The Jacksonville Jaguars failed to make the playoffs last season. One big reason was Trevor Lawrence's regression. While he wasn't particularly bad, the star quarterback didn't play nearly as well as he did in 2022. Then again, injuries and a lack of support severely affected his performance, so it's fair to assume that he can bounce back if he stays healthy and the Jags give him more help. Peyton Manning, for one, isn't worried about Larwence's development.
Manning is in attendance at the Pro Bowl games. He was asked what his thoughts on Lawrence are and whether there should be a cause for concern. The Sheriff knows progress isn't linear and used his own career arc as an example.
"Yeah, like I had plenty of ups and downs. There's no guarantee that just because you had a good first and second year, that means it's gonna be good the next year," Peyton Manning said. "I had a bad rookie year. Kind of a good second year, good third year, kind of off fourth year. So it's a marathon, not a sprint. I think Trevor knows that.
Manning continued, "He's an extremely hard worker and obviously, Jacksonville wants to keep him healthy because there's a difference when he's not in the starting lineup. Talked to him this week, trying to maybe see if he was going to come down once Lamar [Jackson] was unable to play and just couldn't, kind of late notice thing for him, but he's great. "
Later in the exchange, Manning said he's sure Lawrence and the Jaguars will be a factor in 2024.
"Love watching him play and he's actually going to be in the mix next year. Without a doubt, I think because he's determined I know they're frustrated with the way they finished. Competitive guys, so watch out for the Jaguars next year," Manning said.
Lawrence was expected to join the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks after a promising 2022 campaign, one in which he helped the Jaguars reach the divisional round of the playoffs. However, he took a step back last year. His interception totals went up and his number of touchdowns experienced a dip. Here's Manning's exchange.
The future is bright for Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars
If anyone knows about the quarterback position, it's Peyton Manning. Just like Trevor Lawrence, he was the first overall pick in the draft. In his case, it was in 1998. By the end of his career, the Hall-of-Fame quarterback had set all kinds of records at the position. However, it's easy to forget now that early on, he had to endure criticism for not being able to get over the hump in the postseason. It wasn't until 2006 that he managed to raise the Lombardi Trophy for the first time.
Now, Lawrence's football career is still shaping up, so it's unrealistic to expect him to have an arc similar to Manning's. That said, the talent is there. It's too early to dismiss him and call him a flop. If anything, he was one of the reasons the Jaguars managed to stay afloat last year. Granted, he needs to do a better job of holding onto the football (he had 24 fumbles the past two years). Also, he must learn to take what opposing defenses give them instead of looking for a big play on every down.
Either way, Trevor Lawrence gives the Jacksonville Jaguars a realistic chance to compete in 2024. If he cuts down on the turnovers and they give him much better protection, they'll be in a position to challenge the Houston Texans for the AFC South title. Peyton Manning knows it.