The Jacksonville Jaguars expected Trevor Lawrence to build on his 2022 success in his third NFL season. However, he was stuck in neutral, falling to solidify his place as an upper-echelon quarterback.
While Lawrence most definitely made mistakes throughout the season, he was also held back by things outside his control, such as poor offensive line play. The fact that he dealt with several injuries didn't help matters. On the bright side, he won't have to undergo surgery for his shoulder or knee in the offseason, so he should be back at full strength in 2024.
Also, Lawrence will work on getting better and becoming the quarterback he's expected. He met with the local media Monday and said that he won't require surgery just rest, via Juston W. Lewis of The Florida Times-Union. The third-year quarterback also took responsibility for his miscues, vowing to cut down on turnovers, an area he struggled with in 2023.
Following the loss to the Titans in the finale, Lawrence met with the local media. He said that the Jaguars weren't simply good enough, and avoided pulling the injury card to explain the team's failure to seal the deal.
"There's no excuses. Injuries impact every team at this point in the year," Lawrence said. "But that being said, the Titans are injured, they're banged up, they've had a lot of injuries this year. Look at teams all across the league, it's football, this stuff's gonna happen. You got to find ways to win, despite having guys injured, having guys out, having guys banged up. We didn't have a good enough job of that this year of finding ways to win regardless of circumstances."
"Whatever that was, I thought we had a good mindset. I thought every week we came in and we put our best foot forward in preparing. That didn't always show on Sundays, and we got to look at that and think of what we can do better. It's unfortunate. It's gonna hurt for a while, gonna let it set in for a couple of days," Lawrence said.
Trevor Lawrence needs to heal, the Jaguars must make sure he doesn't get hurt again
Injuries definitely affected Trevor Lawrence's performance. First, he hurt his knee in Week 6. It hindered his mobility the next few weeks. He then sprained his ankle on the Monday Night Football loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Again, his mobility was compromised and led to an underwhelming statline the next three games. Still not fully recovered from the ankle injury, the former Clemson Tiger suffered a concussion in Week 15. The following game, he suffered a shoulder sprain.
Throughout this stretch, Lawrence pushed through until he couldn't. He missed the win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 17 but did everything he could to suit up for the finale. Heading into the game, he talked about being committed to his team and teammates. However, it's fair to wonder how much better he would've been had he been fully healthy.
Lawrence threw 14 interceptions in 2023, six more than the year prior. On top of that, he fumbled a concerning 12 times. While some of that was the byproduct of playing behind a porous offensive line, he deserves some of the blame. At times, looking to make something happen, he was reckless with the football. Against the Tennessee Titans, he had two picks. The first one wasn't his fault, as tight end Evan Engram failed to secure it.
On the other hand, the second interception was the result of him and wide receiver Zay Jones not being on the same wavelength. Lawrence overthrew him and cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting stepped in to make the play. That's the kind of thing he'll need to work on in the offseason.
Working in Trevor Lawrence's favor is that he's still the same quarterback that led the Jaguars to the playoffs and a division title in 2022. Simply, he needs to hone his skills and the team has to do their part by making upgrades to his supporting cast. If they both do their part, they'll be back on track in no time.