Messy but effective: Gardner Minshew is second on Saturday's marquee, but as always, he gives the Colts a chance
When Anthony Richardson went down, the season could have gone south. But Minshew, the coaches and the whole team in general refused to let that happen.
Gardner Minshew’s locker stall is a mess, and it gets messier every week. Shirts are stacked upon one another. Cleats are everywhere. Socks are strewn about, encroaching on the locker space of one of his neighbors, Sam Ehlinger.
It's a lot like any attempt to put Minshew’s surprisingly productive season into coherent perspective: it’s messy.
He’s been good, really good, like he was against Cleveland in October when he threw for 305 yards and produced a 119.4 passer rating. He was terrific against Pittsburgh in the Colts’ best performance this season, throwing for a career-tying high of three touchdowns. He’s had six games with a passer rating over 100.
He’s been really bad, like he was earlier this season with back-to-back four-turnover games. He’s responsible for 14 of the Colts’ 21 turnovers. He’s made plays, but he’s missed some, too, as evidenced by the Raiders game when he failed to see Alec Pierce running wide open deep downfield.
Even the statistics are messy. His passer rating ranks 24th in the league, but according to ESPN’s QBR, he’s 11th in the league, ahead of Tua Tagovailoa and other luminaries. It makes no sense.
But leave it to a defensive guy, D-coordinator Gus Bradley, to put Minshew’s game in the best perspective.