Jaguars QB/RB duo of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne gets love on CBS Sports list

Jan 7, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16),
Jan 7, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16), / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

You have probably heard about the Jacksonville Jaguars' quarterback/wide receiver tandem of Trevor Lawrence and Calvin Ridley over the last few months and rightfully so. The former is an ascending talent who has a legitimate shot to be at the forefront of the NFL MVP race in 2023 while the latter is motivated to prove he's still one of the best at what he does.

Having said that, Lawrence and Ridley aren't the only offensive players on the Jacksonville roster that will routinely turn heads throughout the 2023 season. Running back Travis Etienne showed in 2022 how much of a difference-maker he can be, which is why Jeff Kerr CBS Sports picked him and Lawrence as the Jags' best duo.

Kerr recently talked about every NFL team's best duo, regardless of the position, and believes Etienne and Lawrence will play the biggest role in the Jags' potential offensive success in 2023.

"Lawrence has the largest increase in passer rating for a No. 1 overall pick from Year 1 to Year 2 since Terry Bradshaw (1970 to 1971), raising his passer rating from 71.9 to 95.2 (+23.3 points). Lawrence also was one of four players with 20-plus passing touchdowns and five-plus rushing touchdowns last season, joining Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow.

Etienne was one of the NFL's best running backs in 2022, having 1,125 rushing yards and five touchdowns in his first full season (5.1 per carry). he was ninth in the NFL in rushing yards and eighth in yards per carry. "

Lawrence's leap in 2022 wasn't particularly shocking. After all, he was the most talented quarterback prospect to come out of the collegiate ranks since Andrew Luck. Once he got a competent head coach, it was only a matter of time before he would showcase his talent. Heading into the 2023 season, he's one of the top signal-callers in the league.

On the other hand, it was fair to wonder how Etienne was going to respond after missing his rookie season with a Lisfranc injury. In the end, he came through. Although he started the 2022 season behind James Robinson, he eventually displaced him and made him expendable.

The Jacksonville Jaguars offense should be pretty good in 2023

Lawrence is without a doubt the Jaguars' best player and as the face of the franchise, he'll often get the spotlight. On the other hand, Etienne is a key cog on the Jacksonville offense that racked up more than 1,100 rushing yards just one year after suffering a season-ending injury. The fact that he doesn't have to spend the offseason rehabbing and can instead work on his craft gives you a reason to believe he can be even better next season.

The one thing potentially holding Etienne back in 2023 is the addition of rookie Tank Bigsby and D'Ernest Johnson. Early in the offseason, head coach Doug Pederson said that he wanted to add another running — one that could play special teams — to the rotation and they ended up getting not one but two. Both of them will challenge JaMycal Hasty, the primary backup last season, for the RB2 spot behind Etienne.

If either Bigsby or Johnson show potential in training camp, the coaching staff might choose to go with a backfield committee, which could in turn take some carries away from Etienne. But even if the former Clemson Tiger has a decreased workload in 2022, the Jaguars will still be heavily involved on the offense.

The Jacksonville Jaguars' offense is stacked with talent and even though they aren't discussed as much as they should ahead of the regular season, they have the firepower to be among the top 5 scoring teams in 2023.

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