EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Even if it only lasted for one afternoon, the Eagles got a taste of Minshew Mania on Sunday.
There was the bomber jacket. And the jacket was great.
There was the mustache, of course. That thing isn’t going anywhere.
There was this incredible moment with his dad after the game. The kind of moment that just makes you feel good inside.
There was the on-field exuberance. Did you see him after his first touchdown throw?
And there were the jokes.
“I’m always dead serious all the time,” said Minshew after the game, dead-pan. “I would never, ever joke, especially in a game.”
“Gardner’s a character,” Miles Sanders said. “He’s cracking jokes in the huddle.”
Well, after Minshew’s QB sneak was eventually ruled a first down, the mustachioed QB let his teammates know, “Maybe it’s just because I’m strong as hell.”
The 25-year-old backup quarterback elaborated after the game. In a way only he could.
“Yeah, dude. That’s why I wear short shorts,” Minshew said. “Them legs, bro. Felt it right there. Nah, it’s just always fun. We’ve got a great group of guys, guys that I love competing with.”
Minshew is a character but it’s genuine. He’s fun. And it’s easy to see why Jacksonville and a lot of the country got swept up in Minshew Mania a couple seasons ago.
But none of that stuff would have mattered if the Eagles lost on Sunday. Instead, they won 33-18 and Minshew was very good. While Nick Sirianni was quick to say Jalen Hurts is still the Eagles’ starter, it doesn’t mean that Minshew wasn’t great against the Jets. He was.
He completed 20 of 25 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did everything the Eagles asked of him. His passer rating of 133.7 was the highest for an Eagles quarterback since some guy named Nick Foles in the NFC Championship Game a few seasons back.
In the first half against the Jets, Minshew had a perfect QB rating of 158.3, becoming just the fourth Eagles quarterback since 1991 to do that, joining Foles (2013), Michael Vick (2010) and Donovan McNab (2007).
If nothing else, Minshew was extremely efficient against the Jets on Sunday. And in an offense where the running game has become the identity, efficiency is key.
Ultimately, though, this season is still about Hurts and the Eagles’ finding out what they have in their second-year quarterback. Sirianni made sure not to invite a quarterback controversy, but that won’t stop it from spreading all over the city in the next two weeks.
Still, when the Eagles host Washington in a couple weeks, Sirianni expects Hurts will again be healthy and will be the Eagles’ starter. And that would mean Minshew is back on the bench as the Eagles make a late-season push for the playoffs.
But we’ll always have that Sunday afternoon at MetLife.
“It felt so good, man,” Minshew said. “It’s the best time I had since Week 1 of last year. There’s nothing like that feeling. Glad to do it with this group of guys. They made it easy for me. So, it was a lot, a lot of fun.”
Yeah, it was a lot of fun. It really was.
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