Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer wanted to see rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence in action in preseason finale and it paid off. After struggling to lead Jaguars' first-team offense to touchdowns or points in first two preseason games, Lawrence got it going on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
In only three drives played, Lawrence orchestrated two touchdown drives as he went 11-of-12 for 139 yards. "I made that decision [to play Lawrence] and there was a lot of angst about that but he has to play," Meyer said, per ESPN.
After leading the Jaguars to two touchdown drives, Lawrence was benched for the rest of the game. "I felt good," Lawrence said. "I thought we had a good game plan. Honestly, it's all about execution, though.
I think we had a good game plan last week too. We just didn't execute it. ... It doesn't matter what you run, if everybody's on the same page and everybody knows it, you're going to play well. "We felt that today.
We were all on the same page. We communicated well. We kept it simple, and then for me just being accurate, making quick decisions, getting the ball out of my hand, and letting our guys make plays, and that was the difference.
Run game was great, too, so it was awesome."
Lawrence and the Jaguars badly needed some momentum going
The Jaguars didn't score a touchdown in first two preseason games and coach Meyer decided to play Lawrence in preseason finale because he wanted his first-string offense to find some momentumg.
"It's a good feeling -- a lot better feeling coming into the locker room today as opposed to this time last week," Lawrence said. "Just one step in the right direction. Got to keep getting better. Now they're going to count for real.
Just putting everything we have into getting ready for Houston. Built a lot of confidence going into the season. It's nice to finish the preseason with a game like that." After second preseason game, the Jaguars named Lawrence their starting quarterback for Week 1 and traded Gardner Minshew to the Philadelphia Eagles.
"We wanted him to earn it, as we do with every position," Meyer said. "We felt he has, after [Monday] night's performance was -- it was good, obviously not great. We didn't run the ball very well. I kind of in my mind had that [deadline] after the second preseason [game] that we kind of have to get someone ready to play in three weeks."