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Jaguars vs. Chargers: Trevor Lawrence’s Resiliency Powers His First Playoff Victory

After a historically bad first quarter, the Jags franchise quarterback delivered when it mattered most.
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To say Trevor Lawrence had a bad start to last night's contest against the Chargers would be a massive understatement. 

The second-year quarterback struggled immensely, tossing three first quarter interceptions and one more in the second quarter before finally finding Evan Engram for a touchdown before the end of the first half.

With the Jaguars down 27-7 with a half of football to play, all signs pointed toward a Chargers victory until it wasn’t. The Jaguars' resiliency, a trait that has been a staple of their second half excellence was on full display again, charging back in epic fashion to steal the game away.

At the forefront of this run was Lawrence, who quickly showed that no moment is too big for him. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson made clear that Lawrence’s continued excellence and leadership skills have this young Jags team heading in the right direction.

“I'll just keep saying it, it's a step in the right direction for him and for our team and for our franchise,” Pederson said. 

“We love having Trevor as our quarterback. He never flinches. You saw the emotion on the sneak, on the goal line. I think – was that the two-point conversion? You saw the emotion and that's who he is. I just love the fact that he's leading our football team, but it's a step in the direction that we want this organization to go, we want him to go, our team to go. We've just got to continue to build on that.”

For Lawrence, his devotion to his teammates and role as a leader meant that quitting was never an option. Despite the large deficit, the focus was always on what they could do to claw their way toward victory.

“Yeah, like I said, I didn’t really - - honestly didn’t have a choice,” Lawrence said. “We've come this far, and those guys are depending on me. To win games in general in this league but especially in the playoffs, the quarterback has to play well. Wasn't playing well, and I knew it was going to take a lot to turn it around, but there's no – I told the guys in the huddle, there's no 27-point plays. It's going to be one play at a time. 

"That's what it took, one play at a time, all the way down the field, just again and again and again. All we can do at this point is just try to score every drive, then trust our defense. If they get a stop, great; it gives us another chance to score. If they don't, great; we'll get the ball back and go score again. So that was our mindset, and you've got playing with confidence. That was the one thing, just self-talk in my head going back and forth. It's tough when you're struggling and not playing well, but if I don't continue to be myself, we don't have a shot to win because then I'm going to miss the plays that I usually make. I just had to keep my confidence. Missed a few throws, I think where some of those turnovers where I was being a little cautious. After that I felt like I kind of got back on track and settled in.

With a multitude of comeback victories throughout the season, it almost seems this Jaguars team is built to overcome failures. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence made clear that both on a personal and professional level, belief and resiliency serve as the ignition that gets the team rolling.

“It's kind of hard to say. Probably not. Like I said, just really it's – I was able to turn it around and play well in the second half, but it all stems from the collective belief of the team,” Lawrence said. “When you get in that situation and you don't -- and you feel like everyone doesn't really believe you've got a shot and things start to crumble around you, whether that's defense, offense, that's kind of when you're in trouble and it doesn't feel like you've got a shot to win it, and there was never that feeling. 

Even at halftime, I think it was 27-7, down 20, and Foley [Fatukasi] brought everybody up, and he's like, we're going to win this game. We're going to find a way to win this game; you've got to believe it. And we all believed it. We really did. That's the crazy thing is it's easy to say it after, but you really don't - - if you don't really believe it. Man, I don't really know what else to say. I'm kind of rambling because it's just a special night. I'm just proud of the group, this city. It was a special night for a lot of people, and just thankful for everybody that played a part in it.”