As expected, Trevor Lawrence was the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL preseason. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell told the local media last week that the Clemson product was “probably” going to get the starting nod against the New Orleans Saints. Not only did Lawrence start, but he also ended up playing the whole first half.
The rookie quarterback didn’t do much of note in his first two drives, going 2-of-4 for 20 yards. He did throw a 15-yard pass to wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. but other than that, there wasn’t anything noteworthy about his performance. The Jaguars’ third offensive drive brought more of the same, and once again, they failed to move the ball.
The Jaguars’ offense came to life in their fifth possession. Lawrence completed passes to Marvin Jones Jr. and rookie Travis Etienne. The rookie passer showcased his athleticism and stood tall in the pocket when necessary. He also had an impressive 9-yard run for a first down. Nevertheless, the Jaguars failed to score a touchdown and had to settle for a field goal. Then again, that was their most successful drive at that point of the game.
Although the Jaguars got close to the end zone in their last drive of the second quarter, they couldn’t get the job done and Josh Lambo had to kick a field goal. The attempt wasn’t good though and the Jaguars went into the second half down 11 points. All in all, Lawrence went 14-of-23 for 113 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions.
What’s next for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence?
Keep in mind that the Jaguars were without left guard Andrew Norwell and center Brandon Linder, and sophomore Ben Bartch and Tyler Shatley started in their place. Before the game, it was uncertain if right guard A.J. Cann was going to suit up because he had an inconclusive COVID-19 test last week. Ultimately, Cann didn’t miss the game but the Jaguars’ offensive line struggled throughout the night, so context will be necessary when evaluating Lawrence’s performance. The fact that the Jags had trouble running the ball didn’t help matters.
Lawrence and Gardner Minshew have been splitting first-team reps throughout training camp. When asked why the Jags haven’t named Lawrence the start, head coach Urban Meyer simply said competition, and performance.
Based on how the rookie quarterback played against the Saints, the head coach may not be inclined to make him the starter just yet. The season is inching closer though, and the sooner he can begin to prepare, the better… even if he didn’t look particularly great in Week 2 of the preseason.