The Jacksonville Jaguars are surely pleased with the growth Trevor Lawrence has experienced since the end of the 2021 season. Following a less-than-stellar rookie campaign, he made strides under head coach Doug Pederson in Year 2. By the end of the season, he was playing like a top-10 quarterback. But as impressive as he was, a former head coach believes Lawrence can be even better in Year 2.
Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, in a recent article for The 33rd Team, says Lawrence will take yet another leap in 2023. In fact, Pagano wouldn't be surprised if he crosses the 5,000-yard mark this upcoming season.
"I expect Lawrence to make another huge leap in Year 2 in Pederson’s offense. He’s not even close to his ceiling. This is a super-talented guy. He’s got a great arm."
Pagano rightfully points out that Lawrence has a wide arsenal of weapons at his disposal. Besides a talented trio of wide receivers in Calvin Ridley, Zay Jones and Christian Kirk, the young passer has a safety blanket in tight end Evan Engram and a dynamic backfield tandem in running backs Travis Etienne and Tank Bigsby.
Lawrence, the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, completed less than 60 percent of his passes and had a TD-INT ratio of 12-17. While some of his struggles were due to his adjustment to the pros, Urban Meyer and the subpar supporting cast also played a big role. This is why the Jags got him a coach who actually knew what he was doing last year. Similarly, they spared no expenses to put together a much better team around him.
Not surprisingly, Lawrence showed significant improvement in 2022, completing over 65 percent of his passes and throwing 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. On top of that, he came in clutch in crucial games against the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys, and later the Los Angeles Chargers in Wild Card Weekend. Simply put, he played a big part in the Jaguars' turnaround last year.
Can Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence throw for 5,000 yards in 2023?
Chuck Pagano isn't the only coach or analyst who either projects Trevor Lawrence to throw for 5,000 yards or be a frontrunner for league MVP honors. In fact, it's reasonable to think the former Clemson Tiger will keep making progress next season based on the growth he had last year and the addition of Calvin Ridley.
A better question might be how much better the Jaguars will be in Lawrence's third season. They have a favorable to win the division and make the playoffs for the second year in a row but can they beat the Cincinnati Bengals or the Kansas City Chiefs if they face them in the postseason? Coincidentally, Jacksonville is set to play both clubs in the regular season, so everyone will get an idea of how much better Lawrence and the Jags will be in 2023.
The bottom line is that Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars proved last year that they could keep up with some of the best teams in the league. The next step should now be beating them if they encounter them in the postseason.