JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Not only is Gardner Minshew II capably filling in for the injured Nick Foles, the rookie sixth-round pick is beginning to show that he might be able to carry the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ offense.
The Jaguars’ run game was essentially nonexistent Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans, so it was all on Minshew, and he delivered with two touchdown passes and two other scoring drives to lead the Jaguars to a 20-7 victory at TIAA Bank Field.
Minshew completed 20 of 30 passes for 204 yards and wasn’t intercepted. His only interception this season came when one of his passes bounced off Leonard Fournette’s face mask in the season opener against Kansas City.
It was his first victory as a starting quarterback and the Jaguars’ first victory of the season. And it came on a short week and with a massive distraction when cornerback Jalen Ramsey asked the team to trade him.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak to the Titans, who embarrassed the Jaguars on national television last season.
Minshew threw both of his TD passes in the first quarter, making him just the second rookie to throw two TD passes in the first 10 minutes of a game in the past 10 seasons. The only other to do so was Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota, who did it in his NFL debut in 2015.
Minshew has five touchdown passes to his one interception in three games. He’s the second quarterback in franchise history to throw a TD pass in each of his first three games (Byron Leftwich did it in 2003).