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Minshew Mania Died in London in the Span of Four Plays

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 13: A Jacksonville Jaguars dressed like Gardner Minshew reacts during the first quarter of a game New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field on October 13, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

The headband, the mustache, the jorts, it was all just too good to last, wasn't it? Yes, yes it was. Minshew Mania is officially DOA.

Gardner Minshew, the Jaguars brash rookie quarterback, collectively swept the nation off its feet with his 1970s style and sexy comeback wins. But as is so often the case with flashy things that catch our attention but can't hold it, Minshew's run in our hearts and as the Jaguars starting quarterback has to be over after his performance in London. And really it all boils down to four consecutive offensive plays in the fourth quarter of the Jags embarrassing loss to the Texans.

Two woefully-high throws that were intercepted, one 31-yard pass completion that looked like the Minshew we all know and love, then an inexcusable fumble that sealed the deal. With Nick Foles expected to be healthy after the Jags bye week, Minshew has to be sent back to the bench in Week 11.

It's a shame too because Minshew is memorable. He came in when Foles was hurt in Week 1 and played like a quarterback well beyond his years, guiding the Jags to a 4-3 record as a starter before his latest loss to the Texans. With his flowing locks, handlebar mustache, trademark headband and retro dressing style, he also became a PR hit, luring fans to watch Jags games when there really was no need to. But beyond the obvious marketing wins, when you look at what Minshew accomplished as a player, and who he did it against, it's clear Foles deserves to be the starter.

Minshew beat the Titans, Broncos, Bengals and Jets this year, teams with a combined record of 7-24. He lost to the Texans, Panthers, Saints and Texans again, teams with a combined record of 17-7. He threw 8 TDs and zero interceptions in his wins and 3 TDs and 3 INTs in the losses. While it's important that he can beat bad teams, you also need to perform against good ones too, and Minshew never did. Foles, we all know from his Super Bowl MVP run, has that in him. Plus the Jags handed him the moneybag this offseason. No way they don't see what their return on investment is there.

Minshew did what the Jaguars needed from their backup: he held things together until the starter could return. Foles is expected to be back from his broken collarbone after the bye and deserves the starting job back. Minshew is clearly a starting-level caliber quarterback in the NFL, but as those four plays against the Texans proved, he's got plenty of work to do.