Trevor Lawrence ends TD drought, Jaguars still lose vs Falcons
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence hadn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 8 but that changed in Week 12, when he threw one to wide receiver Tavon Austin, cutting the Atlanta Falcons lead to 21-10. For a moment, it looked like the Jacksonville Jaguars were going to mount a comeback but ultimately lost 21-14.
The Jaguars had a hard time moving the ball Sunday but late in the third quarter, their offense got hot and they put together a nine-play, 72-yard drive that ended in Austin’s seven-yard touchdown reception. Tight end James O’Shaughnessy then converted the Jags’ two-point attempt.
The defense forced the Falcons’ offense to punt and the Jaguars got the ball back. They had a pretty solid drive and got close to the Falcons’ end zone. However, a holding penalty by right tackle Jawaan Taylor gave them an unfavorable position, and the Jags settle for a field goal.
There were still more than six minutes left in the fourth quarter after the field goal, so as long as the Jaguars stopped the Falcons, they had a chance to tie the game. It took them a bit but the defense did force Atlanta to punt with more than two minutes left, more than enough time to score.
The Jags were off to a good start and passes to tight end James O’Shaughnessy and Marvin Jones Jr. helped them get a first down. But they then went cold and couldn’t convert a first down on four tries. The Falcons got the back on downs, and just let the clock run and secured the win.
The same issues that have hampered the Jaguars showed up vs. the Falcons.
Had Taylor not been flagged late in the game, the Jaguars might’ve scored a touchdown instead of a field goal but that’s not the only play that held the team back. Drops again played a role. Running back Dare Ogunbowale had one early in the game and so did Carlos Hyde. The wide receiver corps made some plays but also were responsible for some drops.
Trevor Lawrence keeps showing he is not the reason the Jaguars are losing. In fact, he showed he can also use his legs to create plays. The coaching staff needs to consider designing more plays where the rookie has the option to run or pass. Lawrence went 23-of-42 for 228 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Once again, the need to revamp the wide receiver corps in 2022 was evident.
Running back James Robinson was listed as questionable for the game and was used sparingly. It’s fair to wonder how close to 100 percent he is. He’s a better option than both Ogunbowale and Hyde, yet the duo got a combined 11 carries while Robinson had 17. Then again, he had a bigger workload than in each of the past two games, so it looks like he’s trending in the right direction.
On the other hand, the Jaguars should be thrilled about cornerback Tyson Campbell, who logged his first career interception. The former Georgia Bulldog has shown growth throughout the season and made several plays against Atlanta, logging three total tackles and a few passes defensed.
The Falcons had scored a combined three points in their last two games. Moreover, the Jags were playing at home. This was the perfect game for them to end their two-game losing streak. Instead, they extended it to three and things won’t get any easier against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13.