Extra Points: Minshew Mania hits Eagles
Eagles coach Nick Siranni didn't waste any time in squashing "Minshew Mania" Sunday.
Gardner Minshew played well in relief of injured Jalen Hurts in a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets, but there won't be any fake Fu Manchu mustaches and Jorts on sale in the Eagles' team store. As soon as he's recovered from his ankle injury that sidelined him against the Jets, Hurts will be back in the lineup.
"Jalen's our quarterback," Siranni said after the game.
Minshew completed 20 of 25 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns in helping the Eagles (6-7) maintain hopes of a playoff spot. He was particularly effective in the first half, going 14-for-15 for 188 yards and a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
According to the Eagles, Minshew became just the fourth Eagles QB since 1991 to register a perfect passer rating in the first half, joining Nick Foles (11/3/13 at Oakland), Michael Vick (11/15/10 at Washington) and Donovan McNabb (9/23/07 vs. Detroit).
Uncle Rico would have been proud.
"How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?"
There are some Eagles fans who would bet Minshew could toss one over the Walt Whitman Bridge, given Hurts' struggles last week against the New York Giants.
It's often said the most popular player on a NFL team is the backup quarterback and the Birds have had a few second-string heroes. Minshew follows Jeff Garcia, Mark Sanchez and some guy named Nick Foles as guys who came off the bench to become stars in the last 15 years.
In 2006, Garcia replaced an injured Donovan McNabb in December and led the team to a win over Dallas that clinched a playoff spot, shouting "Merry Christmas, Philadelphia!" as he walked off the field. I remember tracking him down at the former Hilton Casino and Resort a few weeks after the season to get his thoughts on his future with the Eagles. The fact that he was accompanied by his former wife, 2004 Playboy Playmate of the Year Carmella DeCesare, was just a coincidence.
Sanchez briefly became a fan favorite in 2014. When Foles was sidelined with a broken collarbone, Sanchez threw a pair of touchdown passes in a Monday Night Football win over Carolina. He celebrated by fulfilling a promise and joining fans for some cheesesteaks at Pat's and Geno's afterward.
Foles earned free beers for life in Philly after taking over Carson Wentz in 2017 and delivering an MVP effort in Super Bowl LII, then coming through again the following season to lead the Eagles back to the postseason.
Minshew has been through it before. Foles signed with Jacksonville in 2019 and broke his collarbone in the opener. In stepped Minshew, he of the quirky personality, funky wardrobe and exciting playing style. Once the Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall, Minshew's days in Duval County were numbered.
"I think anyone that's halfway competitive wants to play," Minshew said Sunday. "That's what's fun. That's why you play the game. But I know whatever role I'm in, I'm going to give it 110 percent and do whatever I can for the team."
His role is to be Hurts' backup.
Hurts has been inconsistent at times, but has played well enough to deserve a chance to prove that he can be the Eagles' franchise quarterback. And the only way that can be determined is to let him play the rest of the season.
Of course, the minute Hurts throws an interception, the Minshew chants will be heard at the Linc. But that's to be expected from a fan base that has always loved the backup quarterback.
Just ask A.J. Feeley.