It’s hard to fathom that the Jacksonville Jaguars played in the AFC Championship Game just three years ago.
Since then, the franchise fell into tough times.
They finished 5-11 and 6-10 in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
There was optimism during the 2020 season when they won their opener against the Indianapolis Colts, 27-20.
Sadly, that was the last game they’ve won.
With the team hitting rock bottom, the Jaguars are pinning their hopes on former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Trevor Lawrence looking sharp in his preseason debut 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 15, 2021
The first overall selection of the 2021 NFL Draft received praise from scouts as being “pro-ready” and a “once in a generation talent”.
But after his initial performance, it seemed like the expectations were too lofty even for him.
It didn’t look good for Lawrence to botch his first snap and get sacked.
However, he did regain his footing when he connected on a 10-yard pass to Marvin Jones.
From that moment, he developed some sort of groove to finish with six completions for 71 yards.
Unfortunately, he was not able to put points on the scoreboard.
He played for only one quarter and the Jaguars only had two series.
The first series ended in a punt while the second became a turnover on downs.
Lawrence was startled by the Cleveland Browns’ aggression that he also became tentative with his passes.
He held onto the ball longer than needed which put the timing of their receivers off.
The Browns Let The Dogs Out
Sheldon Day sacked Lawrence on the second play of the Jaguars’ first drive for a loss of seven yards.
That set the tone for a Cleveland Browns defense that constantly pressured the number one draft pick.
Porter Gustin also registered a sack on Lawrence for a loss of five yards.
JOK comes on the field for the first time at 8:34 in 2Q. First three plays….
1stD: WZ D-Gap fit to perfection–solo "stop" tackle
2nd&9: QUICK Gap fit vs Power–turns RB in, sheds puller, in on the tackle
3rd&6: A-Agap blitz–dips under RB protection. Sack
— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) August 15, 2021
Aside from the registered sacks, he took some other hits as well.
It was a rough welcome by the Browns for the Jaguars quarterback.
Mind you, those that played for the Browns are mainly second or third-stringers.
Not an impressive start for someone who is being geared as the team’s starter.
Starting Quarterback Position Up For Grabs
Coming into training camp, head coach Urban Meyer might have penciled Lawrence as his starter.
That may change after this performance.
He was uncomfortable for the majority of his stint and wasn’t able to make adjustments.
The Jaguars offensive line must own up to some slip-ups in protecting Lawrence.
However, the unimpressive performance falls mainly into the rookie quarterback.
Even Meyer had to declare that the competition for the starting role is still up for grabs after the Browns game.
Urban Meyer says it’s still an open competition between Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew 👀
Minshew is willing to do what it takes 😤😅 pic.twitter.com/j0rmmMOyZU
— PFF (@PFF) August 12, 2021
Based on what transpired, C.J. Beathard might have gained the upper hand with 13 completions, 102 yards, and a touchdown.
Gardner Minshew was also decent in his stint as the starter for the Jaguars last season, despite a weak level of surrounding talent.
But all is not lost in Lawrence’s quest to become the team’s starter.
He will find himself in a hole leading into their second preseason game.
That can change if he can give the Jaguars some confidence that picking him was the right decision.
It will only happen with a strong showing in their next games prior to the season.NEXT: Tim Tebow Being Trolled On Twitter For Some Questionable Effort