JACKSONVILLE – This one couldn't have started much worse.
Even with a quarterback change, it ended no better.
Because of a slow start, and because of a turnover-plagued first half, the Jaguars lost on Sunday afternoon – 28-11 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in front of 62,633 at TIAA Bank Stadium in a game that mostly felt as lopsided as that score.
Quarterback Nick Foles committed turnovers on the Jaguars' first three possessions and Head Coach Doug Marrone replaced him at halftime with rookie Gardner Minshew II. The Buccaneers scored touchdowns after each of Foles' turnovers to take a 22-0 lead that seemed insurmountable and turned out to be just that.
Foles-Minshew wasn't the only Jaguars story Sunday, but when your starting quarterback plays that way – and when he's benched after two miserable quarters – it's difficult to focus on much else. It's even harder to win, even against a team that hardly seemed unbeatable entering the game.
So, the Jaguars are 4-8, having lost four consecutive games. The playoff chances that have dimmed by the week may not be technically dead, but they're not worth discussing.
What else to say about Sunday? I'm at a loss to remember right now, honestly.
I'm sure the inbox will jog the memory.
Let's get to it …
Ryan from Denver, CO
This is it, right? Don't see how Marrone goes back to Foles now.
Marrone said after Sunday's loss he will speak to both quarterbacks Monday. Like you, I will be surprised if he starts Foles against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday. It's very difficult to return to a veteran starting quarterback after he is benched in favor of a young player. And I'm hard-pressed to think of a legitimate reason to start Foles. I also have reservations about Minshew. I like him very much personally, and he unquestionably has something magical when it comes to playing quarterback that you can't teach or coach; the spark he gives the offense is impressive. But I continue to wonder if his propensity to scramble a bit too quickly, along with defense ability to defend him with single-high safety and a rush designed to keep him in the pocket, will be too much for him to overcome. Either way, there's no question Minshew is intriguing. And the thought here is he has shown enough in eight starts and parts of two other games to have earned the right to show over the last month of this season what he can be moving forward. I expect Marrone's decision on this issue Monday. And I expect his choice will be Minshew.
Travis from Atlanta, GA
I left the sports bar at the end of the first quarter. I tuned into the game on XM Radio and figured I'd listen to the rest versus wasting my time sitting watching it. Once they announced Minshew to come in, I was back at my seat in the sports bar to watch Minshew play. At least it seems he gives us a chance to be productive.
You weren't alone in this feeling. Many fans agree. I expect Marrone will, too.
Austin from Jacksonville
Minshew gives us the best chance to win and has earned the right to start next season. This should be the end of the discussion.
I agree with your first thought and I expect Minshew will start the rest of this season health permitting. As for who will start next season … well, there are enough unanswered questions on enough levels around this team right now that it's a little tricky – and way too early – to determine that.
Sean from Jacksonville
I see a change at QB for the rest of the season. Dang it, I was rooting for Foles. I just don't see Marrone saying that Foles gives the team the best chance to win. Does this mean Minshew is the savior? Hardly. I also feel defensive coordinator Todd Wash will be the scapegoat sooner rather than later. A totally frustrating and amazingly disappointing season.
What he said.
Hulk from Las Vegas, NV
Foles!!! He threw it right to the defender. Put the kid in. He has room for growth. Foles needs to retire. We made a bad business decision on someone who is notoriously average.
This was the much-ballyhooed, oft-well-crafted, always-positive First Email of the Game. It came right after Foles' first-quarter interception, which he threw under pressure directly to Buccaneers linebacker Devin White. This wasn't an unexpected reaction considering the climate among Jaguars fans regarding Foles. Some First Emails are better than others. This was one was prescient.
Chris from Mandarin, FL
This team is terrible, and help is not on the way. I nearly missed my first game since I was 13 in 2001 today. I'm not sure why I continue to abuse my psyche like this.
Chris from Section 437
This team is awful and getting harder by the week to make the 80-miile drive.
… also, fair.
David from Broward County, FL
Well, it sure looks like the Nick Foles experiment in Duval is over. Or at least it should be. Thoughts?
That's how it looked and felt Sunday. I've been around this league long enough and seen enough to know things change very quickly. But right now, on Sunday night following that loss to the Buccaneers … yeah that's how it feels.
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
John... can you make it stop?