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Jaguars Fangirl: Week 14

week14

It's the second to last home game Jaguars, so make sure you're getting to TIAA Bank Field this weekend! You never know what you've got until it's gone, and the offseason is looming so take in every moment left this season! PLUS Minshew Magic is back! The rookie QB will take on the veteran Philip Rivers and his struggling Chargers. Right now it's all about building momentum for 2020 and finishing this season strong! A win this week means the Jags can still finish the season at .500! So stay strong Duval and get ready for this AFC matchup! 

He's baaackkkkkk! The QB sensation that took the league by mustache and storm is back under center this week for the Jags. After sitting behind veteran QB Nick Foles for three weeks, the rookie has been given the reigns once again. Minshew will make his ninth start of the season Sunday where he's gone 4-4 since replacing Foles. During his time as QB1, Minshew was selected as Rookie of the Week six times, as well as, Rookie of the Month in September. 

The offense was definitely surging at time with Minshew at the forefront, but the rookie still had growing pains. While throwing 14 touchdowns this season, he also tallied five interceptions and lost seven fumbles. So perhaps the time out of the spotlight was good for the rook, and he certainly agrees. Minshew said earlier this week, "A lot of times when you're playing, you have a million different things you're having to focus in on and you can lose some of the smaller stuff," He went on to add, "When you're out of that role, you can kind of step back and see the little details. Watching Nick was a great opportunity to learn."

The biggest thing that Gardner brings is truly the magic and mania. There's something about HIM. His teammates agree. On Wednesday, wide receiver DJ Chark said "... when he's out there, there's no quit in him. There's no quit in this team. Just seeing him out there, running around trying to make plays, you want to make plays for him." 

So the team is rallying but Gardner isn't looking to far into the future - despite this being a clear indicator that if things go well the sixth-round pick could become "the guy" in 2020. He capped his thoughts by saying "I just want to win this game," Minshew said. "Then we'll kind of reassess at the end of this game and see what we need to do for next week. Right now, all we can do is worry about beating the Chargers." 

This week's match-up to watch is Leonard Fournette vs the Chargers defensive line. In fact, the biggest nugget to know about this game is that Fournette is only 11 yards away from reaching the 1,000 mark on the season. 

The Chargers are 18th in the league in rush defense giving up 109 yards per game but the Jags are 27th in rushing offense only putting up 89 yards per game. However, with Gardner back the offense should be more balanced which favors Fournette. The last time these two teams faced off in 2017, Fournette only had 33 rushing yards on 17 attempts. 

This season Fournette's biggest games were against teams in the bottom half of rushing defense. Those teams were the Panthers (29th), Broncos (20th) and Bengals (32nd). Although, the Chargers have done an excellent job at slowing down the run in recent weeks, allowing 97.3 rushing yards per game in their past three games. This is a huge component of the game this week and something Duval should pay attention to. 

Tailgate season is still in full effect with a high of 71 and partly cloudy on Sunday! Make sure you're the star of your tailgate with these recipes. 

Florida Guacamole

What you'll need:

2 Florida avocados, pit removed and mashed

1 Florida tomato, diced small

2 Florida Key limes, juiced

¼ red onion, diced small

2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon cumin

Several dashes hot sauce (optional)

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Florida Peanut Brittle Chocolate Truffles

What you'll need:

6 ounces Florida peanut brittle, finely crushed

½ cup heavy cream

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 ounces dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

Preparation:

In a small saucepot over medium heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl with the chocolate chips. Tightly cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes to melt the chocolate. Uncover and add the vanilla, stirring until completely smooth. Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours in order to set. Using an ice cream scoop or small spoon, scoop out small amounts of chocolate and roll into balls (disposable latex gloves are helpful during this step). Next, roll the truffles into the crushed peanut brittle (or coating of your choice). Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and chill to set. Serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Fresh Tip: These truffles can be rolled in additional items such as crushed cookies, flaked coconut, or cocoa powder!

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