JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Minshew Magic didn’t make the trip overseas – and it may not be around in Jacksonville anymore, either.
Gardner Minshew's four-turnover day in Sunday’s 26-3 loss to the Houston Texans at Wembley Stadium in London surely will make Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone's decision on which quarterback to start in their next game (Nov. 17 at Indianapolis) much easier: Nick Foles.
Despite facing a Texans defense that was missing three key starters -- defensive end J.J. Watt, cornerback Bradley Roby, and safety Tashaun Gipson -- Minshew and the offense managed just one field goal in 11 possessions. He threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles in the worst game he’s played since he replaced Foles (broken collarbone) in the season opener.
It's not automatic that Marrone will go back to Foles after next week’s bye, because Minshew played well in keeping the Jaguars’ season alive. He threw 13 touchdown passes and only two interceptions in leading the Jaguars to wins over Tennessee, Denver, Cincinnati and the New York Jets. But it all fell apart against the Texans, and Marrone should be going back to Foles.
"It's not one game. It'll be a body of work," Marrone said of the upcoming QB decision.
Troubling trend: The situation at receiver will be a major issue the rest of the season. Receiver Dede Westbrook did not play because of a shoulder/neck injury, and Westbrook said it will be something that he’ll have to deal with the regular season. That means his availability will be iffy each week and not having him is significant because he’s the team’s third-leading receiver (second in yardage). The team also put Marqise Lee (shoulder) on IR earlier in the week. The Jaguars had to activate undrafted rookie Michael Walker from the practice squad and use first-year player C.J. Board, who had appeared in only one previous game this season, and use them against the Texans. The Jaguars cannot afford an injury to DJ Chark, Chris Conley or Keelan Cole.
Biggest hole in the game plan: The Jaguars were not able to get much pressure on Deshaun Watson, and when they did they were unable to get him to the ground. Watson had just six incompletions and was sacked once. The Texans were without starting offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, too, but Jaguars were unable to get much pressure rushing just four. Compounding the problem was the absence of one of the Jaguars’ best blitzers, nickelback D.J. Hayden, who had a shoulder injury.