Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

Ben Arthur

AFC South Reporter

Name it a signature second for Trevor Lawrence. 

The Jaguars quarterback led a superb 10-play, 75-yard sport profitable drive Sunday as Jacksonville topped Baltimore in a Week 12 thriller at residence. Lawrence threw with surgical precision on the collection, saved alive by his fourth-and-5 conversion to receiver Marvin Jones. He accomplished 7-of-9 passes for 91 yards and a landing on the possession, plus the game-winning two-point conversion to receiver Zay Jones. 

Sunday’s showdown in opposition to the Ravens had all the pieces, too. Drama. Stress. Seven lead modifications. A star quarterback on the opposite aspect in Lamar Jackson. A contest that went all the way down to the wire. And Lawrence delivered for a franchise that has traditionally fallen brief in these varieties of video games; one which has been a laughingstock in NFL for years. 

It begs the query: has Lawrence, the 2021 No. 1 total decide who got here to Jacksonville with excessive expectations, lastly arrived? Has he cemented himself as a real franchise quarterback of the long run? 

It is changing into more and more troublesome to argue in opposition to that notion. 

Inconsistency, his greatest knock, has been non-existent over the past month. 

Since Week 9, Lawrence has arguably been one of the best quarterback in soccer, finishing 76.8% of his passes (83-of-108) for 815 yards and 6 touchdowns with zero interceptions. 

“It is a step in the suitable path, you already know?” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson mentioned Sunday. “I’d say these final three video games or so, he is actually finished a very nice job with our system and our offense. Even a sport like (Sunday), once more, it wasn’t an ideal sport, however statistically talking, I feel he had a reasonably good sport and took care of the soccer. He is not off course.”

Whereas Lawrence’s final three video games are a small pattern dimension, you could take into accounts all the opposite constructive strides he is made this season.

He received his first profession AFC Participant of the Week award in Week 3, the spotlight of a scorching two-game span when the Jaguars received back-to-back video games in dominant style, with Lawrence finishing 76.8% of his passes for 497 yards and 5 touchdowns with zero interceptions.

Lawrence has had six video games this season with a passer ranking over 100, after only one such sport as a rookie. His drastic enchancment is plain. 

A numerical comparability between the primary 11 video games of every of his first two seasons:

2021: 231-of-398 (58%) for two,369 yards and 9 touchdowns with 10 interceptions and a 72.3 passer ranking

2022: 256-of-385 (66.5%) for two,655 yards and 16 touchdowns with 6 interceptions and a 93.6 passer ranking 

Lawrence’s clutch efficiency in opposition to the Ravens marked a big step ahead within the former No. 1 total decide’s growth. It is as a result of the inconsistency that has outlined his younger profession has typically confirmed up in these sorts of moments: situational soccer, the place the execution must be at its finest. 

There was the Eagles sport in Week 4, when Lawrence had the ball in his arms — with an opportunity to guide a game-tying drive and power extra time — solely to lose a fumble on the primary play of the Jaguars’ final collection. There was Week 5 in opposition to the Texans, when Lawrence made an ill-advised throw inside the ten and was intercepted ultimately zone by Texans cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. There was Week 8 in opposition to the Broncos in London, when he was once more picked off ultimately zone after telegraphing a cross on the purpose line by security Justin Simmons. 

Getting into Week 12, Lawrence ranked thirty second of 34 certified quarterbacks in Anticipated Factors Added per dropback within the pink zone — whereas being ranked fifth in EPA per dropback in all places else on the sphere, in response to TrueMedia. (EPA is a complicated metric that quantifies the worth added to a play, making an allowance for varied elements, together with down, distance and discipline place.)

As of Monday, Lawrence is tied for seventh in total EPA/dropback with the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, who’s seen as an MVP candidate. 

“This man throws an extremely good soccer and he is sensible and he sees the sphere, and he could make all of the throws,” Pederson mentioned Sunday. “You are simply seeing that. You are simply seeing that execution with him and that maturity with him.”

After topping the Ravens, after the sensible efficiency that reminded the NFL world why he was considered a generational expertise popping out of Clemson, Lawrence did not essentially feed into the frenzy about the way in which he performed.

“I’ve at all times been this man,” Lawrence mentioned Sunday. “I have not at all times performed my finest each week, and that is going to occur generally, however I actually love the path that this offense, this workforce is heading, and we really feel actually good about who we’re, however I am the identical man.”

Being the “similar man” has him on observe to being a game-changing quarterback — in due time. 

Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand labored for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Community, the place he was the Titans beat author for a 12 months and a half. He lined the Seattle Seahawks for for 3 seasons (2018-20) previous to transferring to Tennessee. You’ll be able to observe Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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