Thursday night marked a woeful game for Gardner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars offense.
The 31-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins was the worst Minshew performed this year. Jay Gruden’s offense looked stale and nothing close to what we saw in the first two weeks. Sans D.J. Chark, the receivers were mostly non-factors, with Chris Conley sabotaging several drives. The defense got torched by a 37-year-old bearded wizard masquerading as a QB.
There was one lone bright spot wearing teal Thursday night: rookie running back James Robinson.
The undrafted rookie out of Illinois State sparked the Jags offense early before the tilt turned ugly.
“Yeah, I think everyone should feel like that, because anyone can have it, anyone can make a play,” he said when asked if he felt like he needed to spur the Jags offense. “So I think everyone should go out there trying to make a spark.”
Robinson carried 11 times for 46 yards and two touchdowns (the Jags’ only scores). More surprisingly, he led Jacksonville with 83 receiving yards on six receptions. His long of 24 yards also topped the Jags’ woeful night.
“I think as an offense, the checkdowns are always an option for a quarterback,” Robinson said. “[Minshew] didn’t find anyone open, so the checkdown was there and he made the play. I think it wasn’t really a shift into that, just him making a great pass.”
He might not have blazing speed or moves like Barry Sanders, but Robinson can hit a hole, and has enough wiggle to twist defenders in open space. Thursday, he showed he’s also got some juice in the passing game. And his pass protection has been solid for a rookie.
Through three games, Robinson has been an unearthed gem for Jacksonville.
His 339 scrimmage yards are the most by any undrafted player through his first three career games since the 1970 merger.
Robinson joined Leonard Fournette (2017) as the only players in franchise history with 150-plus rushing yards and 2-plus scrimmage TDs in his first three career games.
When Jacksonville moved on from Fournette, the former No. 4 overall pick, the cut was met with skepticism and tanking talk. Robinson has silenced that chatter and moved the raised brows back to resting position.
The Jags might have laid an egg in prime time Thursday, but Robinson proved he has the potential to become the latest undrafted golden goose.
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