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Four takeaways: Minshew Magic returns, defense surges

Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II celebrates after running for a first down and drawing a penalty against the New York Jets during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II celebrates after running for a first down and drawing a penalty against the New York Jets during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars took care of business in a 29-15 win over the New York Jets to improve to 4-4 on the season. The game saw a rare missed point after by Josh Lambo and the Jets briefly led the Jaguars 7-6 and then came back to make it closer than it should have been in the fourth quarter. Here are my four biggest takeaways from Sunday's game: 

More Minshew Magic

Maybe Gardner Minshew hers the talk about Nick Foles regaining his starting job when Foles is eligible to return to the field next month. Minshew made a couple of fantastic plays, including a 70-yard touchdown connection to Chris Conley where Minshew scrambled away from Jamal Adams' safety blitz and connected with the receiver who was running behind the defense.

That's a play that Foles probably doesn't make because Minshew is more mobile than Foles. The fourth-quarter touchdown to DJ Chark is another one that Foles likely doesn't make, but Minshew's mobility and his ability to make plays on the run have been apparent all year.

Doug Marrone doesn't have to decide on the quarterbacks yet, but if Minshew plays like he did Sunday next week in London, the decision is not going to be an easy one.

Penalties

The Jaguars committed nine penalties for 70 yards. It didn't matter against the Jets, but against teams like the Texans, who are contending for the postseason, it could come back to haunt the Jaguars.

It's a topic Doug Marrone has talked about for months. A pass interference call on Tre Herndon in the fourth quarter got the Jets out of the shadow of their goalpost and could have made the game much closer than it should have been. 

Sacks

I'm not sure if Sam Darnold saw any ghosts during the game, but he certainly saw plenty of Jaguars' pass rushers. The Jaguars totaled eight sacks in the game, including two from Yannick Ngakoue, who now ranks third in Jaguars history with 33.5 career sacks (half a sack behind Joel Smeenge).

The Jets offensive line is not good and the Jaguars took advantage. One other note, Josh Allen is on pace for 14 sacks this season. Since the NFL began recording sacks as an official stat, the rookie record is 14.5 by Jevon Kearse of the Tennessee Titans.

What's next?

The win sets the Jaguars up for what could be the season-defining game in London on Sunday against the Houston Texans. If the Jaguars win, they will be over .500 for the first time since last October and will be set up to make a move in the AFC South after the bye week that follows the game at Wembley Stadium.

I said when this month started that October would define the pathway for the Jaguars season. After going 2-2 in October, the Jaguars have their season laid out before them. They are chasing in the division, but they have a chance to catch the leaders. After a 2-4 start, you can't ask for much more than that.


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