Showing fight and moxie of a young hungry team, and using sledge-hammer back, Leonard Fournette, the Jacksonville Jaguars gutted out a dramatic 26 – 24 win in Denver Sunday evening.
Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew helped lead the Jags into scoring range in the final :60 and Josh Lambo kicked his fourth field goal of the night from 33 yards out, as time expired to lift the Jags to a 2 – 2 record
The finish was nearly identical for the Broncos as their loss two weeks ago at Mile High to Chicago. As in that game, Joe Flacco threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders and the Broncos got a 2-point conversion for a one-point lead with under a minute to go. However, Bears QB Mitch Trubisky got them in field goal range and kicker Eddy Pineiro buried the game-winner from 50+ yards out, as time expired to drop the Broncos at that time to 0-2.
This time, Flacco hit Courtland Sutton with an 8-yard touchdown to cap a 75-yard drive with 1:32 to go putting Denver again up by 1. Alas, the vaunted Broncos defense could not hold “Minshew Mania,” a former 6th round pick from Washington State, as he was composed again, while leading his team to the win.
Of course, it helped that Fournette ran for a career-high 225 yards, including a game-changing 81-yard carry that help set up a second-half touchdown pass from Minshew tight end James O’Shaughnessy. It put Jacksonville up for the first time 20 – 17 late in the third.
Minshew had to shake off five Denver sacks but finished 19 – 33 for 213 yards and the two TDs. And most importantly, his leadership under pressure continues to shine early in 2019. The rookie led Jacksonville to a potential winning TD in the final seconds two weeks ago at Houston, only to have the Texans top the two point conversion for a 13-12 win.
Now, he’s and the Jaguars have back to back wins and are in the thick of the AFC South race.
Jaguars to get Nick Foles back to practice
The Jaguars are in need of some positive news and it looks like they have some regarding injured quarterback Nick Foles.
Foles, who’s been out since an injury in game one, will apparently be back at practice starting next week
Coach Doug Marrone told the media Friday that their prized free agent acquisition is anxious to get back:
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone says he thinks QB Nick Foles will be able to return to practice on Wednesday, which keeps Foles on track for a potential return on Nov. 17. Foles has been our since Week 1 with a broken collarbone. https://t.co/w1byEk6jmi
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) October 18, 2019
Foles was injured in the first quarter of the Jaguars opening game with the Kansas City Chiefs suffering a fractured left collarbone. And, the team has been aiming for him to be back at some point in the middle of the season.
ESPN’s Jaguars beat reporter Mike DiRocco’s tweet references that it apparently be the November 17th game with the Colts, as the goal.
In Foles is absence, Jacksonville has turned rookie 6th round pick Gardner Minshew. Minshew has become somewhat of a cult phenomenon in North Florida leading Jacksonville to a couple of wins including a dramatic last-second victory in week four in Denver. The team further embraced Minshew by passing out some 30,000 replica mustaches at last week’s home game with the Saints, to like what the rookie sports as part of his image.
Minshew, however, had a tough time with the Saints defense throwing for only 14 of 29 for 163 yards without a TD and an INT. He’s expected to have an easier time with the 0-6 hapless Bengals this Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Jags have optimism that Foles will be able to spark them in the second half of the season.
Jacksonville landed Foles in free agency this past March of his Super Bowl winning performance two years ago and did so, by guaranteeing him $50 million on a four-year contract. That’s the richest deal that the Jags have never given to a quarterback in their 25-year franchise history.
And, they have hoped all along that his veteran leadership and downfield passing arm will provide their offensive some needed help.
Jaguars VP Coughlin on Ramsey trade- “time came to move on”
The Jaguars have made the decision to part with problem Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey and Wednesday morning the team made its first statement about it.
Jacksonville VP of football Tom Coughlin released a statement through the team website and social media about the deal they made with the Rams for the disgruntled Ramsey:
Statement from Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin. pic.twitter.com/W3wdjinyOZ
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) October 16, 2019
As we wrote Tuesday night, Coughlin and Ramsey not seeing eye to eye basically forced a move to be made. However, the Jaguars should be credited, as they waited and got two number one picks, as well as a mid-round pick in return for a player that has previously been an All-Pro at his position.
The soap opera boiled over in week two, when Ramsey got into things on the sidelines with coach Doug Marrone over Marrone not challenging a completion to receiver DeAndre Hopkins, whom Ramsey had been covering.
As we had been told at that time Ramsey and Marrone and cleared the air. However, his bigger problem had been with Coughlin and a meeting they had after the Houston game led Ramsey to demand a trade. This as, Coughlin would ultimately be in charge of approving a long-term contract extension for Ramsey be on this year, and that wasn’t going to be likely.
The Jaguars and the Rams also completed a big trade a year ago when Jacksonville dealt away defensive end and former top five pick, Dante Fowler, for third and fifth round picks in return. Fowler went on to have a good year down the stretch in L.A. and ended up helping them make the Super Bowl.
Ramsey also comes to Hollywood at a bargain in the short term for the Rams, as he is only making the prorated remainder of his $2.4 million salary for this year.
The Rams and GM Les Snead can also decide to keep Ramsey for his fifth year option at $13.7 million for 2020.
And, the Rams cleared some salary-cap room, and at Ramsey’s position, when they traded defensive back Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens earlier on Tuesday. L.A. is in the “win now” mode, and not only did not have a first-round pick this past draft, but also do not have one in the next two drafts after the deal for Ramsey.
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