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Five key plays: Eagles 29, Jaguars 21

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Senior writer John Oehser examines five key plays from the Jaguars' 29-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in a 2022 Week 4 game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., Sunday

1. Pick six. The Jaguars needed a big play Sunday to build momentum in a tough environment. They got it when safety Andre Cisco gave them an early lead. The Eagles picked up a first down with a fourth-down sneak by quarterback Jalen Hurts early on their first possession but Hurts threw downfield two plays later on 2nd-and-7 from the Eagles 36. The pass to wide receiver Zac Pascal was deflected by cornerback Darious Williams. Cisco caught the carom at the Jaguars 41, then weaved down the right sidelines for a 59-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Jaguars lead with 11:15 remaining in the first quarter.

2. Whew. It's good to be good – and good to be lucky, too. The Jaguars played well throughout the first quarter, and got a couple of good bounces, too. The first came when the deflected early pass went to Cisco and the second came when a fumble by Jaguars running back James Robinson was recovered easily by Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk at the Eagles 3. That fumble came after a nine-yard run by Robinson and gave the Jaguars 1st-and-goal at the 3. Lawrence, two plays later passed four yards to wide receiver Jamal Agnew for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter. Lawrence earlier on the drive converted 3rd-and-5 from the Jaguars 25 with a 24-yard pass to Agnew.

3. So close. Momentum changes fast in the NFL – as was the case for the Jaguars on Sunday. They led 14-0 and had dominated the game when Lawrence barely missed Agnew deep for what would have been a 41-yard touchdown. "Those are obvious plays," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "We have to convert. We have to make those. When you have guys open like that, just do the best we can to execute those plays."

Said Lawrence, "I had a little bit of pressure, so I had to get it out a little quicker than I wanted to. With the elements the way they were, I really didn't want to hang the ball up too much and give the safety a chance to get it. So, I tried to put it somewhere where only he could get it, and I overthrew it a little bit. He did a good job of beating his guy, and that's one that we obviously want to hit."

Lawrence lost a fumble three plays later on 4th-and-3 while scrambling when the ball slipped from his hand, and the Eagles immediately drove 57 yards for a three-yard touchdown run by Hurts to cut the lead to 14-7. Lawrence's second lost fumble of the game came two possessions after his first – a botched snap on 3rd-and-1 from the Jaguars 34 that Eagles linebacker Haasan Reddick recovered.

"It looked like it was just a dropped snap," Pederson said. "Something that obviously can't happen in those situations, and we have to clean that up."

Said Lawrence, "I have to secure it. Obviously, it's pouring at that point, I'm going under center, and everyone is pushing and trying to get that one yard. Those are the situations where you really have to secure it."

Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell capped the ensuing drive with a 10-yard run to give the Eagles a 20-14 halftime lead.

4. Oh no. Lawrence's two second-quarter turnovers hurt the Jaguars Sunday. His third came in the third quarter and really hurt. The Jaguars, after a difficult third quarter, had regained their footing – largely because the defense forced Eagles punts on the first two possessions of the third quarter. The Jaguars' offense then moved from their 28 to the Eagles 16. The Jaguars faced 2nd-and-8 from there when Lawrence threw across the field to wide receiver Christian Kirk. Cornerback James Bradberry cut in front of the pass and made a leaping interception to give the Eagles a first down at their 12 on a play Lawrence called "obviously a big shift in momentum."

5. Oh no – again. Lawrence finished Sunday with five turnovers, and the last ended the Jaguars' chances. After the Eagles extended their lead to 29-14 early in the fourth quarter, Lawrence cut the lead to 29-21 with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Agnew with 7:19 remaining. The Jaguars' defense then gave the offense a final chance at a late comeback when Hurts threw incomplete on 4th-and-3 from the Jaguars 21. Lawrence on the ensuing play lost a fumble on a sack by Reddick. Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave recovered at the 13 with 1:48 remaining to secure the victory.

"It's hard to tell until honestly we look at the film and see what other options he might have at that time," Pederson said. "You have to keep two hands on the football and try to hang onto it." Said Lawrence, "I've just got to take better care of the ball, got to tuck it. There's going to be things to learn from and obviously just really disappointed right now."

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