The Jaguars fell to 2-8 on Sunday, losing in embarrassing fashion to the 49ers. With the losses piling up, more and more folks are starting to question first overall pick Trevor Lawrence.
I'm here to set the record straight with an honest evaluation of how the young quarterback played in the 30-10 loss against San Francisco.
Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars' offense didn't touch the ball until the 1:55 mark in the first quarter. That is not a typo. The 49ers only managed three points on their opening drive, but they held the ball for over 13 minutes! On the first offensive play, we get a negative two-yard run. Think the 49ers were expecting it? Next up, we get a nice wide receiver screen to Laviska Shenault that picks up seven yards. Lawrence is set up with third and five. This is a critical play call, and what does offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell scheme up? A 2x2 set with four isolation routes, asking his receivers, who are known to not be able to separate, to do just that. Marvin Jones gets locked up on an in-route, Dan Arnold stumbles out of his break, John Brown runs a nine, and Viska runs a comeback. If Trevor throws it to Jones, it's incomplete. He can't throw it to Arnold on time because his tight end loses his balance and nearly falls over. Viska is locked up until late, and even if he throws that one, the cornerback is playing the comeback and either deflects the pass or intercepts it for six. So, Trevor's only option is to take a shot down the sideline for John Brown, who he's never thrown to in a game before. Lawrence throws it a little deep and a little too far outside, but if the throw was on the money, it might have been picked. Because John Brown had, you guessed it, no separation. This botched third-down falls on Darrell Bevell for not running something to scheme a receiver open, and of course, on the receivers for not being able to beat man coverage.
The next time our young hero gets a crack at it, he's down 10-0 with 11:24 left in the first half. Everything looks to be going smoothly as Lawrence hits Viska for another screen that picks up eight yards. But at the end of his run, Shenault coughs the ball up, giving the 49ers the ball back with superb field position.
It's now 17-0, and Trevor Lawrence has thrown one incompletion (again, it wasn't his fault) and has had four total offensive plays. Putting the kid in a position to succeed? Okay. Moving on...
Down three scores with 8:19 left in the second quarter, Lawrence and the Jags' offense get another crack at it. After two James Robinson runs net eight yards, it's third and short. As the receivers struggled to create space, Lawrence saw an opening and took off for a nine-yard gain, giving the Jaguars a much-needed first down. On the next snap, Lawrence rolls right and finds Tavon Austin wide open and delivers a crisp pass on the run. First down, Jaguars. After a negative run and a medium screen to James Robinson, Trevor and the Jags are faced with another third down. Third and seven, and we get another 2x2 look, but this time Darrell Bevell actually uses a pick route. The outside man on the left side, Marvin Jones, runs a curl in conjunction with Jamal Agnew running a quick out; Lawrence finds his man, and Agnew does the rest, picking up the necessary yardage to keep the chains moving. Just as things are going so well, we get a false start from Dan Arnold to put the offense behind the chains. A two-yard toss play leads to second and 13. With no one open, Lawrence gives Marvin Jones a chance to go up and win a 50/50 ball, which he, of course, doesn't come down with. On third and long, we see another 2x2 set, and we get four isolation routes, again asking receivers to win one-on-one. The only receiver Trevor could have tried to hit was Laquon Treadwell on a dig, but even he was tightly covered, still Trevor probably should have tried to hit him. Instead, 16 takes off for seven yards and sets up a field goal.
So far, we've had two plays with all iso routes on third down. Not very imaginative play-calling by Darrell Bevell in those situations. The false start hurt too. So did Marvin Jones losing his jump ball.
On the first offensive play of the second half, down 20-3, Lawrence fires off a perfect pass to Marvin Jones on a dig. But Marvin left his feet unnecessarily and dropped the pass. On second and ten, we get a little play-action fake to the tight end screen, but the 49ers snuffed it out. This was the first time we've seen visible frustration on the field from Trevor as he threw the ball into the dirt. After a dropped pass and a busted play, the Jaguars' offense is set up with third and ten. With not many options beyond the sticks, Trevor attempts to layer a sideline ball to Treadwell, but poor spacing allows the cornerback covering Shenault to tip the pass incomplete. Jawaan Taylor held on the play anyways, so it's a moot point.
Of course, the 49ers score on the ensuing possession, making it a 27-3 game. After the Jags get the ball back, Bevell starts with a run that picks up two. Then a designed pitch to Agnew picks up two more. On third and six, it's all iso routes yet again, but this time it works against a soft zone. Trevor finds an open Laviska Shenault, who secures the catch and turns upfield, making it past the sticks for a first down and then some. We then see a play-action from the gun; Nick Bosa immediately creates pressure, but Lawrence deftly slides to avoid him; with no one open, Lawrence continues to scramble and eventually tosses the ball out of bounds. On second and ten, James Robinson picks up four yards on the ground. On third and medium, right guard Ben Bartch immediately loses to Arik Armstead, and Bosa cleans up. Sack. Punt.
After a rare defensive stand, the Jaguars start out another drive with a screen to Viska that picks up seven. A James Robinson run gets the first down, and the Jags are on the move! Four more yards from J-Rob set up second and six. Marvin Jones jumps early, making it second and 11. Robinson picks up three yards on a dump-off, making it third and eight. Likely knowing the Jaguars are in four-down territory, Lawrence hit Jamal Agnew on a six-yard stop, setting up fourth and two. Lawrence finds Agnew again for a first down. A four-yard run sets up second and six. A little PA rollout where Lawrence hits Laquon Treadwell in stride, but the vet drops the ball. Third and six. Treadwell made up for it on the next play, catching a comeback just past the line to gain. It seems like it's about time for a penalty... How 'bout two holding calls on the same play? Coming right up! On first and 20, the offensive line collapses immediately, and Trevor goes down. On second and 25, the offensive line collapsed again, but Trevor was able to get the ball out for an incompletion. There's no good play call for third and 25. Trevor doesn't see anything he likes and keeps the ball himself. Punt.
After a defensive stand, backup return man Tavon Austin muffs the punt, and the 49ers recover. They pick up another field goal, making it 30-3.
Garbage time means very little, but Trevor drove the team down the field late in the fourth and picked up a score. He completed 4/5 passes and picked up a first down with his legs.
Trevor finished the game completing 16/25 passes for 158 yards with 23 yards on the ground. He didn't throw a touchdown and didn't turn the ball over. The Jaguars' defense was abysmal in this one. So was the offense around Trevor. With three dropped passes, two horrific pass pro sets leading to untimely sacks, receivers that failed to separate, and uncreative play calling for much of the game, this was another prime example of a team and coaching staff failing Trevor Lawrence in the worst way. Trevor Lawrence had ONE off-target throw in this contest.
"I'm gonna keep fighting," Lawrence told the media following the contest. "It doesn't matter the situation; I'm always gonna be me. You don't have to worry about me. I'm gonna keep being the same guy, coming back every day and grinding."
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