Each phase gets high marks in a dominant win over the Jets

Each phase gets high marks in a dominant win over the Jets

Insult – B-plus

Things didn’t get off to a good start as Trevor Lawrence lost his eighth fumble of the season, failing to secure the ball on a sack by Quinnen Williams on the third play of the game. But in tough rain and wind conditions, Lawrence (20 of 31, 229 yards, 0 TDs, 0 interceptions) took care of the football the rest of the way, leading a 96-yard scoring drive against one of the NFL’s best defenses for the game’s only touchdown on his 1 -yard sneak. His favorite target ended up being tight end Evan Engram (7 catches, 113 yards), who posted career highs for the season in both categories. On the last carry of the night, Travis Etienne (22 rushes, 83 yards) became the first Jaguars running back to hit the 1,000-yard mark since James Robinson in 2020. halftime, the Jaguars didn’t need to attack the Jets’ fourth-ranked pass defense as much downfield. Lawrence, who also had 51 yards rushing, had success on shorter throws and allowed his targets, especially Engram, to gain some big yards after the catch. Hats off to the offensive line, including left tackle Walker Little replacing Cam Robinson, for allowing just one sack and letting the running game do enough to move the chains.

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Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) runs the ball past New York Jets linebacker CJ Mosley (57) during an NFL football game Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Times-Union sports columnist Gene Frenette rates the Jaguars’ performance against the New York Jets based on execution, effort and game circumstances.

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Insult – B-plus

Things didn’t get off to a good start as Trevor Lawrence lost his eighth fumble of the season, failing to secure the ball on a sack by Quinnen Williams on the third play of the game. But in tough rain and wind conditions, Lawrence (20 of 31, 229 yards, 0 TDs, 0 interceptions) took care of the football the rest of the way, leading a 96-yard scoring drive against one of the NFL’s best defenses for the game’s only touchdown on his 1 -yard sneak. His favorite target ended up being tight end Evan Engram (7 catches, 113 yards), who posted career highs for the season in both categories. On the last carry of the night, Travis Etienne (22 rushes, 83 yards) became the first Jaguars running back to hit the 1,000-yard mark since James Robinson in 2020. halftime, the Jaguars didn’t need to attack the Jets’ fourth-ranked pass defense as much downfield. Lawrence, who also had 51 yards rushing, had success on shorter throws and allowed his targets, especially Engram, to gain some big yards after the catch. Hats off to the offensive line, including left tackle Walker Little replacing Cam Robinson, for allowing just one sack and letting the running game do enough to move the chains.

Defense – A-plus

From the start, Mike Caldwell’s unit completely shut down the Jets offense and struggling quarterback Zach Wilson. Two of the Jets’ possessions went for minus yardage, including the opening drive after Lawrence’s fumble when safety Andre Cisco came up and sacked Wilson on third down for a 10-yard loss. That forced the Jets to settle for a 37-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal. Roy Robertson-Harris was responsible for the Jets going backwards on another series with a sack that lost 8 yards, followed by the defensive lineman easily knocking down a Wilson pass. The Jaguars dominated the first half to such an extent that the Jets’ fans showered the home team with boos on six different occasions. The Jets had just 4 rushing yards in the first half, their lowest half production in 20 years. The stingy defense had eight pass breakups and didn’t buckle until Wilson (9 of 18, 92 yards, 1 interception) was benched for Chris Streveler, a former CFL quarterback whose biggest strength is running. He led a 73-yard drive to the Jaguars’ 13, which included a 30-yard completion to wide open tight end CJ Uzomah. He would have scored a touchdown had the ball not been thrown under, forcing him to fall to the ground to make the catch. The Jets turned it around when a slant pass on fourth down to Garrett Wilson was off target. Other than that drive, the Jets never ran the ball on their own inside the Jaguars’ 40 all night. The only letdown was defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot who went down with a right leg injury late in the game when he limped off without putting any weight on it.

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