Minshew leads Jaguars past Titans

September 20 2019 6:06 AM

Gardner Minshew II was the star of the show as the rookie quarterback inspired the Jacksonville Jaguars' 20-7 win over the Tennessee Titans.

Minshew commanded Thursday's game and led the Jaguars to their first victory of the NFL season following a 0-2 start.

Maybe it was the moustache, maybe it was the air raid offense he perfected at Washington State, whatever it is, it seems to be working for Minshew. 

He had some assistance from Jacksonville's defensive unit, who held Marcus Mariota and company scoreless until the fourth quarter.

Here are three takeaways from the Jaguars' home win over the Titans.


Minshew is more than a fourth-quarter wonder

The quarterback turned heads in the Jaguars' close Week 2 loss against the Houston Texans, and he carried the momentum he built in that fourth quarter to Thursday's game.

Minshew got going early, capitalising on a botched Titans punt return. He turned the fumble into the first score of the game and never stopped. 

He showed off an almost perfect long ball, something he did more than people thought in his one year under Mike Leach at Washington State.

Minshew has seemed to fit in nicely after taking the place of an injured Nick Foles in Week 1. He finished 20 for 30 with 204 yards and the two touchdowns against the Titans.

What backfield?

It is a silly question considering the talent both teams have at the running back position and Derrick Henry's performance last season against the Jaguars in primetime. He ran for 238 yards and four touchdowns, including a 99-yard score stiff-arming any Jaguar in his way. 

But that certainly was not the case for Henry and the Titans or Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars on Thursday.

The respective run games were held to minuscule yards, until late in the game.

Fournette finally showed signs of the Fournette we all know. He had negative-eight yards rushing before the longest run of the night, a 69-yard carry.

Both teams finished with less than 100 yards on the ground. The Titans finished with 91 yards (Henry 44) and the Jaguars had 88 (Fournette 66).

Marcus Mariota continues to struggle

This could be as much Mariota as it was the Jaguars' defense (and the Titans' offensive line) but the fifth-year quarterback keeps on struggling early this season.

He did not have his best outing against the Indianapolis Colts last week and again failed to deliver on Thursday.

Mariota continued to hold the ball a bit too long, a miscue highlighted near the end of the fourth quarter when he was tripped up waiting for his receivers and was sacked a total of nine times.

He finished 23-of-40 passing for 304 yards.

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