Gardner Minshew had his worst game as the Jaguars' starting quarterback in Sunday's 26-3 loss to the Texans in London on Sunday.

He also remains the best choice as the Jaguars' starting quarterback, despite the team deciding Tuesday to go back to a healthy Nick Foles for Week 11 against the Colts and presumably the rest of the 2019 NFL season.

The rookie sensation is back to bench, as unfortunately Foles, who signed a four-year, $88 million deal to be the veteran starter, is likely being played again because he's being paid a lot more.

Since Foles went down with a broken collarbone in Week 1, Minshew far exceeded expectations as a sixth-round elevated backup. With his dynamic passing and running, he has been one of the NFL's best QBs, period, no matter the level of experience. The Jaguars have gone 4-4 with him starting, and he played well enough for his team to win two of those games they lost.

MORE: Full Week 9 NFL results, highlights

Minshew picked a bad time to have his roughest outing in Week 9. Although he did have considerable trouble with a strong Saints defense in Week 6, his performance against the Texans (27-of-47, 309 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 2 lost fumbles, 59.6 passer rating) was the clear low of his short career.

The money paid to Foles and the experience he gives the Jaguars are only two flimsy reasons to go with him. There were four much better reasons to stick with Minshew.

Gardner Minshew makes the Jaguars relevant.

The Jaguars might not have a real shot at AFC playoff contention at 4-5, but whether you call it "magic" or "mania," the moustachioed Minshew has put them on the map nationally and reinvigorated the fan base locally. He is fun to watch and has done more to help them win than lose.

His wacky, whip-smart personality is one thing, but his ability to extend plays with his feet and deliver big passes downfield is another.

This is not a forced Tim Tebow-type thing. Minshew has proved he belongs on the field.


Gardner Minshew makes game-planning against the Jaguars tougher.

In terms of off-script playmaking with his arm and legs, Minshew is not yet on the level of the Texans' Deshaun Watson. But Houston coach Bill O'Brien told reporters after Sunday's game there was a conscious effort to keep Minshew contained with a controlled pass rush, as the Texa

ns were worried grealty about his improvising out of the pocket.

Foles doesn't offer near that mobility, and he can't overcome pass protection breakdowns in the same way. He does not give defenses another element to think about on every play. No one goes into a game against the Jaguars worrying about Foles' running.

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Gardner Minshew is already more locked in with the Jaguars' wide receivers.

Minshew and second-year wide receiver D.J. Chark have looked great together ever since Minshew relieved Foles in Week 1. Minshew also has been zoned into Dede Westbrook, and the absence of his reliable pass-catching in the slot hurt against the Texans' depleted secondary.

Third and fourth wideouts Chris Conley and Keelan Cole have made their share of key plays for Minshew, too, and the QB has a good checkdown feel for running backs Leonard Fournette and Ryquell Armstead.

Re-creating that overall chemistry with Foles will be difficult this deep into the season. Minshew has meshed well with all of his weapons in a short time. A change won't work out well for Chark or anybody else.

Gardner Minshew is the future, and Nick Foles is not.

Sometimes teams don't know their own good fortune. The Jaguars' front office and coaching staff might feel like they are forced to justify their investment in Foles ($45 million guaranteed). Before the season and Minshew's breakout, the 30-year-old was seen as the best bridge QB available to help the Jaguars win the most games in 2019 as they moved on from Blake Bortles.

But things changed when Foles went down; the Jaguars found a promising young franchise passer in Minshew.

Foles has won a Super Bowl as a supersub, but the evidence throughout his career suggests he eventually will be overexposed as a regular starter. Foles still would have plenty of value, by the way, as a backup who can continue to be a good influence in the locker room and help Minshew develop in John DeFillippo's offense.

It's not a suprise that coach Doug Marrone chose to pull the plug on Minshew Mania. But it's definitely a big mistake that will cost the Jaguars in the present and drag down their near future, too.