The Jacksonville Jaguars offense was in the zone against the Tennessee Titans in Week 11. They had no trouble moving the ball and avoided turnovers. While Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Calvin Ridley have gotten lots of praise following the game, the offensive line also deserves recognition. Head coach Doug Pederson made sure they got it.
Pederson met with the local media Monday and talked about many of the things that made the win possible. He complimented Walker Little for making strides at left tackle and credited the offensive line for stymying a stout Titans defensive front.
"Walker getting more reps and settling into that role," Pederson told the local media. "These were bigger-body D tackles. The week before, with Javon Hargrave, he was a lower-to-the-ground body, and he got under Walker a little bit, whereas Walker matched up well this week. He did some great things and then it improved. Anton was good, Cam was good. Other than Jeffrey Simmons making a few plays, which he's going to do, he's a great player. I thought the offensive line played really well.
Pederson also had good things to say about offensive guard Ezra Cleveland, who saw action for the first time since joining the Jags at the trade deadline.
Ezra did well, first time out. You can see his athleticism, his ability to run and get out in space, and things of that nature. We just continue to work him in, get him in whenever we can, and it's hard to say that it'll be every week. But right now going into this past game, the plan was to get him some snaps and we'll, we'll see as we go each week," Pederson said.
Cleveland, a second-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings, played 19 snaps against Tennessee. He subbed in for Walker Little toward the end of the second quarter. Little would return to the lineup after halftime.
Overall, the offensive line did a good job in pass protection, allowing no sacks and just seven pressures. Center Luke Fortner, who's struggled this season, didn't surrender a single pressure. Little was the other Jaguars who didn't give up a pressure. Left tackle Cam Robinson and right tackle Anton Harrison had three each, and right tackle Brandon Scherff had one.
Trevor Lawrence operates at a high level when the Jaguars O-Line gives him time
Heading into the game, the Jacksonville Jaguars ranked near the cellar of the league in terms of pass protection and run blocking. They took a step in the right direction against the Titans. They'll need to build on that if they want Trevor Lawrence at a high level. Before Week 11, the third-year quarterback was being pressured on 43 percent of his dropbacks that took 2.5 to 4 seconds, the highest rate in the NFL.
Against the Titans, Lawrence showed what he can do when given a bit of time to throw, completing 75 percent of his passes with two touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, and no interceptions. Not being hampered by the knee injury he suffered in Week 6 and having Zay Jones back in the lineup also helped but a big reason for his outstanding outing was without a doubt the improved offensive line play.
Next on the Jacksonville Jaguars schedule are Will Anderson Jr. and the Houston Texans. If they want to avoid a sweep, the offensive line will once again need to show out in Week 12.