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Gardner Minshew strongly advocates Eagles starting QB: Will Nick Sirianni change course on Jalen Hurts?

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ. — The atmosphere among the Philadelphia Eagles was different on Sunday. Not better, just different.

This is what happens when Gardner Minshew graces the football field with his presence. No matter the situation, Minshew always has a joke in the huddle — as Miles Sanders admitted after the Eagles’ convincing 33-18 win over the New York Jets. Despite appearing to be stopped short on the fourth and inch in the second half (a decision that was later overturned), Minshew couldn’t help but make a comment about the game – showing how good the Eagles’ atmosphere is. was despite playing with a backup quarterback.

“They thought they were holding us back on that sneak. When I pushed him, he said, ‘Maybe it’s because I’m so strong,'” Sanders said with a big smile. “That’s the type of guy he is. I’ve been a fan of his for a while.

Gardner is a character. I love him.’

Minshew saw an opportunity to become the starting quarterback for the team that traded for him four months ago. An outcast in Jacksonville, Minshew brought the colorful personality that made him a folk hero across the NFL to Philadelphia. Strolling into his press conference wearing his signature style and a Maverick jacket that had social media buzzing, Minshew didn’t hide any self-confidence after his near-perfect performance as a replacement for Jalen Hurts.

There’s no controversy over a quarterback in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t mean Minshew wants to sit back on the bench the next time the Eagles play.

“Anyone who’s halfway through competitive wants to play. That’s why you play the game,” Minshew said. “But I know whatever role I’m in, I’ll give it 110% and do everything I can for the team.”

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No backup quarterback in the NFL could get off to a better start than Minshew. Starting for the injured Hurts (ankle), Minshew finished 20 out of 25 for 242 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, finishing with a 133.7 passer rating. He completed his first 11 passes en route to an essentially flawless first half, 14 of 15 for 188 yards and two touchdowns (a perfect 158.3 passer rating). Minshew’s 93.3% first-half completion rate was the highest since Donovan McNabb in 2007 — tied for the best grade by an Eagles quarterback since at least 1991 (when those stats were first tracked).

The Eagles scored on their first seven possessions, the first time they have done so since at least 2001. The only possession Philadelphia didn’t score was when Jason Kelce was forced to leave the game and Nate Herbig came in in the middle and the ball snapped well over the head. of MINshew late in the fourth quarter as the game was decided. (The Eagles also rode on that property.)

That begs the question that this is a story as old as time with this franchise. Will Minshew be the starting quarterback once Hurts is 100% healthy from his ankle injury? This is the organization with an astonishing track record of backup quarterbacks hitting on playoff runs (yes, Philadelphia is in one of them despite the Eagles’ 6-7 record). From Ty Detmer (1996), AJ Feeley (2002), Jeff Garcia (2006) and ending with Nick Foles (2017, 2018), Philadelphia has a large sample size of success with the No. 2 quarterback — even winning a Super Bowl with Foles in an all-ages performance on the game’s biggest stage four years ago.

Those situations involved quarterbacks filling in for the starter who was injured at the end of the season. Hurts is not in that situation as this week and a farewell week come to rest a nagging ankle before the Eagles continue their playoff push.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni insists Hurts is the starting quarterback and is saying the right things to get Philadelphia back to Hurts over Minshew in two weeks – otherwise he thinks Hurts will be healthy again.

“He played good football. He played really good football,” Sirianni said of Hurts. “There have been times when he was one of the best in the league with the way he moved and played. We look at that quarterback rating and what he’s had there, so he played really good football when he’s in it .”

“So when he’s healthy and back, he’ll be our starter.”

Minshew’s 80% completion rate is a figure Hurts has yet to achieve this year. (Hurts’ highest run is 77.1% all the way back to Week 1.) The Eagles committed to Week 8’s run against the Detroit Lions, rushing more than 175 yards in every game since — a figure that’s not had previously been achieved. achieved by the franchise since 1950. Much of this had to do with the success of Hurts, whose passing numbers (and attempts) were influenced by the team’s renewed commitment to the run. Of the quarterbacks with more than 50 passes since Week 8, Hurts is 28th in percentage completion (57.8%), 24th in passing yards (719), tied for 25th in passing touchdowns (three), tied for ninth in interceptions thrown (four), and 30th in passer rating (71.6) — out of 36 quarterbacks.

Those figures are not ideal for a passer-by, but the running game also comes into play. The Eagles averaged an incredible 215.6 rushing yards per game, by far the most in the NFL, while Philadelphia rose to the top of the league this year in rush yards per game (157.9). His 5.21 yards per carry was third in the NFL during that stretch, while his 10 hasty touchdowns tied the Indianapolis Colts for the most in the league — and Indianapolis has the game’s best running back in Jonathan Taylor.

Hurts was a major catalyst for the run-game success, with a 334-yard rush and three touchdowns since Week 8—leading all quarterbacks. Of course the Eagles ran 185 yards on Sunday without pain — the first time a team has rushed for more than 175 yards in six consecutive games since the 1985 Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl. The Eagles haven’t rushed for more than 175 yards in six straight games since 1949 — when they won the NFL Championship.

This last impressive rushing performance came with Minshew — not Hurts — at quarterback. Dallas Goedert, who had a career-high 106 yards and two touchdowns in his first game while catching passes from the No. 2 quarterback, may have lifted a corner of who to throw passes at him in the future.

“I think we all kind of know what to expect. Whatever it is, we have to do our job the best we can. This is a very selfless team – and whatever happens, we’re all for it.”

“In the end, it’s not up to me. I don’t know, I’m not making those decisions, but everyone will stand up with whoever the quarterback will be with.”

Goedert also thought Hurts would be the quarterback “when it comes down to it,” but it was an interesting choice of words from one of Philadelphia’s top playmakers. Minshew won’t fall for the trap, even if Hurts’ job is the one he wants.

“He has welcomed me with open arms,” ​​Minshew said. “We do a good job of supporting each other and making each other better. He helps me (on the sidelines) whenever he can. He leans back to learn when he can. I’m super happy that Jalen Hurts is on this football team. “

“Look, I’ve been in that situation. It’s a really good opportunity to sit back and see things from a different perspective. It’s great to have that opportunity.”

The Eagles have two weeks to decide whether Minshew is just a backup quarterback doing his job as the starter’s replacement, or whether an exemplary performance against the league’s worst defense in points allowed (second worst in yards allowed). ) is sufficient to reverse course over the Hurts experiment.

Minshew won’t change who he is no matter what the Eagles decide to do. That’s the different vibe on the pitch that he brings to the team.

“I like to have fun, especially when we win as we are,” said Minshew. “It’s nice to have fun there. We have a great group of guys that I like to compete with.”

Sources

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2/ https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/gardner-minshew-makes-strong-case-to-be-eagles-starting-qb-will-nick-sirianni-reverse-course-on-jalen-hurts/

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