The Jacksonville Jaguars have been considered a joke of a franchise for pretty much their entire tenure in the NFL. Their last playoff appearance was in 2017, where they were just a few plays away from a Super Bowl appearance. Things were looking good for Jacksonville, until their entire defensive core went out with the exception of a few players, ending in a losing season in 2018. Jalen Ramsey ended up being dealt to Los Angeles, Yannick Ngaukoe and Calais Campbell went to Baltimore, and the rest is history. They won their first game in week 1 this past season against Indianapolis, and were never victorious since. That being said, it might’ve been a good thing to go 1-15, because their QB1 is Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence had one of the best college careers at Clemson, winning a National Championship, and winning the ACC three times. He ranked number one in nearly every statistical category at Clemson, dominating games in and out, leading them to the College Football Playoff every year. With new head coach Urban Meyer, is there even a slight chance that Lawrence could take this team to the postseason this year?
Most rookie quarterbacks that are the starter right out of the gate miss the playoffs in their rookie season, but it just seems like the case for Trevor might be different. We can look at a few of the past rookie qb’s that showed a lot of potential in Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow. Those two didn’t have the greatest weapons, and fell short of the playoffs. Lawrence will have the 5th leading rusher from last season in James Robinson, a young star receiver in DJ Chark Jr, Laviska Shenault Jr, and maybe even former Biletnikoff award winner in Dede Westbrook if he resigns. This roster has the potential to be something special right now, which is something that you don’t see often with a team that has the first overall pick. What is the right way to utilize this young offense though?
I believe that for Lawrence’s rookie season, Urban Meyer needs to do the simple things over and over again, until this offense becomes elite at it. The Lawrence and Chark duo should be similar to the Edelman and Brady one. They were good at the simple things, and later one could be explosive when needed. Chark is a deep threat, but can also run his slants quickly and effectively. Lawrence, as we have seen with receivers like Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers, is able to adjust well to the playstyle of his receivers. A quarterback runs the offense, but what a great one is able to do is depict the certain strengths of his receivers. Lawrence was one of the best at doing that in college, and if he’s able to continue that in the NFL, he’s going to rise up the charts quickly.
Looking at the defense’s that T-Law will be facing this year, there are some of the very best, and some of the very worst. To me, that’s perfect for a rookie. He gets to experience the tough days and the good ones as the season goes on. With a first year head coach in Urban Meyer, they will both have to get used to the adaptation of the NFL, learning their new techniques around different opponents.
To answer the question of this article, I do think that Jax can sniff the Wild Card. A very bold prediction, but Lawrence just seems like a once in a generation type QB, and that with him, anything is truly possible. Their division’s toughness really depends on the Colts and Carson Wentz. I can see Lawrence sweeping Houston, going 1-1 against Tennessee, and potentially sweeping Indianapolis as well. There are still a few key things that the Jags need to do to solidify this offense’s talent this year, but until then, all we can do is wait and watch how Lawrence grows under his new system.
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