Either Trevor Lawrence will make a big jump, or the Jacksonville Jaguars will have a losing record. But it probably won’t be both.
If you consume a lot of offseason content concerning the Jaguars, you will undoubtedly encounter two widely shared beliefs. The vast majority of media pundits will say the Vegas odds of Jacksonville achieving around six or seven wins is accurate and should be considered a successful year given the utter omnishambles that was the 2021 season.
Concurrent with the generally agreed-upon record, you will find mostly positive opinions regarding Trevor Lawrence’s prospects for 2022. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media chose Lawrence on Good Morning Football as the league’s sophomore player from which he is expecting the biggest leap.
The Jaguars have helped Trevor Lawrence this offseason
It is common for quarterbacks to make a developmental jump in their second season, particularly their second season as a full-time starter. Additionally, the Jags have done a decent job of improving the weapons at his disposal, and more importantly, have drastically upgraded the coaching staff. So, having the opinion that T-Law will make a second-year leap is reasonable.
Here’s the thing: those two thoughts don’t go together. As opinions go, they’re oil and water. Whatever the opposite of peanut butter and jelly is, that’s what sort of the combination those two opinions form. Anchovies and ice cream, cake and potatoes, mustard and peaches – pick your poison.
Because in the modern era of football, the quarterback is the most important position in sports. No other positional performance in football more accurately predicts success than quarterbacks.
"The quarterback is not only the team’s biggest decision maker, but his ability to make timely plays and efficiently manage the game routinely determines which team lands in the winner’s circle at the end of the season. – Bucky Brooks"
No one really disputes this either. In the last 20 years, the AP NFL MVP has been awarded to just three non-quarterbacks. Generally, as the quarterback goes, the team goes.
Here is a list of best second-year seasons by NFL quarterbacks. Although this list goes way back to the beginning of the Super Bowl era, there are plenty of modern examples, notably Patrick Mahomes, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, and Andrew Luck. There wasn’t a losing season among them.
In fact, the above list includes four Super Bowl wins. That’s because, in the vast majority of cases, when quarterbacks play well, teams win.