Lawrence, Jaguars continue playoff push, outclass Jets 19-3

Dec 22, 2022, 6:32 AM | Updated: 9:40 pm

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) celebrates with tight end Evan Engram (17) an...

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) celebrates with tight end Evan Engram (17) and offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor (75) after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence was in a celebratory mood, decked out in an ugly Christmas sweater while acknowledging it wasn’t exactly the prettiest performance he and his Jacksonville Jaguars have had during their playoff surge.

It was plenty good enough, though. The Jags’ 19-3 victory over an embarrassed Zach Wilson and the slumping New York Jets on a rainy, windy Thursday night has them in control of their postseason destiny.

“It’s just a big win,” Lawrence said. “It shows this team is growing. We don’t have to have 40 points to win. We don’t have to have all these yards. Whatever it takes to win, we’re able to do. To be able to adjust was really good for us.”

Lawrence finished 20 of 31 for 229 yards and ran for 51 yards, including a leaping touchdown, on seven carries for the Jaguars (7-8), who moved within one-half game of skidding Tennessee in the AFC South. Jacksonville would win the division title with victories in its final two games — including the season finale against the Titans.

“We understand the task in front of us,” Lawrence said. “Every game is a must win for us. That’s how we’re treating it. We understand it and we love it.”

The second matchup between last year’s first two draft picks — Lawrence at No. 1 and Wilson No. 2 — wasn’t even close.

While Lawrence sliced through the Jets’ normally strong defense, Wilson couldn’t get anything going and was booed frequently — all the way to the bench. Chris Streveler, elevated from the practice squad before the game, replaced Wilson late in the third quarter.

Wilson went 9 of 18 for 92 yards with an interception and a dismal 41.9 rating for the Jets (7-8), whose playoff hopes took a devastating hit with their fourth straight loss. That’s the worst skid under second-year coach Robert Saleh.

And it came in their regular-season home finale — in front a national audience on Amazon Prime Video.

“It’s not about playoffs right now,” Saleh said. “It’s about about getting off this mat and trying to freakin’ find a way to put together a football game.”

Wilson, who returned from a three-game benching last Sunday in place of an injured Mike White, couldn’t make any plays and his offensive line gave him little protection.

“I just felt like I didn’t have any rhythm out there,” Wilson said.

Things actually got off to a promising start for the Jets when Quinnen Williams strip-sacked Lawrence on the Jaguars’ third play from scrimmage. Carl Lawson recovered to put New York at Jacksonville’s 16. It was Williams’ career-high 12th sack and Lawrence’s eighth lost fumble, tops in the NFL.

But the Jets couldn’t get into the end zone and settled for a 37-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein after Andre Cisco sacked Wilson on a safety blitz on third down.

Riley Patterson kicked a 32-yarder to tie it on Jacksonville’s second possession.

Lawrence jumped over the pile for a 1-yard go-ahead touchdown early in the second quarter to cap an impressive 16-play, 96-yard drive. The Jaguars faced just one third down on the drive — on Lawrence’s score. It was Jacksonville’s first scoring drive of 95 yards or more since 2018.

The Jets had just 66 yards of offense in the first half and three first downs. While boos rained down throughout the first half, the poncho-clad crowd really let New York — and Wilson — have it when he was intercepted by Devin Lloyd on a Hail Mary just before halftime.

After Patterson added a 41-yarder midway through the third quarter to make it 16-3, Wilson was booed again when he jogged onto the field with the offense. But then, the Jets put Streveler in at quarterback on their next possession — and the fans went wild. And New York’s offense finally found a short-lived spark.

There were cheers after his 30-yard duck of a throw that C.J. Uzomah caught for a first down. The crowd loved Streveler’s consecutive runs of 14, 10 and 8 yards before he was stopped for a 2-yard loss. On fourth-and-4, Streveler completed a 4-yard pass to Garrett Wilson and he led the Jets to the Jaguars 13.

But the drive stalled when his throw to Wilson sailed wide of the receiver, turning the ball over on downs.

Streveler, who went 10 of 15 for 90 yards, became a fan favorite during the summer when he led the Jets to three fourth-quarter comeback victories in the preseason. He also helped lead the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a Grey Cup victory during the 2019 season, but couldn’t deliver a victory for the Jets in this one.

Instead, Lawrence — who lost 26-21 to Wilson and the Jets last season — and the Jaguars maintained control.

“When our number was called in the passing game, we made enough plays,” Lawrence said. “Obviously it was a little sloppy. There’s going to be a lot of stuff to correct. The elements played a little bit of a factor. At the end of the day, we made the plays we needed to make.”


Jaguars: RG Brandon Scherff left in the second quarter with an ankle injury, but returned. … DE Dawuane Smoot appeared to injure his left leg late in the game.


Jaguars: At Houston on Jan. 1.

Jets: At Seattle on Jan. 1.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Lawrence, Jaguars continue playoff push, outclass Jets 19-3