Mark Brunell: Minshew continues to show growth for Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There was no Minshew Magic in the final two minutes of the game on Sunday. That was a good thing. 

The Jaguars didn't need it in their 29-15 win over the New York Jets. 

They certainly got in the first two quarters, with Minshew once again looking sharp and tossing a pair of touchdowns. And he had a fourth-quarter strike to D.J. Chark to help put things away. I've been interested to see just how Minshew would evolve after a couple of uneven weeks against the Saints and Bengals. 

So it was nice to see a bit of that earlier season Minshew after some ups and downs the last couple of games.  

The win puts the Jaguars at 4-4 heading into a tough divisional game against the Texans in London. It didn't seem like it was possible early this year, but hope is alive at the midway point of the season for the Jaguars to make something out of 2019. 

The Jaguars have everything in front of them. A win in London puts them in the driver's seat heading into the bye week.

The Jaguars offense was all about explosive plays Sunday. Leonard Fournette's first run of the day was a 66-yarder that led to a Minshew touchdown pass to Keelan Cole the following play. The next big one was the very Minshew-like scramble out of the pocket when safety Jamal Adams had the perfect angle on him for a sack. Minshew broke that tackle and hit Chris Conley for a 70-yard touchdown.

Minshew continues to play at a high level.

Of course, the presents the question that is going to be asked hundreds of times these next couple weeks — when Nick Foles is ready, does he get the starting job back? 

Honestly, it's as tough a decision as head coach Doug Marrone will have had to make in regards to personnel. Foles is eligible to come off of injured reserve in the Jaguars' game at Indianapolis on Nov. 17.

Do you go with the hot hand in Minshew, or do you put in the Super Bowl MVP for the stretch run?

Certainly not a bad problem to have as both are clearly capable of leading this team. This decision could very well determine the fate of the 2019 season. 

And let's not forget about the defense. You can sum it up in one word: Pressure! 

Sam Darnold didn't have a chance as the Jets offensive line gave up eight sacks. Other than their first drive of the game and a third-quarter drive for a score, the Jets did little offensively. 
Jacksonville continues to be Sacksonville. 

We can't forget how much that pressure helps the Jaguars secondary. Two key interceptions both led to points for the home team. Three picks on the day! As I mentioned last week after that finish at Cincinnati, they come in bunches, don't they?

If the defense continues getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks there are a lot of wins on the remaining schedule.

Everything is in place for the Jaguars to make a run at the playoffs. 

A win against the Texans obviously would be huge. Going into a bye week with a winning record is something to be excited about. Nothing better than having momentum with seven games left on the schedule. Go Jaguars!

About the Author:

Mark Brunell is a sports analyst and reporter with News4Jax and current head football coach at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.