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Learning from Past Mistakes: Lawrence and the Jaguars Gear Up to Battle the Chiefs

QB Trevor Lawrence (16)
QB Trevor Lawrence (16)

JACKSONVILLE – He doesn't know how many points will be needed.

What Trevor Lawrence does know is when you play the defending Super Bowl champions, there will be crucial moments. Those moments can be everything.

"You have to be great in critical situations," he said.

Lawrence, the Jaguars' third-year quarterback, spoke to the media Wednesday as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (1-0) prepared to play the Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) at EverBank Stadium Sunday. A major topic: Two Jaguars losses to the Chiefs in 2022.

The Jaguars had opportunities in each game, with the Chiefs winning 27-17 in the regular season and 27-20 in an AFC Divisional Playoff in January.

"The good teams and the great teams, they don't miss those opportunities and they also take advantage of the ones that you don't take advantage of," Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk said. "Your best players have to play at a high level, and as a team, we have to execute and just making sure we're sharp in every aspect of the game."

The Jaguars in their regular-season loss to Kansas City last season recovered two Chiefs first-half fumbles and recovered an onside kick on the opening kickoff. They punted on two of those possessions and missed a field goal on the other, scoring just seven points on five possessions past midfield.

They forced no turnovers in the playoff game, but committed two turnovers – including a lost fumble by wide receiver Jamal Agnew inside the Kansas City 10 with 5:29 remaining.

"It's going to come down to those types of moments," Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "Maybe fortunately for us, it was a learning experience and something that our young football team can take away from moments like that. When you're playing good teams like this and defending world championship teams, you can't make those mistakes and expect to win."

The Chiefs scored touchdowns in the postseason game on all three red-zone possessions.

"When you're playing a team like the Chiefs that are that good, that have been there before, that executes in critical moments especially with [quarterback] Patrick [Mahomes] on the other side of that offense, you have to take advantage of those opportunities," Lawrence said. "You know that and I think we've learned that the hard way now. You have to take advantage of your opportunities when you have them. You have to make the plays.

"I think those are all things we've gotten better at, but we just have to keep getting better because that's what they're going to do on the other side. You know who you're playing and you really got to execute."

Pederson this week spoke of the Chiefs' ability to peak in key moments.

"As the game progresses, they get better," Pederson said. "That's something that is a challenge for us, and one of the things that we've been able to do most recently is the same thing. We have to be prepared for that, not only as a coaching staff but as players. Anytime you're playing these types of teams, you've got to be ready for that fourth quarter."


  • Tight end Evan Engram on Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce: "There are so many things in his game that I respect. Just the way he runs routes, his YAC (yards after catch), the way he sets up defenders, his relationship with his quarterback on and off the field. You can see the relationship between those two on the field as the game is being played. He's the standard. That's who I'm chasing. If I can have that level of impact for my team, that puts my team in a great position. That's how much I respect him. I would love to have that impact for my team at that position, just like he does for his."


  • Lawrence on playing at home Sunday: "It's going to be awesome, the [2023 regular-season] home opener here. There was a lot of energy this offseason about us, about our team, about the season and it's going to be exciting to see the 'Bank being filled up. We just encourage all the fans to come out and be loud. Let's use our homefield advantage that we have that we saw kind of at the end of the season last year because that was incredible. It makes it harder for teams to come in here and play. Obviously, Kansas City has a great home field advantage when we play there. We want it to be the same way here. Our fans have done a great job. I'm excited for that."

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