Sunday, January 16, 2022

Minshew Mania reborn? Gardner Minshew throws TDs on his first two drives as Eagles starter

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Gardner Minshew didn’t need a long time to shake off the rust in his first game starting for the Philadelphia Eagles. Minshew needed just three passes on the Eagles’ opening drive to throw his first touchdown pass, a 36-yard ball to Dallas Goedert in the first quarter that put the Eagles ahead 7-6 over the New York Jets. And he wasn’t done, throwing another touchdown pass on his second drive.

Minshew, who started in place of the injured Jalen Hurts, went 3 of 3 for 61 yards on the first drive, all passes going to Goedert — who had 61 receiving yards on the drive. The 36-yard touchdown catch was the longest of Goedert’s career. 

On the Eagles’ second drive, Minshew connected with Goedert again for a touchdown — a 25-yard strike on third down to put the Eagles up 14-12. Goedert has five catches for 98 yards and two scores while Minshew started the game 8 of 8 for 125 yards and two touchdowns for a perfect 158.3 passer rating. 

Minshew, who hadn’t started a game since last season with the Jaguars, was targeting Goedert frequently in warmups, so the early connection wasn’t a surprise. He was named the starting quarterback after Hurts was ruled inactive with an ankle injury. 

Of course, Minshew isn’t new to a starting quarterback role. Minshew completed 66.1% of his passes last season for 2,259 yards with 16 touchdowns to five interceptions, finishing with a quarterback rating of 95.9. He has started 20 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars over his two NFL seasons, completing 62.9% of his passes with 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions (93.1 rating). Minshew was 25th in the league in completion percentage, 20th in touchdowns, and and fourth in interception percentage (1.38) for all qualified quarterbacks between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. His 93.1 passer rating is the 12th highest for a quarterback after their first two seasons (minimum 500 attempts). 

“Minshew Mania” has arrived in Philadelphia, for better or worse. 

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