5 takeaways from Jacksonville Jaguars' home-opening 23-13 loss to Denver Broncos

John Reid
Florida Times-Union

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was eager to play in front of the home crowd at TIAA Bank Field for the first time. 

He had more than 20 family and friends to watch his home debut.  But the show Lawrence managed to provide wasn't a winning one, though he started out great.

Despite scoring on their opening drive, the Jaguars didn't have enough answers to slow down Denver Broncos in a 23-13 loss to drop to 0-2 for the start of the Urban Meyer era.

With the loss, the Jaguars extended their franchise-record losing streak to 17 consecutive games that dates to last season when they lost 15 in a row.

Lawrence completed 14 of 33 for 118 yards and he was intercepted twice. Broncos Teddy Bridgewater had a much better day, going 26 of 34 for 328 yards.

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) looks for a receiver as Denver Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson (45) rushes during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Trevor Lawrence makes home-opening debut

Lawrence had his share of problems after a great start. Similar to last week, receivers couldn't avoid dropping passes. Laviska Shenault, who was targeted seven times, but had two drops before ending with two catches for a minus-3 yards. Rookie tight end Luke Farrell had a bad drop in the third quarter.  Lawrence was pressured in the pocket, but was sacked only once. The Broncos did an excellent job in their coverage of the Jaguars' receivers, not allowing much separation.  Lawrence passed for 73 yards on the Jaguars' drive, but for the next three quarters he totaled just 26 yards passing.  

Josh Allen gets a sack for second consecutive game  

Outside linebacker Josh Allen made several punishing tackles, and for the second consecutive week, he registered a sack. Last season, Allen totaled only 2.5 sacks after having 10.5 sacks as a rookie. 

The Jaguars' secondary was up and down, vulnerable to giving up the big play a few times. On the Broncos' opening drive in the third quarter, CJ Henderson was out because a hip injury that forced backup cornerback Chris Claybrooks into the game.  The Broncos took advantage with Bridgewater connecting to Courtland Sutton for a 55-yard catch down the middle of the field. Two plays later, Denver scored on Bridgewater 14-yard pass to tight end Noah Fant.   

Great start but can't sustain it

The Jaguars came out of the gate swinging behind quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who completed 5-of-7 attempts for 73 yards. The Jaguars had a good mix of run and pass plays called by offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Lawrence took advantage of the Broncos blitzing their nickel corner to connect to tight end James O'Shaughnessy for a 24-yard pass on a sideline route. Lawrence threw a near-perfect pass in the right corner to Marvin Jones Jr. for a 25-yard touchdown who was a step ahead of Denver cornerback Kyle Fuller. After their opening scoring drive, the Broncos held the Jaguars to seven total yards on their next three drives. Two of three drives ended on punts, another was Lambo's missed 52-yard attempt. 

James Robinson utilized more 

Running back James Robinson was involved in the offense much more Sunday than last week when he carried the ball only five times. But the Broncos flooded the lanes to make every carry difficult. Robinson ended with 11 carries for 47 yards.

Josh Lambo no longer perfect at home

Josh Lambo came into Sunday's game connecting on all 46 field goals at home, including 20 games at TIAA Bank Field and two at Wembley, since 2017.  Lambo, though, was far from perfect Sunday. He missed not once but twice on attempts from 52 and 48 yards in the second quarter.