The NFL debuts of Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer were shaky and won’t be highlighted in either’s personal scrapbook.
But the duo takes another swing at notching their first victory together when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Denver Broncos (1-0) on Sunday afternoon.
Jacksonville (0-1) was badly outplayed while losing 37-21 to the Houston Texans in Week 1. The many mistakes included three interceptions from Lawrence.
Lawrence, this year’s No. 1 overall pick from Clemson, was known for efficient, mistake-free play in college. But the faster speed of the game prompted him to panic on occasion while completing 28 of 51 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns.
“I was just not patient with the coverage,” Lawrence said Wednesday. “That (Texans defense) is designed to prevent big plays. I got a little bit greedy on a couple and tried to take too much and just wasn’t patient and that’s a direct reflection of the turnovers.”
Meyer also is adjusting to a different level after winning three national titles as a college coach — two at Florida, one at Ohio State.
In fact, Meyer’s inauspicious NFL debut and the stellar college success combined with Monday’s firing of Southern California coach Clay Helton led to another round of speculation that Meyer may eventually be a candidate for the Trojans’ opening.
“There’s no chance,” Meyer said of USC. “I’m here and committed to try to build an organization.”
That organization has dropped 16 straight games heading into the clash with Denver. Meyer said it will take time to turn the franchise around.
“It’s a build and we’re building,” Meyer said. “I’m very transparent with our players. I have a lot of respect for these guys. I have not wavered on that. We all have to do better, getting them ready to go and playing better.”
The Broncos notched a 27-13 road victory over the New York Giants in Week 1 behind an old stalwart and a new leader.
Eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller displayed his Super Bowl 50 MVP form with two sacks while looking fully recovered from the serious ankle injury that caused him to miss the entire 2020 season.
It marked the 19th time that the 32-year-old Miller has racked up multiple sacks in a regular-season game. He also did it twice in the postseason, including posting 2.5 against the Carolina Panthers in Denver’s Super Bowl win to conclude the 2015 season.
“Sacks are good,” Miller said. “But wins are better.”
Denver certainly is hoping victories will occur more often with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.
The 28-year-old Bridgewater completed 28 of 36 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants in his Broncos’ debut.
Denver is the fourth NFL team for which he has started a game, and Bridgewater is looking forward to playing against Lawrence.
“He’s a guy you can tell he’s a competitor,” Bridgewater said Wednesday. “He has that it-factor and I’m pretty sure they don’t see him as a rookie. He’s a guy who they believe in, who can get the job done for them, but for us we’ve got to make it about us.”
Bridgewater will be missing a main target in receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle), who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring) also went on IR.
Guard Graham Glasgow is looking doubtful to make the trip to Jacksonville after experiencing an irregular heartbeat during the game against the Giants. Denver coach Vic Fangio said Glasgow is undergoing tests.
Fangio is hopeful outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (ankle) can show improvement during the week. He sat out against New York.
Jacksonville cornerback Tre Herndon (knee) will likely miss his second straight game.
The Jaguars won at Denver 26-24 in 2019 in the most recent matchup.
–Field Level Media