In his first five starts, Gardner Minshew proved he can play in the NFL even though he wasn’t picked until the sixth round.
He proved he has a lot of charisma and has made Minshew Mania a thing, but the question is what kind of career will he have?
Is he destined to be a long term starter or is he another Ryan Fitzpatrick without the Harvard degree, a smart guy who can read defenses and lead the team, but lacks the physical tools to be an elite quarterback?
And can he keep Nick Foles on the bench when Foles is ready to play, presumably after the bye?
In the wake of the way he was handcuffed by the Saints defense Sunday, we will start getting those answers in the next three games before the bye.
They figure to beat winless Cincinnati Sunday, but facing the defenses of Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will be a challenge.
Both are veteran coaches who will take notice of what the Saints did Sunday.
What we don’t know is whether the Saints stopped him because they are so good on defense or whether they cracked the code with the right scheme to handcuff Minshew.
They double teamed DJ Chark and played two deep safeties to take away the outside and kept him bottled up in the pocket so he couldn’t escape and make plays on the run and took away his quick throws up the middle.
Sean Payton congratulated his troops by saying the Jaguars wouldn’t have scored a touchdown if they had played eight quarters, although it came across as gloating.
Coach Doug Marrone noted the Jaguars have to expect teams to do what the Saints did.
“When someone does have success against you, playing a coverage, you have to make sure you do a good job (of getting ready for it) because this is a league where is they see something successful against you, they’ll do it again.”
Can the Jaguars make the right adjustments to beat that coverage and can other teams do it without the Saints players?
Can Minshew adjust to his first bump in the road when he looked like a rookie quarterback?
A win over winless Cincinnati would boost their record to 3-4 then they host the Jets go to London to play Houston, which held Minshew to one touchdown in their first meeting. m
It was Minshew’s first start and the Texans didn’t have much tape on him to look at.
If Jaguars beat both the Jets and Texans to go to 5-4, the odds are that Minshew will keep the job after the bye. If they split them to go 4-5, they have a decision to make. If they lose both to fall to 3-6, there is no decision. It will be Foles time.
The next three games – especially the two against the Jets and Texans – will tell us a lot about Minshew and the Jaguars.