While Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson told the media Thursday that he wanted the starters to play in the second quarter, it was a bit surprising to see Trevor Lawrence play a full half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason. Then again, Pederson couldn’t pass up the chance to let Lawrence orchestrate the two-minute offense.
Although the Jags came out empty-handed in the last drive of the game and only managed to score six points in the first half, they showed the ability to move the ball. Lawrence distributed the ball and connected with Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Marvin Jones Jr.
One of the highlights of the game was the 15-play, 83-yard drive Lawrence led in the second quarter that ate up more than eight minutes off the clock. Lawrence was 14-of-21 for 133 yards and a 6.3-yard average per attempt.
Christian Kirk, in his preseason debut for the Jags, led the team with five catches for 54 yards while Marvin Jones Jr. tallied three receptions for 40 yards. Here are a few more observations from the first half of the game.
The Jaguars defense was off to a good start but faded in the last drive
The Jaguars did a good job of pressuring Mitch Trubiski and flushing him out of the pocket. In particular, the duo of Travon Walker and Josh Allen had to be accounted for in every play. Even though they didn’t register a sack, they came close a few times.
Jacksonville’s defense limited Trubisky and the Steelers’ offense to a measly 73 yards and two first downs. For a moment, it looked like Pittsburgh was going to go into halftime without points. But then Kenny Pickett led a 63-yard drive that ended on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Benny Snell Jr.
Arden Key registers the Jaguars’ first sack of the game. He’s been constantly applying pressure up front and has already logged three sacks in the preseason, two against the Las Vegas Raiders and one against the Steelers.
Laviska Shenault had two punt returns. Muffed the first one, and gained a few yards in the second one. He later caught a 6-yard pass. He’s tumbled down the depth chart due to the addition of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones and his outing for his Steelers probably hurt his stock.
Kicker Ryan Santoso went 2-of-3. He missed a 51-yard attempt but made field goals of 53 and 25. His fighting for the job and it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff feels about him after Saturday’s game.