Gardner Minshew’s start against the Jets provides potential insight into Eagles’ issues
Despite reassurance all week that he would play, the Gardner Minshew era debuts tomorrow afternoon against the New York Jets. If there was any shot this season to get a good look at the Eagles’ backup QB, it was against the Jets. With the bye coming up, Jalen Hurts gets an extra week to rest while Philadelphia can rely on the run game against the worst rush defense in football.
The one positive to come out of this news is the Eagles now get an actual litmus test of the strengths and weaknesses of their coaching staff. Hurts and Sirianni began their tenure as leaders of this team together earlier this season, and through their highs and lows, it was hard to separate the two.
Hurts’ woes as a passer alongside the Eagles’ overall ineffectiveness caused a lot of criticism for Sirianni and the team. Philadelphia only succeeded in the run game, and the questions rose regarding Hurts and Sirianni. Is Hurts just that bad of a passer, or was he placed in situations to fail? Did Sirianni call the right plays, and Hurts just couldn’t execute?
In the grand scheme of things, the two have been very good for the Eagles this season, and a decent showing from Gardner Minshew shouldn’t throw everything into chaos. However, a win will likely spell another QB controversy on Monday with how this city is.
There are a few things to take away from Sunday’s game regarding the quarterback situation, and none of it should be drastic. One of which is just a clearer idea of who is at fault for the minor issues this season, and if the Eagles have a good backup quarterback on their hands they can flip.
Philadelphia very well might not get that answer, but it’s a prime opportunity to do so. It’s the New York Jets. A big victory shouldn’t cause any drastic franchise changes, especially if the outcome was expected already if Jalen Hurts started.
Don’t expect any significant changes to the game plan for Gardner Minshew and the Eagles on Sunday. Shane Steichen said they would continue to run their current offense if Minshew started, but Steichen is too smart to tip his hat to the media one way or another. Changes will occur, with more pocket passes, far fewer QB runs, and a heavier basis on the running backs.
Adding Gardner Minshew into the mix now makes the Eagles’ quarterback situation far more confusing. Howie Roseman isn’t sold yet while Jeffrey Lurie is, Russell Wilson’s status in Seattle is unknown, and now Minshew is likely to receive serious consideration based on how he looks.
Either way, a win is needed for the Eagles tomorrow to keep their playoff hopes alive. It shouldn’t be a tall task for Gardner Minshew, but it’ll be interesting to see how another QB does in Nick Sirianni’s offense.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today