Minshew’s Magic propels the Jaguars to win over the Raiders
By Kathy Clark
The Jaguars were ranked as one of the worst teams in the NFL but someone forgot to tell them that they couldn’t win in Oakland.
It was the fourth quarter, The Jaguars offense was nonexistent, the Raiders were confident that their nightmare was over. And then along came the Jaguars caped crusader, Gardner Minshew, who threw two touchdown passes to Chris Conley.
Is Minshew Mania back? Yes, for at least one very happy week.
Despite the great finish by the Jaguars yesterday, the 2019 season is basically over. This team played with pride and enthusiasm and yes, some anger as well. No one really knows what the future holds for this team but there will be changes in personnel after the season. There are some important players that I believe will be back. Minshew, the linebackers Donald Payne and Leon Jacobs, and the edge rushers Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue.
The defensive line played an impressive game in the second half. The linebackers had a large number of tackles, especially Payne, who is quickly becoming a force in the middle. There were those who said the Jaguars had their U-Hauls packed and were ready to call the season over. I saw none of that on Sunday.
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The first half was slow but the Jaguars took charge in the second half and made it their own. There were heart and enthusiasm, especially on two fourth-quarter drives that gave the team a much-needed victory.
The defensive line played like it was 2017. Sacksonville was back with a vengeance. Ngakoue looked like a man on a mission. He had two sacks and four tackles for a loss. Someone is going to pay this man. I hope it’s the Jaguars. Allen had his 10th sack of the year to lead all rookies in the AFC this season. Calais Campbell took a drink from the fountain of youth and was everywhere.
The depleted linebacker group looked anything but depleted. Payne had13 tackles, Austin Calitro, newish to the team, had 11 tackles and a sack, and my personal favorite, Jacobs, added eight tackles and a sack. They deserve tons of credit for hustle and effort. Maybe we aren’t so depleted after all.
Finally, Minshew played with the leadership and field presence that made him a fan favorite early in the season. He sealed the win with his second touchdown pass to Conley. It’s hard to describe why, but when he comes on the field the team just plays better. He is a true competitor and never gives up.
I can see him as a starter in the NFL for the Jaguars. Additional love goes to Keelan Cole who had three catches for 76 yards.
It is obvious that the team stole a game from the Raiders. It was supposed to be a sweet goodbye to Oakland, however, Jacksonville found a way to win, ending a five-game losing streak. There are two games left.
One is against a disappointing Atlanta Falcons team. It’s a game of teams with 5-9 records. The other is against the Indianapolis Colts at home. I predicted a 7-9 record at the beginning of the season. It could happen.