JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence wrote a letter to the city of Jacksonville, thanking fans for all of their support throughout the team’s storybook season and sharing his thoughts on the franchise’s future.
The letter was published Wednesday in “The Player’s Tribune.”
READ: “A Letter to Jacksonville” by Trevor Lawrence
“Look … I don’t want to be writing this. I don’t want to be home. I want to be out there with my guys, prepping for another game. I want to be showing out for Jacksonville. But these past few months we’ve grown a lot as a team — and we want this to be the beginning of our story. So I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of Duval. Because I know how much this season meant to our city,” the second-year quarterback writes.
I wish we were still out there playing, but the future's looking bright in Jacksonville! @PlayersTribune https://t.co/rmEpb0QQ59— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) February 8, 2023
In the message, Lawrence says the one moment that sticks out to him is when the Jaguars, led by coach Doug Pederson, were hosting the Los Angeles Chargers in last month’s wild-card playoff game — before they came back from behind to win 31-30.
“There’s one memory I keep coming back to when I think of y’all. It’s when I was looking up at the scoreboard and it was 27–0. (I know I don’t have to tell you what game.) This was right before our last drive of the half, and the Chargers had been beating us all over the field. And I was going through the tablets, watching back the picks, just trying to keep myself focused. But then I kind of looked up into the stands … and I noticed something: Nobody was leaving,” Lawrence says.
“That struck me as saying a lot about this place. We’re out here down 27 in a playoff game. Most people watching on TV probably thought it was over. But inside the Bank, it wasn’t like that at all. Everyone was still with us, still getting crazy loud and waving their towels and trying to pump us up.
“Your energy in that moment, it meant a lot. It was a really good reminder that nothing was decided yet — and nothing had to matter except what was in front of us. Those picks didn’t have to matter. The score didn’t have to matter. There was a whole half of football left, and we had a really good football team. And we had y’all.”
After the comeback win, the third-largest comeback in playoff history, Lawrence and some of his teammates celebrated at the Jacksonville Beach Waffle House.
Another moment that Lawrence writes about in the letter is the last regular-season game when the Jaguars clinched the AFC South title against rival Tennessee at TIAA Bank Field, and with the 20-16 victory, secured a spot in the playoffs for the first time since the 2017 season.
“And that’s when I really felt the city come to life. There was this energy in the air. The beach had a buzz. Downtown was alive. Even Publix felt a part of it. I don’t think people realize how die-hard our fans are — how much Jags fans love this team, and how hungry they are for a winner. They just want us to be great. They want to get there. I felt that,” Lawrence says.
But just making it to the playoffs and getting the wild-card win wasn’t enough for Lawrence and the Jaguars. He says he’s still upset about their 27-20 loss to the Chiefs at Kansas City in the AFC divisional playoffs.
“And I know a lot of people probably thought we were just happy to be there against K.C., but if you think that, then you don’t know this group. We had a real chance to win that game, and we didn’t, and I’m still angry about it. We all are. And I like that. I like how — for all the talk about how we’re this young team with a bright future (and I believe we are) — the main thing guys were focused on after that game was we were right there. We were that team. So we’re going to let ourselves be mad. And we’re going to use it as fuel to get better for next year,” Lawrence says.
He goes on to write, “Duval — thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with us. For believing in us. We couldn’t have done it without you. That playoff win, that feeling, I want that forever. I promise it was just the beginning.”
And he concludes the letter by saying, “It was always the Jags.”
The letter comes three days after Lawrence’s appearance in the 2023 Pro Bowl Games in Las Vegas. He was the third quarterback in Jaguars history to earn Pro Bowl honors, joining quarterbacks Mark Brunell (1996, 1997 and 1999) and David Garrard (2009).
In the 2022 regular season, Lawrence completed 387 of 584 passes for 4,113 yards and 25 touchdowns. His 387 completions were the most in a single season in franchise history and his five rushing touchdowns were tied with Garrard for the most in single-season franchise history.
Lawrence joined Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen as the only players in the NFL with 25-plus passing touchdowns and at least five rushing touchdowns. Against the Tennessee Titans in Week 14, Lawrence set a career-high with 368 yards passing and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.
The No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL draft out of Clemson totaled four 300-yard passing games and orchestrated three comebacks of 17-plus points, including the comeback from behind 27-0 in the postseason against the Chargers. In two postseason contests, Lawrence completed 52 of 86 passes for 505 yards and five TDs. He threw for four touchdowns against the Chargers, becoming the youngest player in NFL history to throw for four or more touchdowns in a playoff game.