Are Jacksonville Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence finding their groove? – Jacksonville Jaguars Blog

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — It has been 1,015 days since the Jacksonville Jaguars won a road game, a nearly three-year streak that ended Sunday with their 38-10 rout of the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.

The win matters for more reasons than just breaking a losing streak that dates back to a win over the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 5, 2019, in the last game played at Oakland Coliseum.

The Jaguars, who have won just four games combined the past two seasons, are starting to look like a team that could be in the hunt for the playoffs come December. With a 2-1 record, they currently lead the AFC South – a division that looks shaky at best.

“That’s it for this team,” head coach Doug Pederson said of the franchise’s fourth win in 19 games played in the Pacific Time Zone. “And that’s exactly what the guys were talking about, the guys who came here. It’s nice to get a road win against a great football team. Traveling across the country like that, it’s an honor for the guys in the locker room to have done that.

“I hope this is the start of things to come and [they are] is going in the right direction. »

That may seem a bit premature, as the season is only three weeks away and the Jaguars blew an eight-point fourth-quarter lead in a season opener loss to the Washington Commanders. But it’s the way the Jaguars have won the past two weeks that shows they could be for real.

The Jaguars passed the Chargers by more than 100 yards, Lawrence threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns, James Robinson rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown, rookie Devin Lloyd intercepted his second pass in as many weeks and Dawuane Smoot forced a fumble which Foye Oluokun recovered.

More than the stats, though, it’s this: The Jaguars failed to return the ball, committed just two penalties and went on a 22-0 run after the Chargers kicked a field goal to reduce the lead the Jaguars to nine points at the start of the third quarter. It was the second week in a row that the team closed out a victory with a dominant second half.

The team seems to be coming together.

Lawrence has arguably been the best quarterback in the league for the past two weeks. His total QBR of 84.6 is second only to Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa (87.0) and he leads the league in completion percentage (76.8%). He threw five touchdown passes and no interceptions in the Colts and Chargers routs – and it’s the second and third highest-rated games of his career.

In three weeks, he is sixth in the NFL in total QBR (72.9) and seventh in completion percentage (69.4). Above all, he does not return the ball (a single interception).

“Guys are doing a great job up front with protection,” Pederson said. “Guys are opening up and we had chances to take shots and complemented them on the field. There were opportunities [for explosive plays] and we hit them, and we were effective in the passing game. That’s all we can ask of our guys. It takes 11 [players] do it, but [Lawrence] was very efficient, very precise.

And the Jaguars haven’t made the kinds of mistakes that have characterized the franchise in recent seasons. They’re the NFL’s best plus seven in turnover margin (they were the NFL’s worst minus 20 last season), have just five penalties in the last two games (they’ve had 13 in of the first game and averaging seven per game last season), and converting 47% of their third downs in the past two weeks.

“We played a full game,” Lawrence said. “Stacking two weeks in a row is important for us.”

Going three weeks in a row would really be an indication that the Jaguars are for real, as it would mean beating the Philadelphia Eagles on the road. Along with the subplot of Pederson’s return to the city that he led to a Super Bowl title, there’s the fact that the Eagles (3-0) are probably the best team in the NFC and potentially the NFL.

The Jaguars have lost their last 18 games against NFC opponents since a win over the New York Giants in the 2018 season opener. Breaking that streak would have the rest of the NFL talking.

“I think the way we played, you can’t deny we’re a really good team,” Lawrence said. “But in the end, it doesn’t matter what it says about us. We know who we are. Our only goal on Sunday is to go and win the game, and it doesn’t really matter what other people think. Each week, we will prepare in the same way. We will be ready to play. »

About Jimmie P. Ricks

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