JACKSONVILLE – This was good, this was efficient, this was productive.
This was quarterback Trevor Lawrence; this was wide receiver Calvin Ridley, and this was the entire offense – including the offensive line – in 34-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Stadium Sunday.
It was a convincing victory, and it may have marked the best offensive performance of the season.
"We know we are an explosive offense with explosive players; we know that we have a lot of players that can make plays," Ridley said after catching seven passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
On Sunday, the Jaguars were just that.
Lawrence, who called his three-turnover game in a 34-3 loss to San Francisco last Sunday perhaps the worst of his career, completed 24 of 32 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a passer rating of 119.5 against the Titans. He also ran for two touchdowns.
"I thought Trevor played extremely well," Head Coach Doug Pederson said.
Pederson also said Lawrence saw the field extremely well Sunday, while also noting the performance of a Jaguars offensive line that allowed no sacks and two hurries. Lawrence was sacked a season-high five times against San Francisco.
"The offensive line did an awesome job [against Tennessee]," Lawrence said, with Pederson calling the offensive line "a prideful group."
"Our guys did a nice job of hanging in there and battling," Pederson said. "Trevor doesn't make some of those down the field throws if they don't give him that extra time. They played well."
Lawrence on Sunday was helped, too, by increased mobility. He sustained a knee injury in a Week 6 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. While he is still wearing a knee brace, he and Pederson said his ability to maneuver in outside the pocket mattered Sunday.
"It was part of our game plan," Pederson said, with Lawrence adding: "That definitely helped us out, me being able to move."
Lawrence scrambled before a short pass that running back D'Ernest Johnson turned into a 34-yard gain on fourth-and-four early in the third quarter. He ran for a nine-yard touchdown two plays later that gave the Jaguars a 20-0 lead and ran for a five-yard fourth-quarter touchdown that made it 34-7.
"His legs are a big part of what he does," wide receiver Christian Kirk said of Lawrence. "You saw that on his two touchdowns he was able to run in today. A lot of its evading and being able to get out of the pocket and throw the ball away instead of having to take a sack. It's good to see him moving around. He's more confident in that knee and he'll be able to progress and keep on getting better."
Lawrence, who called Sunday "one of the cleaner games offensively we've played" this season, was asked afterward about criticism from opponents and analysts in recent weeks regarding his ability to read defenses and make throws beyond the first read in his progressions.
"I'm not thinking about any of that stuff," he said. "I could care less what those guys say, to be honest. That's really my only response to that. It doesn't matter. If those guys think I'm the best thing in the world, it doesn't matter either. It's about how you perform on Sunday. It's not about what other people say, but if you want to change the narrative, then change the narrative and play better.
"All I care about is winning, so I don't really care what people think I can or can't do."
- Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen: "We needed a win like this. That's what I said last week. When everybody does their job and they just want to go out there and perform, we can beat any team in the league. That's the confidence that we have within ourselves, first and foremost. Next week [at Houston] is an even bigger game than this week. It's a great team and I know in the past that Texans and Jaguars don't really mix, but we're going to go out there and handle business. It's a great team, we're excited to play them."
- Tight Evan Engram: "We can be better than last week for sure. We played a good team, but that wasn't us. We just wanted to respond. A lot of the outside noise that was said last week, we don't really care about that. We wanted respond for ourselves and what we believe our standard is. I think we did that today. They [the Titans] are a good team, they got some guys over there, but we felt like we'd come out and we should dominate this game. It was everybody, it was a full team effort, but we did that so that feels good."
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