- Nick Foles and the Jacksonville Jaguars got off to a horrific start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
- Foles began the game with turnovers on three straight drives as the Jaguars were held scoreless in the first half.
- Eventually, Foles was benched in favour of rookie backup Gardner Minshew, who had led the Jaguars while Foles was injured earlier in the season.
- The decision leaves the Jaguars in a tough spot heading into the final weeks of the season.
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Just three weeks after returning to the starting job after an early-season injury, Jaguars quarterback was benched in favour of backup Gardner Minshew.
The decision came Sunday after a disastrous start from Foles against the Buccaneers. Foles opened the game with turnovers on three straight drives – an interception on the first possession of the game, a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and another fumble that the Buccaneers would score off of seven plays later.
It didn’t get better after that, with Foles and the Jaguars going three-and-out on their next three possessions before the first half came to a merciless end.
Trailing the Buccaneers 25-0 at home after the first half, Jaguars fans had seen enough, with chants of “We want Minshew” coming from the crowd.
Oh man, the Minshew chants are getting even louder… pic.twitter.com/z7E2Xh9MrK
— UCF Jaguar (@UCF_Jaguar) December 1, 2019
In the second half, the fans would get their wish, with Minshew taking over the offence. After another three-and-out to start the half, Minshew eventually worked the Jaguars downfield to score a field goal and finally get on the board.
Foles was the Jaguars’ big signing in the offseason, with Jacksonville bringing in the former Super Bowl MVP on a four-year, $US88 million deal that included more than $US50 million in guaranteed money. In Week 1 against the Chiefs, Foles was knocked out of the game with a broken collarbone, forcing the Jaguars to turn Minshew, a rookie sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State.
Minshew quickly captured the hearts of many NFL fans, playing a free-flowing, swagger-filled style of football that proved enough to keep the Jaguars competitive at the start of the season. For a time, it wasn’t clear that Foles would be able to get the job back, but after a few rough starts from Minshew, the Jaguars decided to turn the starting job back over to their eighty-million-dollar man.
In his return, Foles proceeded to lose two straight starts, and after Sunday’s miserable start, was benched in favour of Minshew.
The decision leaves Jacksonville in a tough spot heading into the final weeks of their 2019 season. Out of playoff contention, the Jaguars have four games left and will have to either back their expensive franchise quarterback who hasn’t looked up to the job, or the rookie standout that has made a pretty good case for himself.
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