Over the last couple of weeks, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has reminded everyone why he was such a highly lauded prospect. On Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Ravens, he proved that he really can be one of the best quarterbacks in the current generation.
Heading into the Jaguars’ Week 9 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders, the second-year quarterback was coming off of a brutal performance against the Denver Broncos in London featuring some poor decision-making and bad ball placement—issues for Lawrence since he became a pro. Those mistakes led to a couple of bad interceptions and a four-point loss to a two-win Denver squad. Since then, he’s been almost perfect. The month of November brought about the best three-game stretch of Lawrence’s young career after a tumultuous year full of ups and downs.
After returning to the States, Lawrence had a nice game against the struggling Raiders, completing more than 80% of his pass attempts against their lackluster pass defense. He kept mistakes to a minimum and led Jacksonville to their first win since Week 3.
He followed that up with another nice performance in a more challenging matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, once again keeping mistakes to a minimum despite the pass rush getting home for five sacks. Lawrence finished the game with a completion rate above 70% with 259 passing yards and a couple of touchdown passes without any turnovers. Improvement in ball placement and decision-making were clear against Kansas City with the young signal-caller making some really nice throws throughout the game.
Trevor Lawrence connects with Christian Kirk for a @Jaguars TD before the half!
— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2022
In Sunday’s game against the Ravens, Lawrence took his stretch of strong performances to new heights. The Jaguars didn’t beat Baltimore with their quarterback or in spite of him. They beat the Ravens because of Lawrence’s incredible performance, especially late in the game. To put it simply, the second-year prospect balled out.
Even before his game-winning drive, Lawrence just looked like the confident version of himself that Clemson fans knew well and Jaguars fans hoped to see. At the end of the first half, Lawrence had just two incompletions on 12 pass attempts—one of them was a smart throwaway, the other a drop—for 135 yards and a passer rating of 141.3.
The second half started off more slowly with a couple of three-and-outs plus a tough lost fumble to set up a Ravens score, but Lawrence didn’t lose his cool. After that Baltimore touchdown put the Ravens up nine, the second-year quarterback led Jacksonville on a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to pull back within two. Keeping his team in the game made all the difference when, just one play after the ensuing kickoff, the Ravens fumbled to set up an easy Jaguars field goal to take the lead. But the ball was back in Lawrence’s court after Baltimore came right back and scored six plays later, giving Lawrence and the Jaguars the ball back with a little more than two minutes to go.
What happened next might just be the launching point for the future of Lawrence’s NFL career.
The young quarterback picked apart the Ravens’ passing defense like a veteran, never panicking on “had-to-have-it” plays on third and fourth down and limiting mistakes. Most importantly, Lawrence led his team on a 75-yard drive for the go-ahead score in a two-minute drill with no timeouts.
— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2022
The ball placement on every one of Lawrence’s throws on this game-winning drive is impeccable. Just a few weeks after he left the ball up and in places for defenders to make a play against the Broncos, he was dropping the ball in the perfect spots between and behind defenders for all of this must-have drive against Baltimore. Seeing Lawrence roll like that (and all game) had to be part of the reason head coach Doug Pederson felt comfortable going for the two-point conversion to win the game, and it paid off in the end.
All in all, Lawrence finished his big day 29-for-37 passing with 321 passing yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. His 129.8 passer rating was not only the best of his career but the best in Jaguars history with at least 37 pass attempts, per The Buffalo News’ Ryan O’Halloran.
Statistics aside, the show Lawrence put on Sunday afternoon featured all of the promising talent that earned him the designation of being a “generational” prospect. Beating the Ravens the way he did proves he’s a special player, and he can finally start to build off of the momentum from this past month to get his career on a more consistent upward trajectory going forward.
We’ve all been waiting over a season and a half for a “statement game” from Lawrence at the pro level, and on Sunday against Baltimore, he made that statement.