JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Through six games in his rookie season, Trevor Lawrence has shown improvement. There is more to come.
Here’s a comparison between the No. 1 pick’s first three games in the NFL and the last three. The numbers show notable improvement.
In his first three games, Lawrence threw five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 54.2% of his passes (64 completions in 118 attempts) and posted a quarterback rating of 60.3
In the next three games, Lawrence’s touchdown passes went down to two (he ran for two touchdowns in three games) and threw only one interception. That came at the end of the loss to the Titans. His quarterback rating was more than 30 points higher, 93.8. Oh, and there is that other stat that is rather important: Lawrence and the Jaguars won their first game of the season when they topped Miami in London.
So what can Lawrence do to improve over the next three games? I would like to see him get better in three categories.
Lawrence has thrown 53 passes on 63 third down snaps. His quarterback rating is 61.3 on those throws. It’s not all on Lawrence. The Jaguars average a whopping seven yards to go on third down, so the entire offense needs to do a better job on early downs. But Lawrence has completed just 43.4 percent of his third down passes. If Lawrence can improve his third-down numbers, the Jaguars will stand a much better chance to win games and Lawrence will take another step as a rookie.
Like his third-down numbers, Lawrence has completed less than half of his passes in the red zone. In 19 passing attempts on 28 red zone snaps, Lawrence has completed just nine passes. That’s 47.4 percent. Lawrence has thrown three red zone touchdown passes, two of which have been pinpoint tosses. He has also been intercepted twice in the red zone leading to a quarterback rating of 54.1 in the red zone. It’s another area he can improve upon as the season progresses.
Lawrence has been a little better statistically in the fourth quarter than he has been on third down or in the red zone. But more than a third of the interceptions he has thrown this year have come in the final 15 minutes of games. Lawrence’s completion percentage in the final quarter is better than in the other splits we’ve mentioned, he is completing 59.5 percent of his passes in the third quarter but his quarterback rating of 66.8 is well below his modest season average of 75.5.
If Lawrence can improve in these three categories in the final 11 games of the season, it will mark a substantial step in the right direction for the Jaguars as a team and for Lawrence as an individual player.