Besides having one of his best games this season, Trevor Lawrence played a huge role in helping the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans in Week 11. Not surprisingly, the third-year quarterback earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors following his outstanding performance.
Lawrence got the nod for completing 75 percent of his passes for 262 yards with two rushing touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had two rushing touchdowns, giving him four for the game. What makes the designation more impressive is that was coming off one of his worst performances ever, showcasing the ability to bounce back after a subpar performance. This is the third time Lawrence gets the award. He won it in Weeks 3 and 14 last year, following wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tennessee Titans.
Since the end of the 2022 season, there have been questions about Lawrence's viability as a franchise quarterback. But he's routinely shown he's the franchise player the Jags thought they were getting when they drafted him first overall in 2021. And that's the thing, being the top pick in the draft comes with a lot of scrutiny.
Lawrence's rookie campaign was derailed by Urban Meyer but he had no excuse once Doug Pederson, a quarterback whisperer, took over last year. But even under Pederson's tutelage, it took the former Clemson Tiger a bit of time to hit his strides. Early in the 2022 season, he made puzzling mistakes that cost the Jaguars a couple games. In his own words, a switch flipped in the second half, and went on to play like a top-10 quarterback.
Those doubts about him not being a franchise quarterback have surfaced this season though due to somewhat average production. What the stat sheet fails to show is that he hasn't always gotten good protection, and the offensive line is giving up pressures at an alarming rate. The fact that he was playing through a knee injury also impacted his performance.
However, Lawrence showed in Week 11 what he's capable of doing when he has a bit of time to throw. Rightfully, he got AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Trevor Lawrence is helping the Jaguars win, and that's what matters
Some analysts have had a hard time accepting that Trevor Lawrence is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Sure, he isn't in the same echelon as Patrick Mahomes, or even Joe Burrow. But there's a difference between "not being as good as Mahomes" and "not being a starting caliber quarterback," a distinction his critics have failed to see. Either way, winning the AFC Offensive Player of the Week is another step forward in his ascension as one of the top passers in the league.
You could point out that his numbers don't pop off of the stat sheet but the truth is that he's consistently making plays to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a position to succeed and isn't that what you want from your quarterback? Moreover, overall offensive production around the league is down compared to other years, so Lawrence's relatively mundane production isn't nearly as bad as it could seem.
This doesn't mean Trevor Lawrence is flawless. Far from it, but he knows it and will be the first one to tell you he can always play better. That's why he's always putting in the work to ensure he can help the Jacksonville Jaguars win games. The AFC Offensive Player of the Week award is a reflection of said work.