Four takeaways: Etienne emerges, Lawrence regresses

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) slips the tackle of Houston Texans linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (44) during the first half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (Phelan M. Ebenhack, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars ran their losing streak to the Houston Texans up the nine games in a 13-6 loss. The Jaguars beat themselves in a game when they were favored by a touchdown. Here are my four biggest takeaways from the game:

Trevor’s day

In the first half, the Jaguars thoroughly dominated the Texans. The Jaguars outgained Houston 236-120 in that span, but the game was tied at the break. Had Trevor Lawrence been more accurate on a couple of tosses, the game may have played out much differently. Three high passes led to drives being snuffed out and a third quarter interception in the end zone cost the Jaguars points. Lawrence wasn’t the only cause for the Jaguars offensive struggles, but for the second straight week, he was the chief cause. For the game, the Jaguars outgained Houston 422-248 but never scored a touchdown.

Etienne’s breakout

The Jaguars had been waiting for Travis Etienne to have the kind of game he was famous for in college. Big plays, running away from defenders and generally abusing the opposing defense. It was not quite a command performance, but Etienne was the Jaguars’ most effective offensive weapon in the first half. He finished the game with 71 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards. It is clear that he’s ready to be a significant piece of the offense going forward.

Great day for Jaguars and Boselli

At halftime, Tony Boselli was presented with his Hall of Fame ring and an additional honor as his No. 71 jersey was officially retired by the Jaguars. No player will every wear it in a Jaguars uniform. Boselli is the only player to have worn the number. It had been unofficially taken out of circulation by the Jaguars’ equipment staff over the years, but now it is official.

Boselli said that after the eight months of celebrations, dating back to the day he received word that he would be inducted, he’s been the recipient of congratulations and other honors. Sunday was the last day of ceremony, and Boselli said he wanted to celebrate with the Jaguars fans.

“This was for them,” Boselli said.

So what, now what?

Next up, the Jaguars travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts for the second time this year. The Jaguars embarrassed Indy in the home opener, so expect the Colts to be motivated for the rematch. The game will also be a key game in the AFC South race. If Jacksonville is going to contend in the AFC South, they’ll need to bounce back from the poor performance against the Texans.