EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The result was disappointing and familiar.
But there positive moments that led to that result – and Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence liked some of what he saw there on Sunday afternoon.
In particular, there were moments to like on the game's final drive.
"The way we put that drive together, the way we stayed on schedule, it was great," Lawrence said moments after the Jaguars' 26-21 loss to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, on Sunday perhaps his best game since the Jaguars' Week 6 victory over Miami. He completed 26 of 39 passes for 280 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions, and was particularly impressive late in the fourth quarter.
Lawrence completed six of nine passes for 48 yards on the final drive and scrambled 26 yards to set up first and goal at the Jets five-yard line.
"I was really proud of him today," Jaguars Interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell said.
Lawrence noted the Jaguars overcame adversity on the final drive, with tight end James O’Shaughnessy leaving the game with an injury following a seven-yard reception on 2nd-and-2 from the 50. By rule, that cost the Jaguars their final timeout with 1:13 remaining.
Lawrence completed two passes to move the Jaguars to the 31, then scrambled 25 yards on 2nd-and-10 to give the Jaguars a chance for the victory.
"For us to keep our head in the game, really execute and put ourselves in the situation and get down there…that's all you could really ask for," Lawrence said.
The Jaguars on Sunday not only produced a season-high 27 first downs offensively, their 384 total yards was their highest since a Week 6 victory over Miami. The Jaguars' 21 points was their fourth time in the 20s this season and their most points since the victory over Miami.
"I felt like we really clicking on all cylinders today on offense," Lawrence said. "Obviously, every game, there's going to be a few things that you want back. There are going to be some throws, some opportunities that you miss or whatever. I really feel like offensively we played clean football today and took advantage of a lot of our opportunities.
"At the end of the game, we get the ball with 1:40 or so with a time out left that's kind of just what you want, you don't have to rush … really like the way we moved the ball all day."
Lawrence: "I had a lot of confidence. I know the whole offense did. The guys up front today just protected great. I had all day and that's why I was able to sit in there and get to my third and fourth progressions and we hit some big plays because I had so much time. Really got to talk up those guys because they played amazing. It's really disappointing to walk into the locker room because we're just that close, literally two yards and you know everybody left it out there and it's just a bad feeling. But I'm proud of these guys who kept fighting and gave us a chance to win. We've got to get better. Good teams win those games, so we have to get better."
The Jaguars' decision to go for two points early in the second quarter put them in a bind late in the fourth quarter. When running back Dare Ogunbowale was stopped short of the goal line, the Jaguars led 9-6 – but the missed point loomed important later. Down 23-21 after Ogunbowale's one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, Bevell opted to go for two again instead of being able to tie the game with an extra point. Lawrence was pressured to throw the ball away and the Jaguars still trailed by two. So, when they had the ball on the 1 and spiked the ball to stop the clock with :12 remaining, they didn't have the option to attempt the game tying field goal and play for overtime. "Hindsight is 20/20," Lawrence said. "If we make that two-point conversion, that changes the game, too. Obviously, when you don't get the two-point conversion or don't get two of them, it's easy to say after the game that we should have taken the points then we would have been down by a field goal. But you never know that in the situation. It's a tough call and from the one-yard line you get a chance to go for two it's pretty good odds … felt good about it. It's easy to say after the fact but I think us being aggressive was part of the reason we were so productive on offense."/
Check out these top game photos of the Jacksonville Jaguars as they take on the New York Jets for Week 16 of the NFL Regular Season at MetLife Stadium.