LANDOVER, Md. – Trevor Lawrence did the math, and he didn’t like the totals.
The Jaguars’ 28-22 loss to the Washington Chiefs on Sunday in the 2022 regular season opener was about many things. But for Lawrence, the Jaguars’ second-year quarterback, it was very much about red belt opportunities.
The Jaguars offense wasted too much, and the missed opportunities hurt.
“It’s on me,” said Lawrence. “It’s on all of us. Those are the things we’ve done a million times in practice, and we just have to make a play. We have to execute and finish. That’s what we talk about.”
The Jaguars drove inside the Washington 20-yard line five times on Sunday. They scored twice in the second half on those red-zone opportunities, but then three first-half opportunities ended with a field goal, a missed field goal and a turnover on downs.
“We had two great opportunities, both incomplete passes,” said Head Coach Doug Pederson. “They were right there. We had touchdowns on both of them. I go back to last week in practice, and we hit both of those in practice. It’s unfortunate.
“I know with our group, though, they’re going to make those corrections and we’re going to beat them next time. And we’re going to learn how to finish games like this.”
Wide receiver Christian Kirk said, “That’s one of the areas that we’ve struggled with throughout training camp and the preseason, and we’re still working on getting better. So, for us, it’s going back to all of our things we want to do in the red zone, and I know we are going to continue to progress.”
Lawrence slightly overturned running back Travis Etienne Jr. on the right side of the end zone on the Jaguars first series, a possession that ended with a 33-yard field goal by Riley Patterson for a 3-0 lead. Lawrence said in the second quarter that he lost wide receiver Zay Jones in the end zone on a series that ended in no points.
Lawrence after the game detailed the two plays and called them passes “I have to hit:”
“The one that Travis, he overshot a little bit,” he said. “He did a really good job. He won his way. He’s got to make that one, he’s got to give him a chance. Zay’s, they gave him zero pressure coverage. So he had to get the ball out quickly and then put him a little too. a lot – give him a little more air, so he can get used to the ball.”
Lawrence called the missed opportunities frustrating.
“We gave them 11 points,” Lawrence said. “We saw them score 11 points in the first half and still found a way to fight back and have a chance to win.”
Lawrence added, “We can clean up all, but we are going to be okay. I am not worried. I am frustrated of course because I know that we are good enough to win the game and it was we should win that game. It’s frustrating, but we’re going to get better.”
Kirk in his first regular season game with the Jaguars caught a team-high six passes for 117 yards. “There are definitely some things I can improve on, but for the most part, I took advantage of the opportunities,” he said. “I want to continue.”
Lawrence: “The mindset is to go win the game and finish it. For a number of reasons, we weren’t. At the end of the day it’s the final score that matters, and not what it is halfway through the quarter part. We had to play smarter all the way, every position. There are a lot of things that we control, we didn’t do a great job of controlling. we have to work on it.”
Running back Travis Etienne Jr.: “We are not here for a moral victory. At the end of the day, we lost. Sucks to lose, and nobody wants to lose. We have to put this to bed tomorrow, and get back to work, and just get better.”
Lawrence: “This is just the first one. We have a full season. I love the guys we have in that locker room. I’m not worried at all, but we definitely have to correct some things and be more better. … We just have to finish. We got to the point where we can win the game, but you’ve got to go win it. They’re not going to give it to you.”
Jaguars TE Evan Engram on the Jaguars’ fourth-quarter rally: In this series, you have to find something, even to get the [games] down, even the losses. We’ll walk out of the locker room with our heads held high.”
Kirk: “We shot ourselves in the foot too many times. Good teams finish games, and we have some work to do to be a good team and finish well. I think we’re close.”