The Jacksonville Jaguars will head into the 2021 NFL season with momentum on their side after ending their preseason campaign with an impressive 34-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon. Trevor Lawrence starred for the Jaguars, who finished the preseason with a 1-2 slate.
The no. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft saved his best performance in the preseason for last, completing 11 of 12 passes for 139 yards and a couple of touchdowns in three drives with the Jaguars first-team offense. That was a welcome sight for head coach Urban Meyer as the Jaguars have not scored a touchdown in their first two preseason games with their starting offensive unit.
Lawrence saves his best for last in Jaguars’ preseason finale
Much of those struggles can be attributed to Lawrence, who was still building chemistry with his fellow starters on the offensive end in the previous two games. He finally showed the skills and talent that made him the top selection in this year’s draft in the game against the Cowboys, leading the Jaguars to the end zone with his opening drive.
That 68-yard drive in the early stages of the first quarter featured a 38-yard completion to Phillip Dorsett on the sideline and an 18-yard touchdown pass to Pharoh Cooper that gave the Jaguars a quick 7-0 lead.
Lawrence’s second drive ended with his only incompletion of the game, but he rebounded in his third and final drive, leading Jacksonville to yet another touchdown. He guided the Jaguars to a 67-yard drive, capped with a 4-yard touchdown pass to LaViska Shenault.
Lawrence benefited from offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s game plan to incorporate elements of the spread offense that he thrived on at Clemson. The Jaguars’ first-team offense finally got going; as a result, compiling 159 yards in the three drives they played in.
Lawrence was delighted with his performance after the game, saying that he felt good and thought the Jaguars had a good game plan. He explained that it was all about execution, telling reporters they were all on the same page. They kept it simple and communicated well.
Meyer’s bold gamble pays off
Lawrence was fortunate to start in this contest as Meyer nearly decided to bench him for Jacksonville’s preseason finale. Meyer was apprehensive about starting Lawrence against Dallas as four of the five Jaguars’ starting offensive linemen were out injured, center Brandon Linder (knee), right guard A.J. Cann (reserve/COVID-19 list), left tackle Cam Robinson (ankle) and left guard Andrew Norwell (elbow).
Meyer decided it was more important for Lawrence and Jacksonville’s first-team offense to build some momentum for the upcoming season. They did with their destruction of the Cowboys, and the Jaguars are now raring to go for their season opener against the Houston Texans on September 12.
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