Jacksonville Jaguars: A look at AFC South quarterbacks

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew is part of a group of quarterbacks in the AFC South who could make for an interesting 2020 NFL season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are heading into the season with Gardner Minshew at quarterback.  Most fans, writers, and coaches agree that the quarterback is the most important player on the field.

The Jaguars have been in quarterback hell for many years but they are not the only team that has quarterback issues.  In fact, the AFC South has three different starting quarterbacks to begin the season than were starters one year ago. Minshew is included in this list.

The AFC South has a proven group of quarterbacks to start the 2020 season. But if you look back one year you will see a similar picture. That group was for the most part proven as well. The Jaguars starter was Nick Foles and he came to the team as a Super Bowl winner.

The Tennessee Titans started the season with Marcus Mariota and some questions about his play on the field, but he was a top draft choice.

The Indianapolis Colts were all in with Andrew Luck as were the Houston Texans with Deshaun Watson. Oh, how things have changed. Foles and Mariota were benched and moved on to new teams and Luck retired.

The Texans have the top quarterback in the AFC South. Watson was an impressive college quarterback and is now one of the stars of the NFL. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2018 and 2019 and has led eight comebacks and 10 game-winning drives in his career.

“Watson has proven to be one of the better quarterbacks in the league… Watson was often forced to put the team on his back and lead it to victory,” writes John Owning.

His quarterback rating was 98.0 in 2019 and he was ranked the No. 5 quarterback in the NFL.

The next three are difficult to rank but for this story, Ryan Tannehill is probably ranked second, overall. Although he was considered average in Miami he proved to be amazing in Tennessee in 2019. He played in 12 games and had an impressive 117.5 quarterback rating. The big question for him will be is this new and improved Tannehill, or will he revert back to the mediocre quarterback of the past.

Our hero, Minshew of the Jacksonville Jaguars, ranks as the third quarterback in the AFC South. His quarterback rating was 91.2. He has potential with a new offensive coordinator whose style is suited for him. He must clean up his fumbles but 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions are impressive for a rookie on a bad team.

As Ali Bhanpuri of NFL.com wrote, “Minshew mania ran a little hot and cold but there is no denying the rookie was one of the most pleasant surprises of the season.”

The new quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is Philip Rivers. I am putting him fourth on the list because of a new team and his advancing age. Rivers had a rough year with the Chargers in 2019. But he did have one of his best games of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It’s possible a new team could reignite him and as possible Hall of Fame quarterback, he was ranked 64th on Pro Football Focus best of the 2010s.

l love this very eclectic group. Watson is very close to superstar status in the NFL. Tannehill had been written off in Miami but took advantage of his new opportunity with the Titans. Minshew Mania was the highlight of the 2019 season for the Jacksonville Jaguars and he is only in his second year.  And Rivers is a wily old veteran who may have something left in the tank.

May the season begin.