Minshew Mania 2.0: Jags stun Colts, Rivers 27-20 in opener

Gardner Minshew threw three touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to Keelan Cole in the fourth quarter, and Jacksonville opened the season by stunning Indianapolis 27-20 and spoiling Philip Rivers’ debut with the Colts.

Posted: Sep 13, 2020 6:44 PM
Updated: Sep 14, 2020 5:52 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Minshew Mania 2.0 might be better than the original.

Gardner Minshew threw three touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to Keelan Cole in the fourth quarter, and Jacksonville opened the season by stunning Indianapolis 27-20 and spoiling Philip Rivers’ debut with the Colts.

Not bad for a team that was supposedly giving up on the season before it even played a down.

“We’re going to do our best to make sure we’re worth watching,” Minshew said.

The Jaguars entered Week 1 as the NFL’s biggest home underdogs, with talk of tanking being the most prevalent preseason topic surrounding the revamped team. It led to tempered expectations that may have contributed to a sparse crowd: only 14,100 of 16,800 tickets available were distributed for the league’s lone game played with fans in the stands Sunday.

Minshew gave the faithful plenty to celebrate. The second-year pro completed 19 of 20 passes for 173 yards and no turnovers. He connected with DJ Chark, rookie Laviska Shenault and Cole for scores — and looked sharp all day. Minshew’s only incompletion was a catchable ball early.

Jacksonville had plenty of other young guys step up, validating decisions to part ways with running back Leonard Fournette, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and safety Ronnie Harrison about two weeks before the opener.

Undrafted rookie running back James Robinson accounted for 90 yards, including 62 on the ground. He also hurdled linebacker Anthony Walker after a reception.

“I didn’t think he had that in him,” coach Doug Marrone said.

First-round pick CJ Henderson had an interception. Fellow first-rounder K’Lavon Chaisson would have had one, too, but it was negated by a penalty away from the play. And Shenault, a second-round selection, proved to be a versatile threat capable of creating mismatches all over the field.

Henderson’s pick turned the momentum in the second quarter. He also sealed the victory by getting a hand on a fourth-down pass intended for T.Y. Hilton in the waning seconds.

“I lost the game,” Hilton said. “The drops, never should have had them.”

The Colts have themselves to blame other ways, too. Coach Frank Reich went for it on fourth down from the 3-yard line early and failed to get points.

“I felt like that play was going to work, but it didn’t,” Reich said. “So we got outcoached and outplayed on that play.”

Rookie kicker Rodrigo Blankenship hit the left upright from 30 yards out, another missed opportunity. And safety Kenny Moore aided Jacksonville’s go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth with a horse-collar tackle that drew a 15-yard penalty.

Rivers completed 36 of 46 passes for 363 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. He entered the game with 20 TD passes and just one interception against Jacksonville since 2010.

“The second one, yeah, I’d like to have it back,” Rivers said. “But I didn’t think I was being reckless. Those are decisions you have to make in the heat of it. Certainly those turnovers hurt.”

MACK INJURED

Colts running back Marlon Mack left the game with an Achilles injury and was later ruled out. Reich said Mack will have tests Monday to determine the extent of the injury, one that could end his season.

Mack ran four times for 26 yards. Losing him would be a huge blow, although Indy drafted Wisconsin star Jonathan Taylor in the second round. Taylor gained 22 yards on nine carries. He also caught six passes for 67 yards.

ROOKIE RECORD

Robinson made NFL history in his pro debut. Robinson’s 62 yards broke the previous mark for undrafted rookie running backs in season openers.

He became the first undrafted rookie running back in 30 years to start in Week 1. Several undrafted rookie fullbacks have started openers over the years. But the feat has been much rarer for tailbacks. Tampa Bay’s Bruce Perkins and Seattle’s Derek Loville were the last to do it, getting Week 1 nods in 1990.

Washington’s Ralph Nelson held the previous high for rushing yards by an undrafted rookie in Week 1, gaining 44 yards against New Orleans on Sept. 21, 1975.

Robinson’s debut also included a leap to remember.

“I don’t think I’ve jumped like that before,” he said.

UP NEXT

Colts: Host Minnesota next Sunday. Indianapolis has won the last five meetings, topping 30 points three times.

Jaguars: Play AFC South foe Tennessee next Sunday. Jacksonville has dropped six in a row in Nashville, losing those by a combined 67 points.

West Lafayette
Overcast
49° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 51°
Rensselaer
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Williamsport
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 51°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 53°
Frankfort
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
Delphi
Overcast
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 53°
Monticello
Overcast
53° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 53°
Logansport
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
A Cool Start to October.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 120019

Reported Deaths: 3632
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21671768
Lake10772325
St. Joseph6763116
Elkhart6755112
Allen6411206
Hamilton4997110
Vanderburgh390632
Hendricks2789125
Monroe270837
Tippecanoe265213
Johnson2383126
Clark229357
Porter223347
Delaware204162
Cass19619
Vigo190628
Madison173575
LaPorte153241
Warrick142847
Floyd142064
Howard134164
Kosciusko130117
Bartholomew120357
Marshall102924
Dubois102119
Boone100346
Grant97237
Hancock95143
Noble93532
Henry83027
Wayne78115
Jackson77910
Morgan73940
Shelby68929
Daviess68429
Dearborn67928
LaGrange65111
Clinton64414
Harrison60124
Putnam59211
Gibson5606
Knox54410
Lawrence53029
Montgomery51222
DeKalb50111
White49114
Decatur46339
Miami4394
Greene43236
Fayette42314
Jasper4032
Steuben3997
Scott39611
Posey3712
Sullivan33912
Jennings31812
Clay3155
Franklin31525
Ripley3098
Whitley2956
Orange28924
Adams2833
Carroll28313
Wabash2758
Starke2747
Wells2734
Washington2702
Spencer2693
Huntington2543
Jefferson2543
Fulton2472
Tipton23323
Randolph2308
Perry22613
Jay1931
Pike1771
Newton17511
Owen1721
Martin1690
Rush1584
Vermillion1330
Fountain1302
Blackford1243
Pulaski1141
Crawford1110
Parke1112
Brown1023
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland680
Warren411
Unassigned0227

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events