Trevor Lawrence has career day as Jags topple Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It was clearly meant as a joke, but Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson's response to whether he still has any questions about quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a pretty good indication of how they view the second-year player inside the franchise.

"Other than winning a Super Bowl?" Pederson said, then smiled.

The Jaguars are light years away from even playing in a Super Bowl -- heck, they're still a pretty long way from even playing .500 football -- but Lawrence's performance on Sunday in the Jaguars' 36-22 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium is another piece of proof that Jacksonville finally has a franchise quarterback.

Not only did Lawrence set a career high with 368 yards passing, but he also threw three touchdown passes, ran for another, and helped the Jaguars (5-8) snap an eight-game losing streak in Nashville and move into second place in the AFC South -- just two games behind the Titans (7-6). After a week in which he practiced only once because of a left big toe injury.

"You know, I'll tell you this: He's been able to handle everything," Pederson said. "Now he's battling the injury this week and he put the team sort of on his back like he did again today. [That] just shows the type of player and person that he is and how tough he is.

"He's the right leader for us and we're excited to have him as quarterback. The one thing that I'm most encouraged about is just how much more we can pour into him."

Lawrence completed 71% of his passes and posted the second-best passer rating of his career (121.9) against the Titans. He also became the youngest player in NFL history to record 350 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in a single game (23 years, 66 days) and the first player in franchise history with 300 passing yards, multiple passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game.

Lawrence rallied the Jaguars from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens on a TD pass with 14 seconds to play two weeks ago, but on Sunday he was even better because he had to carry the offense when the run game struggled. Take away the 12 yards on the final possession to close the game, and the Jaguars managed just 48 yards on the ground against the Titans.

Pederson put the game on Lawrence's shoulders, and he delivered.

"You want as a quarterback to play as good as you can, because when your quarterback plays well, it gives you a chance to win every week," Lawrence said. "That's just the nature of what we do in this business, so I understand that. But really just making the plays that are there [is what he did]. Today, guys came through, had some great catches. I mean, you look at Evan [Engram] and Zay [Jones] and Ags [Jamal Agnew].

"Just all over the field, guys making plays, and just cool to see our offense take off like that."

Lawrence made a play himself, too, when he stiff-armed linebacker Dylan Cole on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He admitted after the game he probably should have handed the ball off to Travis Etienne Jr. (and replays showed Etienne likely would have walked into the end zone if he had) instead of keeping it.

"The linebacker on the edge stepped down one or two steps and really felt like I could have just outran him to the goal line," Lawrence said. "Luckily got the stiff-arm. He recovered a little better than I thought he would. It's one of those days where we made those plays, and good teams do that. And I think that's where we're heading, and it's exciting."

Lawrence has been rolling since November began. He leads the NFL in completion percentage (71.8%) and is second in passer rating (111.7) and has thrown for 1,362 yards and 10 touchdowns over that span. His last pass in October was intercepted, but since then he has thrown 181 consecutive passes without an interception, which is the second-longest streak in franchise history (David Garrard completed 209 during the 2007 season).

"He's playing at a high level," receiver Zay Jones said. "You just watch the film, and anyone who really knows football and can see the tape, the kid's playing well."