provided an early spark, the next two drives both ended in failed fourth-down conversions in the red zone. Down 31-3 when Gardner was put in the game, it was a tall task to ask Minshew to mount an epic comeback, and it fell a bit short. After the game, Minshew spoke on if he deserved the starting role spot after today’s performance.

“I’m going to try to help the team score points and help the team get better in any way I can,” Minshew said. “Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do. But there’s nothing like being out there and being under center.”

While the Jaguars have their things to deal with this week in practice, the Titans are looking steady and stable as their leading rusher (by a mile) Derrick Henry continued his reign of terror over Jacksonville with a monster 215 yard, two-touchdown performance.

For reference, since 2018 there have been eight different 200-yard rushing performances in the NFL. Four of those eight belong to Derrick Henry.

With 215 yards today, Derrick Henry’s season total comes to 1,317 yards and he leads the league in that category and also rushes attempts. Without his usual competition of Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley due to injury, Henry has been shattering the stat sheets.

While Henry was expected to do well this season, Jaguars RB James Robinson had nothing to lose as an undrafted rookie out of Illinois State. Robinson broke the 1,000-yard season rushing barrier in the third quarter and has shattered expectations out of college.

After the game, Robinson shared what the honor means to other undrafted rookies looking for opportunities.

“Keep fighting, that’s all it is,” Robinson said postgame. “You don’t get drafted, it sucks, but once you get on a team, it’s still kind of the same feeling, other than not having your name called on TV.”

The Jaguars will have to “keep fighting” as Sunday’s contest marks their 12th loss on the season while only winning once. The next game for the jaguars is against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Maryland. The Titans will play on Sunday as well, but against the Detroit Lions at home.

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Minshew replaces Glennon in third quarter vs Titans, Jaguars lose 12th straight game