Lawrence looked a bit timid at times during his first foray into being a starting quarterback in the NFL. On a couple of instances, he held on to the ball a little longer than you'd expect, but this was his first NFL game, so some nerves are to be expected. The first overall pick had 11 total dropbacks and completed 6/9 attempts for 71 yards with no touchdowns or turnovers. Lawrence took two sacks on the day.
On the first drop back of his career, AJ Cann got beat relatively quickly up the middle, and with pressure bearing down on Lawrence, he failed to maneuver in the pocket or deliver a short pass to Laviska Shenault, who created more than enough separation on the play. As a result, he fumbled the ball but fortunately landed on it and lived the to fight another down. AJ Cann undoubtedly lost the rep, but Lawrence could have done more to avoid the sack himself and should have hit his open receiver. It looked like Lawrence was waiting on Marvin Jones to uncover down the field, but his route took too long to develop.
The second sack of the day on Lawrence was his own fault. He held on to the ball for way too long after a play-action when it looked like he had Marvin Jones open on the right side. Jawaan Taylor gave up pressure late around the edge, but Lawrence had more than 3.5 seconds to get rid of the ball.
Lawrence completed some quick ones to Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones early: a couple of screens to Shenault and a comeback for Jones. On third down during his first drive of the game, Lawrence was looking for Viska on a comeback route to the left side of the field, but the receiver was tightly covered, and the ball didn't get to the intended target, falling haplessly to the ground a few yards short. Lawrence was fading away on the delivery and couldn't get enough on the pass. His only other incompletion on the opening drive was a quick throw to Carlos Hyde, who never looked for the ball.
On his second and final drive of the day, Lawrence found tight end Chris Manhertz early for a short gain and then took the aforementioned sack after a play-action fake. But on third and ten, Lawrence hung in the pocket, shuffled his feet to avoid pressure, and delivered an absolute strike 30 yards down the field to Marvin Jones, who made the grab despite being well covered. That play was the highlight of the day for Lawrence and Jones. The rookie quarterbacks' next pass was delivered too high for Jones on a five-yard out, leading to another third and long. He went right back to his favorite target, Marvin Jones, and the two connected for a completion at the line to gain, but after a brief bobble, Jones was marked short. On fourth and one, the offensive line couldn't create enough space for James Robinson to get the first, and Trevor's night was over.
It isn't easy to judge a quarterback off of just 15 plays and two drives.
Overall, Lawrence was accurate, outside of the one throw to Jones that was too high. On his second drive, he impressively completed passes on third and long that were good enough to move the chains. It's not his fault that Jones didn't come down with the on-target strike cleanly on the second one. His lone blemish on third-down came on the off-balance miss to Laviska Shenault on the first drive.
What do we need to see more of from Lawrence in preseason week two when the Jaguars travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints?
You don't want to see your quarterback take unnecessary risks, especially in preseason, but Lawrence is blessed with tremendous athletic ability. He should use his legs more when need be.
And while Lawrence has been ready to deliver strikes quickly down the field in practice, he was a bit too tentative on a couple of his dropbacks in this one, leading to sacks. He has the vision and arm talent to make every throw. If it's there, Lawrence needs to take the shot.
We saw plenty of good from Lawrence in his preseason opener. There were more than a handful of accurate passes, a nice shot down the field, and some headiness on 2/3 third-down opportunities. He also displayed the ability to fight through adversity, a critical trait at the NFL level. This performance was a solid foundation to build off for the rookie phenom, but not quite as spectacular as you'd hope.
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