Gardner Minshew has been everything the Colts could have asked for, and more, to start the 2023 NFL Season.
Through 5 games, Minshew has seen action in 4 of them, and will see a lot more action with Anthony Richardson out with an injured AC joint in his throwing shoulder. In relief of Richardson, Minshew has completed 68.7% of his passes for 553 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Colts are undefeated when Minshew takes the majority of snaps.
This raises the question; does Minshew give the Colts a better chance to win against the Jaguars and beyond?
There is no denying that Richardson has impressed early in his career. He seems much farther along as a passer than many had expected, and he has shown tons of poise and comfortability in the pocket. That being said, he is still a rookie, and there have been times where he has missed throws that a more experienced quarterback might make. The Colts offense is more explosive with Richardson at the helm, but with Minshew, it is more consistent.
Of course, the whole point of this season is to develop Richardson. Minshew might help you win games in the short term, but long term, this is Richardson’s team. Minshew has even said as much (further reinforcing the fact that he is the best backup in the league). There is no quarterback controversy in Indianapolis, no matter how well Minshew plays. He knows this.
Minshew is the more consistent quarterback right now. He could very well go off against the Jaguars in the “Minshew Revenge Game” that some Colts fans (myself included) were secretly wanting. There would be some delicious irony in Minshew sticking it to Jacksonville by having a big game, much like he used to do for the Jaguars when they would play the Colts.
Of course, it won’t really matter. He can throw for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns, and yet when Richardson is healthy, Minshew will return to the bench. Richardson has shown more than enough evidence that he belongs, and his development is too important to delay any longer than necessary. For Minshew, the next few weeks are about putting together some good tape, so that come the offseason, he can have a chance at being a starter again.
During Tuesday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to Brad Spielberger of PFF. Brad spoke about his level of confidence in Gardner Minshew.
“It’s pretty high. I mean obviously he’s proven it to a degree, he has basically two wins already under his belt against some good opponents. I think that this team, you know in the right game script, and if they keep things close, and low scoring, and frankly a little bit ugly, I think they can win games with Gardner Minshew.”
Brad also discussed his belief that Minshew is better than at least a handful of starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
“The thing with when you’re bringing along quarterbacks, is obviously what you’re chasing is the upside, and the potential for what they can be with more experience down the road, but as of right now today, I mean, you look across the NFL, like Desmond Ridder vs Gardner Minshew, easy Gardner Minshew. I mean even, I like Bryce Young, but the current version of Bryce Young got outplayed by a wide margin by Andy Dalton when he did come in for Carolina. So again, it’s not to say they’re going to be better in the long haul, but right now Gardner Minshew is a top 25 quarterback in the NFL.”
Listen to JMV’s conversation with Brad and more below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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