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2019 Senior Bowl: Jacksonville Jaguars Scouting Notebook

Zach Goodall

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Jan 24, 2019; Mobile, AL, USA; Endzone pylon during the North squad 2019 Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Senior Bowl is in the books, and after attending the practices and watching the game, it’s time to break down all aspects of the major scouting week and how they apply to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This scouting notebook will be broken down into several sections: Senior Bowl prospects the Jaguars should target, a breakdown of the quarterbacks, prospect meetings, one-liners, and a Jaguars Senior Bowl-only mock draft.

Just for context: When Day 2 of practice was closed from the media due to weather, Filip Prus of Locked On Jaguars/Optimum Scouting, Riley Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, and I spent about eight hours in the Senior Bowl coaches film room, extensively studying Day 1 and 2 practice tape and putting together our thoughts and observations. The analysis to follow mainly comes from my takeaways during those sessions, as well as some from the Day 3 and game broadcast.

Let’s begin!

Senior Bowl prospects who the Jaguars should target

Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College

The 51-straight game starter was a big winner in Mobile. Despite measuring in ever-so-slightly undersized compared to NFL guards at 6-3 3/4, 303 lbs, Lindstrom’s arm length – 34 1/8″ – was a big win for the Boston College prospect.

When on the practice field, Lindstrom did work as a run blocker. His lower body power mixed with active feet drove defenders left and right consistently to open gaps in the run game. He routinely executed perfect combo blocks with right tackle Dalton Risner, ripping the right shoulder of the 3-tech and pushing off the responsibility to Risner before quickly getting to the second level and sealing the lane from linebackers. Lindstrom also had several impressive seal blocks when working on outside zone, crossing outside of the 3-tech and attacking the left shoulder, one play opened a gap in perfect time for RB Karan Higdon to cut through and break into open field.

In pass protection, there were times where you’d want to see Lindstrom utilize more extension with his lengthy arms, but that was more in 1v1 drills rather than team exercises. He did display a powerful punch when timed correctly, great mirroring with his active feet, and solid recovery when he would lose on an initial speed rush move.

Lindstrom likely played his way into the first round in Mobile, and will probably be considered iOL1. However, if he falls into the second round – assuming the Jaguars can hold onto 38th overall as they search for a quarterback – Lindstrom would be a home-run selection as A.J. Cann’s replacement at right guard.

Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

A defensive player that should be a “must-target” for the Jaguars? Yes, hear me out.

Jelks fits the Jaguars one-gap “big-end” position – a 5-technique defensive end who’s a primary run-stopper and offers a power-presence in the pass rush. Calais Campbell currently fills the position, but despite his fantastic production over the past two seasons, he isn’t getting any younger – he will be 33 before the 2019 season kicks off. The Jaguars went looking for an heir to Campbell last year when they drafted Taven Bryan in the first round and moved him to DE, however that project didn’t work too well. Bryan got moved back to defensive tackle midseason, and now serves as the heir to Malik Jackson.

So, despite huge needs across the board on offense, “big-end” could very well be a target-position for Jacksonville once again this year, and Jelks’ athletic profile and Senior Bowl performance could have put himself on the Jaguars radar. He came in at 6-5 1/2, 250 lbs, with 33 7/8″ arms and 9 1/2″ hands. He’s a bit lanky, but lengthy, and extremely athletic. Jelks recorded 15.5 sacks, 30 tackles for loss, and 11 batted passes at Oregon.

Above, Jelks is playing inside and displays burst off the line and violent hand usage to create pressure. While I believe with his length that he’s capable of putting on weight without slowing down, his size is best suited at defensive end. He also already plays with a lot of power, and with added beef, he could play even stronger at the next level.

Jelks has several pass rush moves, can seal edges vs. the run and provides the type of burst Jacksonville likes out of their draft-pick pass rushers (See: Bryan), but his weight, some technique issues that need refining, and the lack of a pass rush plan will drop him down boards. He’s a true project-player, but he’s the type of project the Jaguars are in a great position to take on. He fits their style, he wouldn’t start until at least the second, and probably even third, year of his career until Campbell really slows down, and would receive great training from Campbell himself. In an ideal world, Jelks would become a full-time starter at “big end” in his third season, standing at a muscular 270 lbs.

Much like a Lindstrom selection, it all depends on what picks the Jaguars have on draft night in their pursuit of a quarterback. But let’s assume they hold onto all four of their picks in the first three rounds. If that’s the case, the Jaguars first 3rd round pick (69th overall) would be the sweet spot for Jelks, after landing a QB and an offensive lineman with their first two picks, and another third rounder to follow and use on an offensive prospect again.

Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

Another offensive lineman who should be on the Jaguars radar, Risner put on a show as well in Mobile. While there have been debates on his best position fit considering he played right tackle and center in college, Risner is on record saying he while he will play wherever he’s asked to, he feels most comfortable at right tackle, and his 6-4 5/8, 308, 34 1/4″ arms and 10 5/8″ hands are solid measurements for the position.

Risner played with a mean streak all week, putting opposing pass rushers in the dirt and displaying a violent punch at initial contact and through his pass sets. With his right guard partner-in-crime Chris Lindstrom, the two consistentoy executed combo blocks where they double-teamed rushers, and eventually the responsibility of the rusher went solely to Risner as Lindstrom moved to the second level. These types of blocks require great processing speed, hand usage, and chemistry with the guard, and Risner displayed all three of these aspects – the chemistry with Lindstrom despite never playing with him before the Senior Bowl being the most impressive and speaks to his “team-player” mentality.

Risner might have locked himself into the first round in Mobile, as his versatility, experience, technique and mean streak will boost his stock and might put him in discussion for OT1, which carries more draft value than interior offensive line. That puts him out of range for the Jaguars 38th overall pick, but if he’s somehow still available at their second round selection and they view him as a guard or want to add competition at right tackle, Risner, like Lindstrom, would be a no-brainer pick.

Foster Moreau, TE, Louisiana State

Moreau is widely regarded as a blocking tight end by draftniks, and up until the Senior Bowl I was in that camp. He simply didn’t show much on film, nor on the stat-sheet, that displayed a ton of promise for him as a dominant receiving tight end in the NFL.

But this is what the Senior Bowl is all about: Putting your skills on display while under the microscope of NFL talent evaluators, and Moreau put on a show. Starting off at weigh-ins, Moreau came in at 6-4 and 1/4, 250, with 33 3/4″ arms and 9 7/8″ hands – He looks like your prototype tight end, and he utilized that size to win as an in-line blocker and at H-back.

While he primarily played in-line at LSU, he told me that he has been working on his ability to block in space – an H-back responsibility. Jaguars new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo knows a thing or two about H-backs, as he was on staff that saw TE Trey Burton rise to success at the position in Philadelphia. Considering Moreau played well at H-back as well as in-line in Mobile with DeFilippo as well as several members of the Jaguars staff in attendance, it’s safe to say he’s on their radar. They met with Moreau as well.

But beyond blocking, Moreau consistently won contested catch battles during practices. While he is a little stiff out of his in-line stance, he separated decently to get open in the middle of the field and showed off solid body control to win jump balls vs. defenders near the boundary, utilizing sure-hands and not relying on his body to catch the ball. Moreau also displayed violence with his hands at the cushion of a man-coverage defender, which is a good trait to have against press.

Moreau is considered a Day 3 prospect, as he doesn’t possess great athleticism and carries the “blocking TE” tag, but his performance at the Senior Bowl certainly made me comfortable for him to be the Jaguars second 3rd round pick (the NFL may not agree with me due to his athleticism and how deep the TE class is), as they badly need to address the TE position. He fits the Jaguars mold and has potential beyond what we’ve seen from him at LSU as a receiver.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State

The Jaguars met with Terry McLaurin of Ohio State early and often during the Senior Bowl, and considering he was regarded as a Day 3 prospect heading into Mobile, my early assumption was these meetings were held to do dig up some background info on his teammate, QB Dwayne Haskins, who is a top-10 lock for the upcoming NFL Draft.

However, McLaurin put on a show during practices as well. He displayed elite long-speed which allowed him to separate well when he broke cushion against man coverage defenders and in 1v1 drills.

He also showed off short/intermediate route running prowess, with clean cuts and footwork to beat defenders to the middle of the field. The ability to win routes in the short/intermediate middle of the field is a vital part of the offense the Jaguars have run in the past, and while it is yet to be seen if DeFilippo will change the pass game philosophy drastically, West Coast receiving traits are great traits to have. And McLaurin has them.

The cherry on top: Despite measuing in at 6-0 flat, just under average WR size, with 32″ arms (right about the 50th percentile among NFL WRs), McLaurin made some contested catches during the week that caught the eyes of scouts and media alike. He looked like an all-around receiver and his stock is soaring after a great week in Mobile.

The Jaguars need to add a boundary, contested catch receiver more than any other type, but McLaurin appears to have the skill-set that, with coaching, could turn into that type of receiver on top of his West Coast and deep threat ability.

Oli Udoh, OL, Elon

Who?

That’s Jermey Parnell-clone Olisaemeka Udoh, to you.

Udoh, the son of Nigerian immigrants who own a medical clinic, went to Elon for the free education on a football scholarship he earned in order to follow his parents suit in the medical field. He gained a ton of (unhealthy) weight in college, at one time weighing 384 lbs, but when the NFL came calling, he began to eat healthier and has transformed into a legitimate NFL prospect along the way. You can read a feature on Udoh’s background and path to the NFL Draft in this article from Greg Auman of The Athletic here.

Now, Udoh stands at legitimate right tackle size, and while he’s cut down on a ton of weight, he still possesses some elite measurements. He stands at 6-5 3/4, 327 lbs (with a goal of 320 by the NFL Combine), with 36″ arms and 10″ hands. That arm length would be good for t-11th longest in the NFL among tackles since 1999.

He’s certainly got some technical issues that must be addressed, including controlling his pad level and hand usage when taking on pass rushers in space, but he plays with a ton of strength and active feet that make him very intriguing, paired with his size. He’s going to be a Day 3 pick unless he blows away the Combine, but the size/trait combo is enticing and he has all the potential to be an NFL starter with the correct grooming.

Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

Deebo Samuel had an electric week in Mobile as well. He started off at weigh-ins coming in slightly under six feet at 5-11 and a 1/2, 216 lbs, with nice 32 1/2″ arms and big hands at 10 1/8″. Those hands were on display all week, as Samuel only dropped one ball and it was on a pass thrown slightly behind him on a crossing route – hard to blame him.

Samuel wanted teams to know that, while his preference is the slot, he can and will play every WR position there is, and he proved that at the Senior Bowl. His long speed isn’t great, but he ran clean routes to the short, intermediate, and deep field in every practice. Plus, his sharp footwork literally had analysts and scouts “whewww”-ing in the film room.

Samuel also spent time returning kicks and punts in special teams exercises, and discussed that he was used as a punt team gunner during his time at South Carolina. The week he had in practice on top of his proven versatility is certainly shooting him up draft boards, however, Jacksonville could use a more dominant outside receiver rather than a slot guy, and while I believe Samuel is capable of the former, he seems to want to play the latter.

But hey, I’m not making the decisions here. If Jacksonville has a range they want to grab a receiver and want to add the best receiver available, Samuel would make a ton of sense so long as he’s available. His special teams ability is a cherry on top for a team that values that kind of skill-set from their WRs like the Jaguars.

The Quarterbacks

Simply put, Jaguars fans: No.

The Jaguars franchise quarterback wasn’t in Mobile this year. The group as a whole underperformed compared to previous groups, despite some hype that it yielded before the week kicked off.

Drew Lock (Missouri), arguably the best prospect of the bunch, still displayed some footwork and decision making issues during practices that make him more of a project rather than a sure-thing. Jacksonville isn’t in the position to gamble on a quarterback like that, but I don’t see him making it past Denver.

Daniel Jones (Duke) had high expectations coming in, being dubbed a first round quarterback by Oakland Raiders head coach, and coach of Jones’ North team at the Senior Bowl, Jon Gruden. However, his lack of arm strength was a notable problem in Mobile, and he struggled with decision making and reading pressure from time to time. His connections to Peyton and Eli Manning are intriguing, but he’s got some work to do.

Will Grier (WVU) certainly talked like an alpha QB, calling himself the “best quarterback in this draft” after practice on Tuesday, but he didn’t always look it. He missed some easy throws in the middle of the field during team and individual drills, and tried to make hero-ball plays out of nothing at times where there were healthier alternatives, much like his West Virginia tape has shown in the past.

Trace McSorley (Penn State), Ryan Finley (North Carolina State), Gardner Minshew (Washington State), and Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) did nothing to elevate their game during the week, and all four of these quarterbacks had major question marks on their scouting reports heading in. The only QB who made more of a name for himself in Mobile was Tyree Jackson (Buffalo).

He didn’t have a fantastic week, but teams wanted to see more than a naturally strong arm out in practice, and rather more accuracy, ball control, and decision making. He struggled at times, but there were definitely glimpses of all three of these aspects being fine-tuned. Jackson told me he’s been focusing on control and lower body mechanics with Jordan Palmer this winter in California. He’s got a long way to go, but his tools mixed with some positive growth did him some favors at the Senior Bowl.

But even considering Jackson’s showing, none of these guys change your franchise for the better right now. And Jacksonville needs an alpha-QB to come in and win games out the gate. There’s two guys in this draft who are capable of such, and neither of them were eligible for the Senior Bowl this year.

Jaguars prospect meetings

Per myself, Chris Thornton, and Filip Prus of Locked On Jaguars, the Jacksonville Jaguars met with the following prospects at the Senior Bowl.

* = Multiple meetings

QB Will Grier, WVU

QB Drew Lock, MISS

QB Tyree Jackson, Buffalo

WR Terry McLaurin*, Ohio State

WR Jakobi Meyers*, NCST

WR Gary Jennings*, WVU

RT Dalton Risner, Kansas State

RG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

RG Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin

TE Foster Moreau, LSU

TE Tommy Sweeney, Boston College

CB Corey Ballentine, Washburn

Senior Bowl one-liners

Here’s a mix of great one-liner quotes fron prospects, coaches, and media alike from my first time at the Senior Bowl.

“I think every quarterback here would be like ‘If I could throw for 50 touchdowns and win the games that Patrick Mahomes does’, then we’d all say ‘Heck yeah, what do you need from me? I’ll give you whatever you need.” – Missouri QB Drew Lock

“Let em play! Let em play! Nobody’s here to see you guys ref!!” – North team/Raiders head coach Jon Gruden after a penalty in the Senior Bowl

“Mr. Elway, my name is Dalton Risner. I’m from Wiggins, Colorado, and I’m doing everything I can to represent our state well out here.” – Kansas State OL Dalton Risner to Broncos G.M. John Elway

“[Peyton and Eli Manning] are two of my role models, and are guys I’ve looked up to… well maybe role model is a strong word, my dad’s my role model.” – Duke QB Daniel Jones

“I’m the best quarterback in this draft.” – WVU QB Will Grier

“Nate Davis of Charlotte. Hell of an ass on that guy.” – Anonymous media member

“I feel like I’ve always been overlooked… More than anything I’m not trying to prove anybody wrong, but prove the people who believed in me right.” – Washington State QB Gardner Minshew

Jaguars Senior Bowl-only mock draft

Based on fit and need, here is a Jaguars mock draft based solely on my favorite Senior Bowl prospects and where I believe their value is.

2nd round – 38th overall: Chris Lindstrom, RG, Boston College

3rd round – 69th overall: Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

3rd round – 96th overall (from LAR): Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State

4th round – 103rd overall: Foster Moreau, TE, Louisiana State

6th round – 165th overall: Oli Udoh, RT, Elon

Final musings

The Jaguars need to get the (non-Senior Bowl) QB with the 7th overall pick (or trade up if necessary), but the 2019 Senior Bowl provides enough talent at different positions for the Jaguars to address a ton of different needs across their offense, and even on defense.

It was a fantastic first trip to Mobile, as I got to take time off of my full-time restaurant job and watch football with Twitter-turned-real life friends, eat some really awesome Mobile food, interview big-name football people I once dreamed of being, join Jacksonville radio stations as a guest, and provide analysis and news to Jaguars fans. I hope this Senior Bowl coverage is what you’ve been looking for, because you better believe I’ll be back in Mobile next year and for years to come.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for the Locked On Jaguars podcast and website. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Texans: Five observations, red zone issues remain

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws under pressure from the Houston Texans defensive line men during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) will be left with a lot to work on during their bye week. There was plenty to gather from the team’s 26-3 loss against the Houston Texans (6-3) in London.

1. Jaguars red-zone woes are still prevalent and have no fix in sight

In the red zone this season, the Jaguars have completed 34.5% (10/29) of their opportunities for touchdowns.  This ranks only better than the Cincinnati Bengals (33.33%) in the entire NFL.

While quarterback play is an issue in this area, the Jaguars have not made the most of their play-call opportunities either. The Jaguars entered the Houston Texans’ red zone only twice in 11 drives on Sunday.

During the two drives in the red zone, the Jaguars completed 0 passes and ran the ball one other time with Leonard Fournette for three yards. Simply not good enough.

Jaguars’ offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has spoken about the team’s ineffectiveness on red zone opportunities. “We moved the football well, but we need to do a better job in the red zone,” DeFilippo said on Thursday following the team’s week seven victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. “I need to do a better job of helping our guys get open. We need to do a better job executing and being more detailed and throwing the ball on time and all of those things. Again, all of that starts with me, and I will do a better job with that.”

Two weeks later and the team’s struggles have continued.

2. Gardner Minshew might take a backseat

Already discussed, the Jaguars might be in for a quarterback change coming out of their week 10 bye week. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew struggled mightily in Sunday’s game, and head coach Doug Marrone will have a tough decision to make.

Although Minshew was playing with a sore right shoulder, he was able to practice in full all week leading up to their matchup at Wimbley. Regardless, the Jaguars will have to make a decision, and everything points to Nick Foles being the team’s starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts in week 11.

Now completely Minshew’s fault, his struggles in the red zone have been evident for the past several weeks. Foles — during the 2017 and 2018 seasons when he started for the Philidelphia Eagles — was efficient in the red zone, which could point to his maturity as a passer more than anything.

The Jaguars will want to see what they can get out of their veteran quarterback, and there is a reason to believe the Jaguars’ head coach is leaning in this direction. If Foles is not named the starting quarterback next Sunday, it is very likely the veteran will never start for this Jaguars team, at least not under the current staff.

3. Jaguars’ run-defense regressed

Without starting nickel corner D.J. Hayden and SAM linebacker Leon Jacobs, the Jaguars were forced to remain in their nickel package for much of the day. Rookie cornerback Breon Borders replaced Hayden in the starting lineup and while he was not the reason why the run defense suffered, not having a competent linebacker on the strong side of the ball impacted the team greatly.

Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde gashed the Jaguars’ defense 19 times for 160 yards during Sunday’s matchup. Part of the reason why the Jaguars were unable to stop the Texans’ running game late was the sheer amount of plays the Texans ran to begin the game.

In the first quarter, the Texans ran 20 total plays while the Jaguars offense was only able to produce nine total plays.

4. Jaguars cannot rely on penalties, but two changed the course of the game

While the Jaguars should not, and cannot rely on penalties, the team had two costly controversial calls in the third quarter of Sunday’s matchup.

With an opportunity to score, Minshew threw a beautiful back-shoulder pass to Jaguars’ receiver DJ Chark Jr. who was able to haul in the pass but was called for offensive pass interference. A few plays later the Jaguars would botch a field goal attempt and give the Texans the football at the 50-yard line.

Following the change of possession, Jaguars’ defensive end Calais Campbell was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Specifically, Campbell was called for lowering his head to initiate contact with a defenseless rusher. The Texans would net only a field goal on this drive, but it was a potential 10-point swing as Chark’s interference call was questionable, and Campbell did not even touch Watson on the play.

5. Keelan Cole shines in Dede Westbrook’s absence

Although the Jaguars clearly missed their 1B receiver in Dede Westbrook, rarely-utilized receiver Keelan Cole was able to step up to the plate and put on his best performance of the season, and possibly since 2017.

While it was not sensational, Cole hauled in five out of six of his targets for 80 yards on the day. The Jaguars could not get anything going down the field, however, Cole was able to get open on routine crossing routes.

In the coming weeks, look for Cole to have a bigger role in the Jaguars offense, especially with veteran receiver Chris Conley playing so up-and-down (2 receptions on 7 targets for 32 yards).

DeFilippo recently spoke about Cole and understands the third-year receiver may be frustrated with his snap count.

“I am proud of the way he stayed in it and even though he has not gotten the playing time,” DeFilippo said after the Jaguars victory over Bengals. “Everyone wants to play every snap. I’m sure he wants [more playing time]. He has done a great job staying in it.”

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Jaguars to make tough decision next week, Minshew Mania over for now

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws a pass in the first half against the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) were embarrassed early Sunday morning via a 26-3 loss to the rival Houston Texans (6-3). Minshew-Mania may be over for now, but it won’t be the last time the rookie sensation starts for the team.

To put it simply, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew did not play well at all yesterday. Completing 27/47 (57%) of his passes for 309 yards, two interceptions, and two fumbles lost, Minshew looked lost during the second half of the game on Sunday.

Minshew has been everything the team could have hoped for — and much more — out of a sixth-round quarterback, but between what transpired yesterday, and a few of his past performances — against winning teams –, the Jaguars will likely see what they can get out of veteran quarterback Nick Foles.

For three quarters, Minshew looked okay. While there was plenty that went wrong, the rookie was able to make key throws, during key situations. One play, in particular, stands out. With a little over five minutes left in the second quarter, the Jaguars could not seem to get anything going before Minshew scrambles around and eventually finds a wide-open Ryquell Armstead in the middle of the field. Armstead would take the ball 31 yards and set the team up for their only points of the game.

Minshew’s ability to improvise has been his bread and butter this season, and although he was not able to work his magic often against the Texans, these were the types of plays that gave pause in the Minshew/Foles debate.

During the fourth quarter, the Jaguars and Minshew were forced to take more shots downfield in a sort of desperation move while trailing 19-3. Although playcalling can certainly be questioned, the decision making of the Jaguars’ rookie quarterback was equally perplexing. Throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles, Minshew had no chance at making a little magic to lead the team to another come-from-behind victory.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be forced to make a decision on his quarterback, but not right now. After the game, Marrone indicated he will wait until the Sunday before the team returns from their week 10 bye week to talk to both quarterbacks.

“I think after those 48 hours are over, I’m going to step away a little bit, take a break because I don’t have to make a decision and have time,” Marrone said shortly after the game when asked about making the quarterback decision. “That’s what I’m going to talk to the quarterbacks about, and then I’ll tell them probably right before we come back on Sunday, we’ll be able to discuss where we’re going to go. That’s pretty much my plan.”

While Minshew did not have a great game yesterday, the decision will be made on more than just one game, Marrone said.

The Jaguars’ head coach is stuck with an incredibly tough decision. At 4-5, the team needs a spark. The Jaguars need to win down the stretch and having to rely on a rookie — still going through ups and downs — is exhausting. While Foles may not be “the answer”, he is the only other option at this moment, and the Jaguars absolutely believe in the veteran.

Although this may be the end of Minshew starting in Jacksonville this season, his achievements — 188/307 (61%) completions for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns, and four interceptions — should not go unnoticed. The team absolutely still believes in the rookie quarterback, and he has a golden opportunity — if not this season — next year to prove everyone wrong.

One of the best, most fun performances out of a Jaguars’ quarterback over the first half of the season ever, is nothing to get upset about. Minshew provided spectators with Minshew-Mania, Minshew-Magic, and any other Minshew-ism one can think of.

For now, it is very likely Foles will make his Jaguars’ debut once again after breaking his left clavicle during the opening game of the season. In 11 plays this season Foles completed five out of eight of his passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

It may be over for now, but this is just the beginning, and having the problem of deciding between a former Superbowl MVP and a rookie sensation at quarterback is a good thing. Depending on how Foles plays — if he is to be named the starter next Sunday –, Minshew could get yet another opportunity as the Jaguars progress from their 4-5 record.

Bonus clip:

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars fail to seize opportunity in London, falling 26-3 to Houston Texans

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rushes for a first down during the first half of the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) fell to Houston Texans (6-3) in a disappointing pre-bye week game in London, England. The Jaguars absolutely did not have home-field advantage on the day. 

The Jaguars took to their annual London voyage with a lot of optimism, however, all of that optimism was quickly quieted by the Houston Texans (6-3) as they were able to bottle up Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars, holding the team to just three points on the day.  The Texans would win 26-3 and kill any chances the Jaguars may have had at earning the division title in a few weeks.

To begin the game, the Jaguars opted to start out on defense with the Texans struggling early on in games this season. Holding the Texans to just three points to start the game, the Jaguars defense showed up big, especially as Jaguars’ cornerback A.J. Bouye shadowed Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who finished with just eight receptions for 48 yards. The Jaguars seemed to find a groove early on during the first half of the game, but their inability to score in the red zone reared it’s head yet again.

In what is likely his last game starting for the Jaguars this season — at least for now — Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew completed just 27 out of 47 of his passes for 309 yards and two interceptions. Minshew also fumbled the football two times near the end of the game, which would ultimately end it at Wembley stadium.

While the Jaguars defense played well early on, they stood no chance against Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson who completed 22 out of 28 of his passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Extremely elusive, Watson was able to escape from the Jaguars pass rushers all day long. The Texans effectively ended any chance of the Jaguars coming back after Watson completed a long throw to Hopkins for 21 yards to the Jaguars’ one-yard line. The Texans would score on a one-yard run by Duke Johnson putting the team up 19-3 late in the third quarter.

All four of Minshew’s turnovers would come in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars attempted to climb back in the game. Missing their second-most targetted wide receiver in Dede Westbrook, the Jaguars and Minshew couldn’t seem to get anything going in the passing game.

The Jaguars’ run game was equally disappointing today as running back Leonard Fournette could only edge out 40 yards on 11 rushes.

Perhaps the best play of the game by the Jaguars’ defense, near the end of the game Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde sprinted free and was looking to go into the endzone when Jaguars’ safety Jarrod Wilson showed incredible hustle to force a fumble at the last second, turning the ball over to the Jaguars’ offense.

The good fortune wouldn’t last long, however, as Minshew would go on to throw his final interception of the game to completely seal the game for the Texans offense.

The Jaguars’ offense simply did not get anything going today, similar to their game against the New Orleans Saints in week six earlier this year. Minshew was sacked only four times on the day as the Texans did not want him to escape the pocket.

The team will have a very tough decision to make during their week 10 bye week. Ultimately, the team will need to decide between veteran quarterback Nick Foles or the rookie quarterback in Minshew.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be making the decision, and after falling 26-3 today largely due to the play of the team’s quarterback, it may be a no-brainer.

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