It was ugly in the first half (3-for-10), but Minshew completed 5 of 6 passes for 46 yards -- including a 3-yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley with 31 seconds to play -- on the final drive to give the Jaguars a 20-16 victory in the Oakland Raiders' final game in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. It was the Jaguars' first victory in the Pacific time zone since beating the Raiders on Jan. 2, 2005. They had lost 10 consecutive games on the West Coast.
Minshew led the Jaguars to 17 unanswered points in the final 16 minutes. His numbers weren't impressive (201 yards, two TDs), but this was Minshew's best performance since he threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over the New York Jets on Oct. 27. That was the last game the Jaguars won prior to Sunday.
The Jaguars' quarterback situation is murky for 2020 and beyond. Nick Foles will in the second year of the four-year, $88 million contract he signed this past March and carries a $33.875 million dead salary cap hit. He played poorly after he regained is starting job after his collarbone injury and Minshew needed to finish the season strong to have a case to unseat him as the starter again.
He provided one Sunday.
Promising trend: Rookie defensive end Josh Allen has been one of the few bright spots for the Jaguars in what has been one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.
There are likely going to be massive changes after the season ends -- the front office, the coaching staff, or both -- but Allen is definitely one of the pieces that can be used to rebuild a franchise that has fallen apart after nearly reaching the Super Bowl just two seasons ago.
Allen leads all rookies in sacks with 10 after dropping Derek Carr in the second quarter and is just the seventh player – and first rookie -- in Jaguars history to record double-digit sacks in a season. He and Nick Bosa are two of the leading candidates for defensive rookie of the year.
With defensive end Calais Campbell, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, and cornerback A.J. Bouye potential salary-cap casualties and cornerback Jalen Ramsey traded earlier this season, there might not be be many defensive building blocks left. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (third in franchise history in sacks), linebacker Myles Jack and Allen might be pretty much it.
Buy Ngakoue: Ngakoue had two sacks and four tackles for loss against the Raiders. He now has 10 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, and three forced fumbles, a compelling argument for the Jaguars to pay him. The two sides couldn't come to an agreement in the offseason and remain pretty far apart, so the Jaguars might end up using the franchise tag to keep him here in 2020.
Ngakoue might not be great against the run, but he's the only player to have at least eight sacks in four consecutive seasons. Good pass rushers are hard to come by, and the Jaguars would be making a mistake by not keeping him in their long-term plans.