Trevor Lawrence had a productive sophomore campaign and was a big reason the Jacksonville Jaguars made the playoffs and won the AFC South for only the second time since 2008. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft should continue to improve in Year 3, which is why Alex Kay of Bleacher Report believes the Jags are poised to become a fixture of the playoffs for years to come.
Kay put together a list of quarterbacks who could follow Jalen Hurts’ footsteps and make the Super Bowl next. He thinks Lawrence showed enough in last year’s playoffs to make Jaguars fans feel good about the team’s future.
"Lawrence finished 2022 having completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,113 yards and 25 touchdowns against eight interceptions. He added five scores on the ground as well, improving in nearly every major statistical category over his much-maligned rookie campaign.While those numbers deserve praise, it’s what Lawrence did in the postseason that should have Jags fans most optimistic about their team’s future.At first, it seemed Jacksonville was content to have just made the playoffs after they went down in their wild-card round clash with the Los Angeles Chargers by a seemingly insurmountable 27-0 margin. That would not be the case, however, as Lawrence shook off a four-interception first half—including a Super Bowl-era worst three picks in the first quarter—to finish the game with four touchdowns and a historic comeback added to his resume."
Lawrence got off to a solid start in 2022, completing 69.37 percent of his passes for 772 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. But he then got into a funk that coincided with the Jaguars’ five-losing streak. As a matter of fact, the young signal-caller threw a couple of picks that cost his team a couple of wins. But he didn’t let his struggles get into his head and instead bounced back in the second half of the season.
After throwing six interceptions in the first eight games, he only had two more the rest of the way. Moreover, he led the Jaguars to several comeback wins, three of them (one of them in the playoffs) after trailing by 17 points or more.
The Jaguars have put Trevor Lawrence in a position to succeed
Coming off an underwhelming rookie campaign, Trevor Lawrence made a huge leap in 2022 and played a massive role in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ turnaround but he didn’t do it alone. General manager Trent Baalke deserves praise for upgrading his supporting cast. Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Evan Engram all came in free agency and went on to become important pieces of the team’s offensive puzzle. Similarly, giving right guard Brandon Scherff a top-market contract was a good investment in retrospect.
Having said that, the biggest factor behind Lawrence’s progress was head coach Doug Pederson. His predecessor had no concrete plan in place to develop the young passer and often disagreed with his coaching staff on what the best course of action was. Conversely, Pederson helped Lawrence work on his mechanics and become a better leader off the field.
Lawrence has so much talent that he would have still thrived if the Jags had hired someone else but there’s no doubt Pederson was the right man for the job. As a matter of fact, Baalke believes the pair are the perfect fit, calling them a marriage made in heaven.
All things considered, it’s hard to see the Jaguars not making several trips to the postseason — and possibly the Super Bowl — in the foreseeable future. Although they might lose a few key contributors in the offseason, the front office should be able to replenish the roster. Moreover, they have a young core of playmakers and the quarterback to keep up with the best teams in the league for years to come.