Four takeaways: Trevor Lawrence shows again why he’s a franchise-changing QB

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) slips past Tennessee Titans linebacker Dylan Cole during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski) (Mark Zaleski, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Jaguars ended a nine-year losing streak in Nashville with a 36-22 win over the Titans. Here are my four biggest takeaways from the game:

How they turned it around

The Titans jumped out to a 14-7 lead and it looked like it would be the same kind of story that we’ve seen for years in the Music City. Derrick Henry runs over the Jaguars, the defense can’t stop Tennessee and it winds up with another L for Jacksonville. Instead, the Jaguars made plays on defense and outscored the Titans 13-0 in the second quarter to take a 20-14 lead to halftime. They never looked back. The Jaguars turned four Titans turnovers into 20 points. That is particularly notable because the Titans have been among the best in the NFL at not turning the ball over.

Trevor’s day

Trevor Lawrence was dealing. Lawrence’s accuracy and decision-making were on point in a week when he didn’t practice until Friday because of a sprained toe. Lawrence passed for a career-high 368 yards while completing 30 of 42 passes with three touchdowns and his fourth straight game without an interception. We are seeing the promise that Lawrence showed in college after a difficult rookie year. What a difference a year makes. He is clearly the Jaguars’ franchise quarterback and it appears the sky is the limit for Lawrence as his second season plays out.

Evan Engram’s career game

We have seen Christian Kirk and Zay Jones both have career days since joining the Jaguars. On Sunday, it was tight end Evan Engram’s turn. The third of the Jaguars free agent pass catchers caught 11 passes for a career-high 162 yards and two touchdowns. He did have a pair of drops in the game, but his impact was immense. It seems every week when the Jaguars play well, there’s another receiver or tight end who is putting up big numbers. The fact that Lawrence moves the ball around is another great sign of his growth.

The Jaguars are still in the playoff hunt

Yes, it’s true. With the Jaguars improving to 5-8 on the season, they are still in line to almost control their own destiny. If the Jaguars win their next three games and the Titans lose two of three, the Jaguars would host the Titans in Week 18 with a spot in the playoffs on the line.

Here’s what the schedules look like for both teams:

Jaguars: vs. Cowboys, at Jets, at Texans, vs. Titans.

Titans: at Chargers, vs. Texans, vs. Cowboys, at Jaguars.

It’s a long shot, but the Jaguars will reach the midway point of December still in playoff contention. That hasn’t happened since 2017.