Tue, Oct 15, 2019

The legend of Gardner Minshew continues to grow in Jacksonville. Not only is Minshew setting franchise records for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he’s shattering NFL marks for rookie quarterbacks in the process. Through three games, no rookie quarterback has gotten off to a better start in the 100-year history of the NFL than Minshew. Per NFL Research, Minshew has the highest completion percentage (73.8) and the highest passer rating (110.6) through three games (minimum 30 pass attempts). Minshew set the marks with his performance in the Jaguars’ 20-7 win over the Tennessee Titans Thursday night, finishing 20-for-30 (66.7 completion percentage) for 204 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 108.2 passer rating. Minshew has completed 65-of-88 passes for 679 yards, five touchdowns, with just one interception — averaging 7.9 yards per attempt. 

There is a cautionary tale toward Minshew’s torrid start. The players he’s ahead of struggled throughout the majority of their careers. Rick Mirer previously held the record for completion percentage through three games at 70.9 percent (1993), but he finished the season completing 56.4 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a 67.0 passer rating. Mirer, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1993 draft, completed 53.4 percent of his passes in four years with the Seattle Seahawks with 41 touchdowns, 56 interceptions and a 65.7 rating. 

Trent Edwards is third on the list, having a 70.5 completion percentage through three games. Edwards completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 25 touchdowns, 27 interceptions and a 76.8 rating in four seasons in Buffalo. Jon Kitna, fourth on the list (68.9 percent), completed 60.3 percent of his passes with 169 touchdowns, 165 interceptions and a 77.4 passer rating in 14 NFL seasons. 

Minshew beat Marcus Mariota’s record for highest passer rating through three games. Mariota has completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 73 touchdowns, 42 interceptions and an 89.9 passer rating in five seasons with the Tennessee Titans. Ed Rubbert was a replacement player during the 1987 strike, playing just three games for the Washington Redskins and finishing with a 110.2 passer rating in leading the Redskins to a 3-0 record. He never played in the NFL again. 

Fourth on the list is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 74 touchdowns, 30 interceptions and a 92.3 passer rating in 42 games, instrumental toward the Eagles winning a Super Bowl two years ago. 

While Minshew has a long way to go before his career is settled, getting off to an incredible start doesn’t indicate future success in the NFL. 

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