Another week, another Jaguars' loss. The Jags couldn't take down the Falcons in week 12. It's now time to break down Trevor Lawrence's performance from the 24-14 loss in front of the Duval faithful.
The Jaguars' defense stopped the Falcons on the first drive of the game, giving Trevor Lawrence and company the ball at their own 14-yard line. Certainly not the most favorable field position, but at least the score is even. OC Darrell Bevell starts Trevor out with a quick screen to Laviska Shenault that picks up just one yard. A perfectly executed PA rollout to Viska on a crosser on second down gives the Jaguars a first. James Robinson then carries the ball twice, getting six yards and then nothing. On third and four, the Jaguars are facing zone defense; Marvin Jones quickly presents a target for Trevor on a five-yard out, giving the Jaguars a new set of downs. And then, like clockwork — a penalty, we get a false start from Cam Robinson. On first and 15, James Robinson manages five yards on the ground. We then see two straight miscommunications from Trevor Lawrence and his intended target. On second down, Lawrence is either looking for a deep out or a corner, but John Brown is nowhere near the ball. On third down, it looks like Lawrence is again looking for an out route to Shenault, but Viska runs a curl and doesn't get close to the pass. This may have been a spacing issue more than a wrong route. Punt.
The Jaguars' defense allows a long drive by the Falcons, putting Trevor and the offense in a seven-point hole. We start off with three James Robinson runs that net more than twenty total yards. With a fresh set of downs, Lawrence hits Dan Arnold on a quick out, and he fights for nine yards. J-Rob picks up the first down on the next play and gets the ball again on first down, picking up three yards. On second and seven, Trevor Lawrence fires deep for Marvin Jones and gets picked off at the goal line. At first, it seemed as though the defense may have jumped, but Marvin Jones actually lined up illegally, and that was the penalty call. In the post-game presser, Lawrence confirmed that he didn't throw the ball because he thought it was a free play, instead it was another miscommunication with a receiver.
" I thought we had a little bit more separation on the guy for the deep ball, and we got kind of held up at the top of the route," Lawrence shared. "Yeah, I mean, I think that -- I thought we were going to win over the top, so you've got to anticipate those throws, and that's one we didn't. Me and Marv already talked about that and kind of cleared all that up. We communicated. But no, I didn't think it was a free play."
Either way, that's probably not a ball that should be thrown. Jones was doubled up on the play and had zero separation. Not a good read from Trevor. But if you're going to throw a pick, at least you pinned your opponent deep in their own territory.
The Jaguars' defense forced another punt, but after a quick check down to Robinson nets the Jaguars' six yards, J-Rob fumbles the ball for the first time in his career on the next run. The Falcons score a touchdown with great field position.
Just like that, Trevor and the offense are in a big hole once again. Seven throws into the game and down 14-points. Yikes. Two offensive turnovers and a dominant rushing performance by your opponent will do that.
The next drive is a positive one for the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence showed off his wheels, picking up eight yards on a keeper early and a first down on a third-down read-option. Lawrence throws one inaccurate pass on the drive, rolling to his left. He's certainly more comfortable rolling to his right on the PA, as he doesn't have to throw across his body. Lawrence suffered a sack-fumble on a play in which all three receivers ran deep iso-routes, but Chris Manhertz, the blocker who allowed the pressure, also recovered the fumble. Laviska made a fantastic play on third and 22, securing a shallow crosser and doing the rest with his legs, picking up 25 yards and a first down. Later Marvin Jones made one of the best catches you'll ever see. The drive stalled out thanks to Dare Ogunbowale dropping a potential touchdown. With one inaccurate throw and a fumble, this wasn't a perfect drive for Trevor Lawrence, but the fumble is more on the pass pro and the play-calling than the quarterback. Darrell Bevell knows the Jaguars' receivers struggle to win on deep iso-routes against man coverage. Still, Lawrence put his team in a position to score, and a dropped pass by Dare Ogunbowale doomed the drive. The Big Cats still managed three points.
After a Tyson Campbell interception, the Jaguars get the ball back with less than a minute left, and they try to get some points at the end of the first half. Trevor hit Marvin Jones for a quick nine-yard gain. But two straight plays where receivers failed to separate led to a hail mary situation. Half time.
At the break, I have Trevor charted for 12 accurate passes, three incompletions with no open receivers, two miscommunications with receivers, two inaccurate passes, two solid QB keepers, one bad read, and one dropped pass. For me, that's 14 positive impact dropbacks, five negative, and two neutral. With the bad read on the interception, it's hard to give Lawrence a positive score for his first-half performance. Lawrence put his team in a position to score seven points in this half, which isn't enough. Admittedly, it's a tough eval with the revolving door at receiver and miscommunications down the field. And then you have some of the painfully vanilla play calling from Darrell Bevell in key situations exacerbating the issues.
On the opening drive of the second half, Lawrence gets the Jaguars moving, completing a short curl to Tavon Austin that picks up a first down. A couple of decent runs by James Robinson set up a third and short. Lawrence targets Marvin Jones on a quick slant at the sticks, but Jones loses the one-on-one against budding star cornerback AJ Terrell, and the ball falls to the ground. Jones had the ball in his hands but couldn't maintain control. Punt.
The Falcons extended the lead to 21-3 after another impressive offensive drive. After a short gain from Carlos Hyde, Lawrence fires to Jones down the field off of a play-action fake. Another accurate ball falls to the ground as Jones loses his one-on-one with the safety. On third down, we get more iso-routes down the field that fail to uncover. Lawrence checks down, and James O'Shaughnessy fails to pick up the necessary yardage. Punt.
Up next, we have a MASTERFUL drive from the first overall pick. Early on, he hits Laquon Treadwell on a 14-yard comeback for a first down. He then threw a perfect pass to Treadwell down the sideline that the veteran couldn't bring in against tight coverage from AJ Terrell. On third and short, Trevor kept it himself and picked up a big first down. This is where it gets reaaaaaally impressive. Lawrence layers a shot in between three defenders in zone coverage for James O'Shaughnessy twenty yards downfield. Set up at the seven-yard line, Darrell Bevell calls a nice route combo with a curl at the goal line and a deep slant from Tavon Austin. O'Shag's route effectively picks Austin's defender in man coverage, and Lawrence throws a dart to the back of the endzone. Austin elevates, secures, and shows off a beautiful toe-drag-swag for six. Down 21-9, the Jaguars elect to go for two. O'Shaughnessy beats his man on a flat route from the slot, and the Jaguars are down 10. This was a next-level drive from Trevor Lawrence. You love to see it.
The offensive rhythm continues into the next drive. Lawrence does well finding open receivers and using his legs to get the Jaguars down inside the five-yard line. A Jawaan Taylor hold moves the Jaguars back to the 16, where Darrell Bevell proceeds to call three straight vertical shots against man coverage. None of them work. Three straight incompletions with no receivers open leads to a field goal. The Jags trail 21-14 with 6:30 left in the game.
The Jaguars' defense holds and gets Trevor the ball on his own 18 with 2:14 left. Lawrence picks up a first down, finding Jones on a 10-yard curl to the left side. He then missed O'Shag over the middle in a tight window. On second down, Carlos Hyde drops an easy one. On third down, Lawrence targets Treadwell over the middle, and with an obvious defensive pass interference not called, Treadwell can't get both hands on the ball. On fourth down, Trevor Lawrence and Laviska Shenault were, again, not on the same page. That's the ball game, folks.
So, by my charting, Lawrence had one really poor read on the interception, 27 accurate passes, three drops, three miscommunications, six plays with no open receivers, one PI no call, five quality QB runs, and five inaccurate passes. By the numbers, Lawrence had a positive impact on 36 dropbacks and a negative effect on six. I'd say he played fairly well, but the interception marred his performance overall. He led the team on three scoring drives, but there likely should have been another touchdown or two but for a Dare Ogunbowale drop and a Jawaan Taylor holding call. I'd give Trevor a C+ for this one, with the caveat that with better receivers and a smarter play-caller, he could have easily been in the B to B+ range.
On the play calling front, I like a lot of what the team is doing with the running game, although I'd give Carlos Hyde the ball significantly less. The passing game is so frustrating to me because the answers are there from a play-calling perspective. Against man-coverage, the combo routes, bunches, picks, rubs, and crossers are working. Against zone, the vertical stuff has been reasonably productive. There's an easy way to adjust the calls at the line of scrimmage to figure out if the opponent is in man or zone coverage; it's called pre-snap motion. If the defense follows the motion man, they're in man coverage. If they don't, it's a zone. Adjust at the line and prosper.
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