Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season it’s already in the books. The Jacksonville Jaguars fell 37-21 to the Houston Texans but their coaching staff should be encouraged with the way rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence played in his debut.
Let’s be clear, nobody likes to lose and the Texans proved to be too much for the Jags. Heading into the fourth quarter, the game was already out of reach. Still, Lawrence did what he could and the results were mostly positive, completing 28 of 51 passes for 332 with three touchdowns and three interceptions. The former Clemson Tiger knows he can perform better, that’s why he took some of the blame for the Jags’ inability to keep up with Houston. Despite the loss, he kept things in perspective, telling the local media that the Jaguars need to continue doing what they’re doing right and work on their areas of opportunity.
Lawrence wasn’t the reason Jacksonville got crushed in Week 1. But it’s refreshing to see him already take on the role of a leader of this young Jaguars team. Also, the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft got positive endorsements from around the league. In particular, Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said on social media he was impressed with Trevor Lawrence’s performance. Here’s the post in question.
Talking heads also praised the Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The player formerly known as the Honey Badger wasn’t the only one to praise Lawrence. Skip Bayless of FS1 had good things to say about the rookie signal-caller.
Trevor Lawrence won my eye test. He did some really stupid that you just can’t do even at Clemson. You can’t do those things, but he threw four or five passes where I just took my breath away and I said, “You know what, that’s the first pick in the draft”.
Nick Wright of FS1 went as far as to suggest on First Thing First that Lawrence performed better than fellow rookie quarterback Mac Jones despite the fact that the latter had the highest completion percentage rate of any first-year quarterback as a Week 1 starter in NFL history.
They let Trevor Lawrence go try to do things. And he threw three touchdowns, threw three picks, he’s going to make mistakes. That’s how you grow a quarterback.
The Jaguars need to design a better game plan for Trevor Lawrence
Chris Simms of NBC Sports believes the rookie quarterback looks good but it’s going to be a rough year for him due to the fact that a rebuild is taking place in Jacksonville. He went on to say that the Jags’ coaching staff needs to do a better job of game planning around him.
The offensive coordinators and the people design the office down there in Jacksonville. I need to see more two, I’ve never been like, “oh, Darrell Bevell, watch out! Oh, Brian Schottenheimer. Watch out! I like Schottenheimer some of the run stuff you’ve heard me say that before, and I have respect for both of those guys. But I’ve never been blown away by the creativity of their offenses.
Keep in mind that Simms believes Zach Wilson is the better quarterback. Nevertheless, he thinks Lawrence probably has a higher ceiling of the two. The 2020 ACC Player of the Year definitely showed potential in his first game in the pros. It will be up to head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to find the right mix moving forward. After all, having him drop back 51 is less than optimal for a player that is in the early stages of his development, regardless of his draft slot.
If the Jaguars don’t want to hinder Lawrence’s growth, they will need to lean on running back James Robinson and craft a more balanced game plan. It’s too early to put too much on Lawrence’s plate. Their Week 2 matchup against the Denver Broncos will be a perfect opportunity to design a game plan that highlights his strengths.