Key Stat Proves Gardner Minshew is Wildly Underrated

Max Staley
Gardner Minshew is wildly underrated.
Gardner Minshew is wildly underrated. / Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The meteoric rise of Gardner Minshew was one of the best storylines of the 2019 season. Taking over for an injured Nick Foles, Minshew led the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 6-6 record during his 12 starts. He was tremendous, and wildly exceeded the expectations of even his most optimistic fans, tossing 21 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions across 14 appearances, leading the team on three fourth-quarter comebacks.

During the offseason, however, analysts continually listed the Jacksonville Jaguars as a potential landing spot for top-tier free agent passers – completely ignoring the fact that Jacksonville already has its franchise QB. And this one key stats highlights just how effective Minshew really is.

Minshew had the third-highest grade (94.7) among all QBs on throws that traveled 20-plus yards downfield in 2019, trailing only Russell Wilson (98.9) and Deshaun Watson (98.2), according to Pro Football Focus. To do that as a rookie on a team that had a bottom-10 pass blocking offensive line, per PFF, and no legitimate threat outside of DJ Chark is flat-out ridiculous.

In fact, Minshew had the NFL's best passer rating among qualified QBs on such throws (129.0). All told, he completed 24-of-49 deep attempts for 818 yards, 5 TDs and 0 interceptions. He didn't utilize the deep ball all that often, with the league's sixth-lowest average depth of target (aDOT), but his efficiency in that regard proves just how dangerous Minshew can be.

If Jacksonville can improve its receiving corps and offensive line, perhaps Minshew will get to showcase his deep-ball ability more often in 2020.

Regardless of all of the rumors surrounding the QB position in Jacksonville, the Jaguars would be wise to let Minshew develop.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.