Gardner Minshew needs to be better for the Colts to win games

Gardner Minshew is officially QB1 for the Indianapolis Colts, and he’s currently making it hard for the team to win games.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10) walks the sideline Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023,
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10) walks the sideline Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, / Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY

The Gardner Minshew experience is off to a roller coaster start for the Indianapolis Colts. There have been times when he came off the bench and played great, securing wins for Indy, and also times when he started and played poorly, pretty much losing the game for the Colts. Regardless, he’s the starting quarterback for Indianapolis, so he needs to be more consistent.

His last two games starting have not been his best outings. In Week 6, Minshew completed 33-of-55 passes for 329 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions, and also lost a fumble. Teams are rarely going to win games when the quarterback is handing the ball to the other team four times. Minshew made that clear in the Week 6 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and in the Week 7 loss against the Cleveland Browns.

Yes, Minshew followed up his Week 6 four-turnover game with another four-turnover game. This time, however, he gave the ball away in an inverse fashion, throwing just one interception but losing three fumbles. The hard truth is that the Colts aren’t going to start winning games until Minshew can better protect the football.

Gardner Minshew has to do a better job of protecting the football

Minshew was strip sacked three times on Sunday against Cleveland. The first one set the Browns up in Indy’s territory for an easy touchdown, the second one happened in the end zone and was recovered for a touchdown, and the third one ended the game.

Sometimes, strip sacks aren’t quarterbacks’ fault; they get caught throwing the ball, and the offensive linemen are to blame. However, that wasn’t the case with Minshew. He held on to the ball too long and showed poor pocket presence, giving Cleveland the opportunity to take the ball away. The Colts defense took the ball away twice, but Minshew gave it away twice as many times. That’s not going to cut it.

It’s hard to win a football game when you’re losing the turnover battle. The Colts are now 3-4. In the three games Indy won, it won the turnover battle, having zero turnovers in all three games. In the four games the Colts lost, they lost the turnover battle in three of them, and exchanged turnovers in the other. So it seems simple for Indy; protect the ball and win the game. Gardner Minshew has to do his part.