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Thursday update: A question of balance

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans

December 11th, 2022
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans December 11th, 2022

JACKSONVILLE – Another week, another weapon.

And if Trevor Lawrence is the No. 1 storyline for the Jaguars' offense in recent weeks, the second-year quarterback is far from alone.

Lawrence, in fact, has become the leader of a strikingly balanced passing offense as the Jaguars have played their way back into playoff contention over the last month.

"It's a credit to the roster we have offensively," offensive coordinator Press Taylor said Thursday as the Jaguars (5-8) prepared to play the Dallas Cowboys (10-3) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, has emerged as one of the NFL's top quarterbacks in recent weeks. He has 10 touchdown passes with no interceptions in the last five games, with the Jaguars winning three of those games.

His top three receivers during that time:

  • Wide receiver Zay Jones: 34 receptions, 346 yards, two touchdowns with an 11-reception, 145-yard performance in a Week 12 victory over Baltimore.
  • Wide receiver Christian Kirk: 32 receptions, 376 yards, three touchdowns with a nine-reception, 105-yard, two-touchdown performance in a Week 11 loss to Kansas City and a six-reception, 104-yard performance in a Week 13 loss to Detroit.
  • Tight end Evan Engram: 21 receptions, 218 yards, three touchdowns with an 11-reception, 162-yard, two-touchdown performance in a Week 14 victory over Tennessee.

"It's the guy who gets the hot hand and you continue to find ways to get him the ball," Head Coach Doug Pederson said.

"We feel like there are a number of guys where if a defense were to do something to take away one guy we have another couple of guys who can step up at any moment and have a game," Taylor said. "If the flow of the game dictates it, the next guy steps up."

The last three weeks continued a season-long trend of the Jaguars' offense and Lawrence not being dependent on a particular receiver. Wide receivers Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault Jr. last season were the only two Jaguars players with more than 500 yards receiving. Four Jaguars players this season – Kirk, Engram, Marvin Jones Jr. and Zay Jones – all are on pace to go over the mark.

Kirk has 67 receptions for 874 yards and seven touchdowns. Zay Jones has 68 receptions for 655 yards and two touchdowns. Engram has 53 receptions for 548 yards and three touchdowns. Marvin Jones has 33 receptions for 407 yards and two touchdowns.

"It's not like there has been a concerted effort to go in and say, 'This guy is going to get all the targets,'" Taylor said. "The ball finds the guy at certain times. When Trevor's playing that way and operating that way and somebody has a big game, it's just kind of a biproduct of it."


  • Taylor on Pederson: "You know what you're getting with him. You come in and you're not worried, 'Is he in a bad mood, is he in a good mood, is he this, is he that?' You know exactly who he's going to be with the coaching staff, with the players, his expectations, and where you stand. It's easy to do your job that way."


  • Taylor on Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (12 sacks in 2022) and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (six): "You certainly have to be aware. We think it's kind of foolish to be just come in and let the best player beat you because you're stubborn enough to think, 'We can just do what we need to go.' We always identify the guys we think need extra help. Certainly, on Monday the first thing you say is, 'How are we going to stop Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence from ruining the game.'''


  • Injury Report: Lawrence practiced limited Thursday after missing practice Wednesday with a toe injury; he played last week after missing practice with the injury Wednesday and Thursday. Right guard Brandon Scherff and cornerback Darious Williams practiced limited Thursday after missing practice with abdomen injuries sustained against the Titans. Safety Andrew Wingard (shoulder) and linebacker Chad Muma (ankle) practiced limited for a second consecutive day, with Muma missing the Titans game with the injury and Wingard sustaining the injury in the game. Safety Andre Cisco (shoulder) practiced full for a second consecutive day Thursday after missing the last two games with the injury, and rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker missed practice a second consecutive day after sustaining a high-ankle sprain Sunday.

Swipe through photos of the Jaguars Wednesday practice ahead of the Week 15 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

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