Could Gardner Minshew be on his way to NFL rookie of the year?
Jaguars quarterback named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Minshew Mania has taken Jacksonville by storm.
And it's not just because of Gardner Minshew's signature style (although, let's face it, that doesn't hurt).
The mustache, bandana and jorts are only part of the story, and probably wouldn't be getting nearly as much attention if the rookie quarterback wasn't lighting it up on the field, too.
The NFL recognized Minshew's standout start to his career, naming him the Offensive Rookie of the Month for September.
He's the first Jaguars player to earn the honor since 2006, and the first offensive rookie of the month for the Jags since Byron Leftwich in December 2003.
Minshew has also won the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week award twice this season, in Week 1 and in Week 3, and is once again a finalist for this week’s award.
Minshew, a sixth-round selection from Washington State, has quickly become the face of the franchise after a broken collarbone knocked out starter Nick Foles in the opening quarter of the season opener.
During the month of September, Minshew completed 84 of 121 passes (69.4 completion pct.) for 905 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 106.9.
Minshew threw for more than 200 yards and posted a passer rating of at least 95.0 in each of his first four contests, becoming the first player in the NFL since 1990 to register 200-plus passing yards and a passer rating of at least 95.0 in each of his first four career games.
Minshew’s 88.0 completion percentage in Week 1 was the highest for any player in NFL history with at least 15 pass attempts in their league debut and remains the highest in a single game in the NFL this season with a minimum of 20 attempts.
In addition, he became the only rookie in NFL history to post at least 275 passing yards with a completion percentage greater than 75.0 in their NFL debut as a rookie in Week 1.
In his first career start in Week 2 at Houston, Minshew threw for 213 yards on 23 of 33 passing with one TD and zero INTs, in addition to a team-high 56 yards rushing. He is the second player in NFL history to post at least 200 passing yards, 50 rushing yards and zero INTs in his first career start, and the first-ever rookie to accomplish the feat among players with at least 10 passing attempts.
The Brandon, Miss. native picked up his first professional win in Week 3 against Tennessee, when he completed 20 of 30 passes for 204 yards and two TDs for a passer rating of 108.2 and followed with a 213-yard and two TD performance (97.2 passer rating) in the Jaguars’ second consecutive win at Denver in Week 4.
Minshew has tried to keep his focus on what's happening on the field, despite his surge in popularity across the league.
"You can't help but notice it," Minshew said. "But you just try to -- it's outside. It's not in this building, and it doesn't have anything to do with what we do out there. So, just try to keep it there and not worry about it when it's football time."
An attitude like that (plus some impressive talent) might just take him all the way to rookie of the year.
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