What was supposed to be a bounce-back game turned into a letdown spot in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Week 5 loss to the Houston Texans. The Jags offense produced 422 total yards, its most of the season, but six points scored was by far its least of the season.
The reason? Jacksonville went 0-3 on fourth down and Trevor Lawrence threw two interceptions. His second came on a Hail Mary heave with time expiring, but the first was a brutal red zone turnover on the opening drive of the second half.
Derek Stingley Jr. with his first career INT!— NFL (@NFL) October 9, 2022
: #HOUvsJAX on CBS
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/7HXJvUGVPU pic.twitter.com/WL9z2k7X4O
As you can see, the game was tied at that point, and even just a field goal would’ve made a drastic difference. Davis Mills was 2-12-1 as a starter with zero career game-winning drives entering Sunday -- forcing him and the Texans offense into need-to-score mode would’ve been beneficial for Jacksonville’s pass rush, which ended up pressuring Mills just once on 26 dropbacks.
Instead, and despite the situation being just 2nd-and-1, Lawrence forced a pass to Zay Jones in the end zone. This was a theme for Lawrence throughout the game: making his own job more difficult for himself than it needed to be.
The third-quarter interception was the biggest play of the game in terms of expected points added, per rbsdm.com. According to Pro Football Focus, it was Lawrence’s only turnover-worthy play of the afternoon, which is a big step down from his four such plays against the Eagles, but this was still one of the worst performances of his career.
Here is the question that will determine Jacksonville’s floor and ceiling, on offense and as a team, both this year and in the future: can Trevor Lawrence just calm down?