The Jacksonville Jaguars showed competency at times in their 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns. But they were also held by self-inflicted wounds at different points of the game. By the time, they had fully awakened, it was a bit too late, which is why it's fair to say that the whole team played a a role in the loss. Trevor Lawrence isn't shying away from that reality.
Lawrence met with the local media after the game and pulled no punches when sharing the reasons the Jags couldn't get the job done.
"This wasn't one of our cleaner games: Too many mistakes, penalties, missed opportunities, missed throws, drops, just not playing sound football," Lawrence said. "We were just so inconsistent, it was hard to get in a rhythm. It feels like all those close plays like we didn't make that you need to get some momentum back in the games, and seeing like all those we weren't able to make today. So we've got to watch this tape learn from it because there's a lot on there that we got to clean up, and get better from."
"Walking off the field, you felt like we missed so many opportunities and left a lot out there, shot ourselves in the foot over and over. And we gave them short fields a bunch. Our defense got some big turnovers to keep us in the game, we took advantage of one or two of them but the other ones, we had one drive we just turned it over right back to them. Then coming out of halftime, in the third quarter, we turned it over on the first possession inside our own 20, or 25, something like that. You can't play that way, and win typically," Lawrence said.
Lawrence continued, "At the end, we still had a shot and gave ourselves an opportunity but it was too little, too late at that point."
As Lawrence said, he overthrew a pass that was picked off by Martin Emerson on the first play of their fifth offensive drive. The other play he's referring to is a fumble linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. forced when ripping the football off rookie Parker Washington's hands early in the third quarter. Seven plays later, the Browns reached into the end zone to make it 21-14.
But wait! There's more, the Jaguars had nine possessions in the first half (not counting the one in which Trevor Lawrence kneeled to get to halftime), and only mustered a touchdown. The other eight resulted in two turnovers and six punts. Trevor Lawrence didn't play well himself. Although one of his interceptions wasn't his fault, the one where Calvin Ridley failed to turn, he completed just 58 percent of his passes for 247 yards with three touchdowns and three picks.
The defense wasn't much better, letting Joe Flacco turn the clock back in time and throwing for over 300 passing yards, the first Browns quarterback to achieve the feat since Tyrod Taylor pulled it off in November of last year. Even worse, Cleveland managed to win the game despite the fact that their offense only went 4-of-18 on third down. Here's Trevor Lawrence's post-game exchange with the media.
On the bright side, Trevor Lawrence was able to finish the game vs. the Browns unscathed
Not everything was doom and gloom in the loss to the Browns. Rookie Parker Washington had his second touchdown in as many games. Similarly, tight end Evan Engram broke his own record for catches in a season by hauling in 12, along with two touchdowns, to give him 85 in 2023. His previous career best was 73. Coincidentally, he entered the Browns game with precisely that amount.
But as important as Evan's milestone is, the biggest silver lining of the loss was that Trevor Lawrence finished the game without aggravating his ankle sprain.
"I felt pretty good, all things considered, so that was a that was a positive out of today. I guess that's about the only one but I didn't reinjure my ankle and tweak it or anything, felt pretty good. That held up I was able to move when needed. So yeah, it was this good," Lawrence said.
And that's the thing. You won't win all your battles but you take what you can. Trevor Lawrence knows this, and the Jacksonville Jaguars should be grateful that he managed to play the full game.