Gardner Minshew shines in first Eagles start, dominates Jets in 30-18 victory

The former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback dominated in his first start with the Eagles on Sunday, leading Philly to a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets, as an injured Jalen Hurts watched from the sidelines. 

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Gardner Minshew, who lost the starting job in Jacksonville to former No. 1 overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence before being traded to the Eagles, was 20 of 25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 05: Gardner Minshew #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 05, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 05: Gardner Minshew #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 05, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

“I thought he played a really good game,” head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters after the game. “Our message to Gardner was be yourself and protect that football. If you be yourself, it’s going to be enough. Really happy for Gardner.”

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Minshew connected with tight end Dallas Goedert for both touchdowns and it initially appeared the Jets and Eagles would be in for a slugfest as they both scored touchdowns on their first three possessions — but things slowed for New York significantly after the half.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 05: Gardner Minshew #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates as he runs off the field after defeating the New York Jets 33-18 at MetLife Stadium on December 05, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 05: Gardner Minshew #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates as he runs off the field after defeating the New York Jets 33-18 at MetLife Stadium on December 05, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

The Jets held the ball for only 70 seconds in the third quarter — just three plays for 3 yards. Meanwhile, the Eagles had 24 plays for 81 yards over 13:50 in the period. Philadelphia held the overall edge in time of possession: 35:36 to 24:24.

Zach Wilson finished 23 of 38 for 226 yards and two touchdowns as the Jets lost their ninth of the season. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 05: Tevin Coleman #23 of the New York Jets runs the ball and is tackled by Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 05, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 05: Tevin Coleman #23 of the New York Jets runs the ball and is tackled by Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 05, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Getty Images)

Despite Minshew’s strong performance, Sirianni told reporters that Hurts will still be their QB1 when healthy. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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