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Four takeaways after win over Colts: What next?

Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II (15) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II (15) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The season is over. The Jaguars beat the Colts 38-20 to finish the 2019 campaign 6-10. The end of the season always offers some intriguing opportunities for players to finish the year with a good performance. Here are my four biggest takeaways from Sunday’s game:

Minshew’s improvements

We saw several examples of Gardner Minshew’s ability to make plays, and several examples of where he needs to improve in the season finale. On the Jaguars’ first drive, Minshew had two opportunities to throw touchdown passes. First, he put too much on a pass to Ryquell Armstead who was wide open at the goal line.

It was a catchable ball, but not easily catchable. Then, on the following play, Minshew had Dede Westbrook open, heading to the pylon, but he threw it too high over his head. The rookie responded.

In the second quarter, he threw a perfect pass to Keelan Cole for a 45-yard completion. That set up another beautiful connection between Minshew and Cole for the touchdown. There were other examples, but the point is that Minshew has some ability. He is not a finished product. What he does this offseason will go a long way to determining his future role with the Jaguars.

Chark hits 1,000

Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark came into the game needing 26 yards for 1,000. On his second catch of the game, he got enough to reach the plateau. Chark joins Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns as the only receivers to reach 1,000 yards in a Jaguars’ uniform. It’s a remarkable turnaround considering he was almost invisible during his rookie season.

Conley bonuses

Chris Conley entered the game needing one catch to reach a bonus that would pay him $125,000. He also needed 17 yards to reach another incentive worth $125,000. His first catch came in the second quarter. It went for 17 yards. On one catch, Conley secured a quarter of a million dollars in bonuses. Not a bad evening of work. Conley would finish with three catches for 38 yards.

What now?

The day after the NFL regular season ends is known as Black Monday because of all of the firings that tend to occur. But will the Jaguars make a move by then?

Khan’s spokesman Jim Woodcock issued a statement Saturday after an ESPN report came out saying Doug Marrone would be fired after Sunday’s game, that Khan would meet with the football leadership midweek. Why wait until New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, or later, to make a move?

Two teams are already seeking interviews with some well-known candidates like recently fired Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, former Packers’ head man Mike McCarthy and Baylor’s Matt Rhule. While Carolina, Cleveland and Washington have already fired their coaches, Dallas, Chicago, the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants could all be in the market for a new head coach.


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