JACKSONVILLE – The numbers improve seemingly by the week.
When it comes to Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor said what else has improved steadily in recent weeks are the moments when the second-year quarterback looks absolutely confident and in control.
Those moments matter, and Taylor said they're happening more consistently.
"Part of that is just conviction," Taylor said Thursday as the Jaguars (4-7) prepared to play the Detroit Lions (4-7) at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., Sunday at 1 p.m.
"He knows what he wants. He knows what he's looking at from the defense. He knows where his guys are going to be – just that chemistry built up over time with his guys. You see that from Trevor, but that's kind of what you expect going into the season, continuing to work together and spend time together."
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, has registered a passer rating of more than 100 in each of his last three games with the NFL's highest completion percentage during that span. He completed 29 of 37 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in a 28-27 come-from-behind victory over the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday.
Taylor, asked if Sunday was the best performance of Lawrence's career, focused on a fourth quarter in which Lawrence completed 13 of 17 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns.
"Really, that last drive he just got hot," Taylor said of Lawrence completing seven of nine passes for 91 yards on a drive that ended with Lawrence's 10-yard pass to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. with :10 remaining.
Lawrence completed passes of 16, 10, 17, eight, one, 29, and 10 yards on the drive – which culminated with a two-point conversion pass to wide receiver Zay Jones. Taylor said the confidence could be seen in how Lawrence set up and threw during that time – i.e., "the conviction he had, his back foot, letting the ball rip, putting it to a spot …"
"There were a lot of throws that seemed like handoffs," Taylor said. "You saw that confidence just pouring out in the way he played and the way he let the ball rip and the belief in what he was doing at the line."
- The Lions enter Sunday ranked eighth in the NFL in total yards – No. 12 in passing and No. 10 in rushing. They also have scored 24 or more points in eight of 11 games and rank eighth in the NFL in scoring at 25.0 points per game. "They're throwing it around well and they're running the ball well," Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said. "They're really a two-headed monster if you look at it that way. We just have to understand that they're throwing it good, they're running it good. We have go back to our techniques, understand our scheme and try to stop them."
- Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. practiced limited for a second consecutive day with a foot injury sustained against the Ravens this past Sunday. "He certainly insists he's playing," Taylor said of Etienne. Zay Jones (chest) and safety Andre Cisco (shoulder) also practiced limited for a second consecutive day Thursday, with defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris returning to practice after missing practice Wednesday with an illness.
- Caldwell on Jaguars fourth-year safety Andrew Wingard: "He's a guy I don't have to worry about. If he doesn't get a rep, he's going to have his nose in a book, he's going to watch film, he's going to come in with questions, he's going to come in with answers to problems, and he's a guy that, he's a professional. He might not be the starter, but if I ever have a problem, need to put somebody out there, I know he'll go out there, and he plays with so much energy and so much excitement, it really just feeds to the rest of the guys. He's a guy that you love to have on the team because he does it the right way. Guys in that locker room listen to him because they see what he does on the field and they see what he does on the practice field."