JACKSONVILLE – This was interesting. And encouraging.
No, the Jaguars' 27-20 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders at TIAA Bank Field Sunday by itself does not save the 2022 season. And it doesn't erase a season of painful, one-score losses.
But Sunday featured a few happenings that could mean a lot moving forward.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence responded to adversity and turned in perhaps his most impressive stretch in the NFL in the second-through-fourth quarters. Running back Travis Etienne Jr. continued to emerge as a go-to player offensively. And a young team showed resiliency both offensively and defensively to rally from a 17-point deficit for the second-biggest comeback in franchise history.
Those are encouraging things that could be important things, particularly if Lawrence builds on perhaps his most encouraging day in professional football. Stay tuned.
Let's get to it …
Al from Fruit Cove
OK, so maybe it's not the same as last year after all. As you were.
This Jaguars team never has been the same as last season's Jaguars team. That team lost 10 games by double digits. This year's team has led in all nine games and has lost six games by a score or less. This team perhaps has been more frustrating than last season's team, but even before Sunday it always has been better than last season's team. Significantly so.
Mike from Cartersville (AKA Trevortown), GA
Trevor good? In all seriousness, when he doesn't make terrible mistakes he's awfully efficient, yes? Which leads me to think if he can eliminate these very coachable mistakes what is left is a very efficient quarterback that looks to be pretty good on third down.
I thought this was Lawrence's best game. He played particularly well on four consecutive series that turned a 17-0 Jaguars second-quarter deficit into a 24-20 fourth-quarter lead. He was accurate. He played with poise. He made big-time throws. He overcame a lot of adversity early in the game after being criticized throughout the week. It was encouraging. Really encouraging.
Nick from Annapolis, MD
What does it say about this team that they looked worse than they have all season and as good as they have all season in the same game?
That they're a young, improving team and young, improving teams can look really good and be very frustrating all in the same game.
Kyan from Le Mars, IA
Offense played well but credit the defense for that second-half performance.
Good eye. The Jaguars' defense deservedly had been criticized recently. The unit had allowed the go-ahead touchdown in the last six minutes in four consecutive losses. It then allowed 251 yards and 20 points in the first half Sunday. It followed that with a second-half shutout with 70 yards allowed. It also forced two punts, a turnover on downs and a turnover on four fourth-quarter drives while holding a one-score lead. Credit the defense? Absolutely.
Pete from Daytona Beach
You're not going to intimidate the opponent that way. Worst uniforms.
NFL players aren't intimidated by uniforms. Is this something that confuses people?
Sascha from Cologne
Aaaand here we go again. Just a typical jaguars Sunday.
This was the much-ballyhooed, sometime-way-premature, this-time-not-really-spot-on First Email of the Game. It came moments after the Jaguars lost a fumble on a pitch from Lawrence that backup running back JaMycal Hasty couldn't handle. Raiders defensive lineman Maxx Crosby recovered to end the Jaguars' first drive at the Raiders 26. This wasn't technically a red-zone turnover, but it was close enough and marked the fifth such turnover in the last six games. Here we go again? Yeah, it sure felt like it right then. It didn't feel that way in the second half. Life in the NFL.
David from Eau Claire
Probably not, but the 2022 Jaguars have a chance in the last eight games to be what they have been so far – a competitive team with a chance to win each week. Could that mean three or four victories, with some excitement along the way and a really good feeling by season's end? Yes.
Noel from Saint Augustine, FL
Almighty O! So now, not only does Trevor throw behind receivers, but his handoff/pitches are behind running backs?!?!
Lawrence made a bad pitch early. What was impressive for Lawrence is he recovered from that play. He didn't recover as well after an interception against the Broncos in London that week. That felt like a possible step in the right direction. We'll see.
Rob from San Antonio, TX
KOAF, Please excuse my fanning over the last week or two. Winning is cool. People like it.
Scott from Mid-Atlantic by way O Jax
Well, it looks like they learned a little how not lose, huh O-man? What a great win for this team's morale!! Can we get a Ric Flair Woooooooo!! Keep learning & grinding & the Ws will come. DUUUUVALL!
Winning is cool. People like it …
Stu from Wrestlingworth
O-Zone. No words. Just tears of joy. That's all.
… and sometimes it makes people cry.