There are plenty of reasons to not watch football. I could provide a sampling, but it would be more efficient to just Google “NFL bad” in a new tab and keep it open all season. If you find yourself craving balance while that list updates over the next few months, feel free to treat yourself to the quarterback stylings of Gardner Minshew II. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ rookie is very much worth watching. For proof, look no further than Jacksonville’s 26-24 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The Jaguars trailed by 11 points at halftime, and their comeback started rolling downhill once Minshew sashayed between defenders in the pocket and hit Ryquell Armstead in the end zone for a third-quarter touchdown.
It’s one of the plays of the year, and it came from someone who wasn’t even supposed to play televised football this season. The Jaguars drafted Minshew in the sixth round to be Nick Foles’ backup, but the Super Bowl champion suffered a broken collarbone during Jacksonville’s first game. This cleared the way for his jaunty understudy, and Minshew is now 2–1 as a starter. The come-from-behind victory in Denver was his best work yet, though he had plenty of help. Running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 225 yards and the Broncos have been eager to lose in the most agonizing ways possible this year, but Minshew stepped up to provide Sunday’s magic. He did more than just pass for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns—he did it with style.
Minshew plays like he isn’t supposed to be there, and I mean that in the best way possible. You know how Eli Manning slithered and grunted through the Patriots defensive line before completing the helmet catch during Super Bowl XLII? Minshew seems to make multiple plays like that every single game.
Thanks to his mustache and boisterous personality, the Jaguars’ quarterback is a ready-made folk hero. You’ve probably already heard a few humorous Minshew anecdotes, like how there is no Gardner Minshew the First or that he stretches in the nude. That first, widely-enjoyed factoid is actually false, but it’s too late for fact checks to slow down the Minshew bandwagon. He’s made the Jacksonville Jaguars (the Jaguars!) must-see TV. Put him in the Hall of Fame already.
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