Trevor Lawrence Throws for 71 Yards in Preseason Debut as Jaguars Lose to Browns 

Blake SchusterContributor IAugust 15, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence throws a pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

For the first time in his career, No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence ran out of the Jacksonville Jaguars' tunnel, received a massive ovation from the fans at TIAA Bank Field and joined the first-string offense in the huddle. 

It remains to be seen if he'll get to do that again when the regular season opens up next month.

Saturday's preseason opener saw the Cleveland Browns take a 23-13 victory over the Jags, but what mattered most in Jacksonville was the performance of Lawrence—the team's franchise quarterback who got his first taste of the league.

Despite only playing the first two series Saturday, Lawrence showed off his arm strength, quick decision-making and—most importantly—resilience as he got knocked around a few times in the pocket. 

Here's a rundown of the rookie's day, along with some other notable moments from Jacksonville. 

Notable Performers

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: 6-of-9 passing, 71 yards, 2 sacks

Gardner Minshew II, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-of-8, 47 yards, 1 interception, 1 sack

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Cleveland Browns: 3 catches, 26 yards, 5 targets

Davion Davis, WR, Cleveland Browns: 4 catches, 56 yards, 1 touchdown, 5 targets

NFL Network @nflnetwork

.<a href="https://twitter.com/dpeoplesjones?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dpeoplesjones</a> with the tough grab 💪<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CLEvsJAX?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CLEvsJAX</a> on NFL Network (or check local listings) <a href="https://t.co/YOmu5A1tZV">pic.twitter.com/YOmu5A1tZV</a>

Cleveland Browns @Browns

Davion Davis went 🆙🆙🆙<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CLEvsJAX?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CLEvsJAX</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/WEWS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WEWS</a> <a href="https://t.co/y79qFPVUcm">pic.twitter.com/y79qFPVUcm</a>

Lawrence Shows Promise In Debut 

If Lawrence's first play Saturday turns out to be the worst of his career, the No. 1 overall pick should fare just fine in Jacksonville. 

As the Clemson alum took his first snap on a designed run, the rookie ran right into trouble, getting tackled for loss just behind the pocket and temporarily losing the ball thanks to a hit from defensive tackle Sheldon Day. 

Lawrence followed it up with an eight-yard dart to wideout Laviska Shenault Jr. on 2nd-and-12, followed by another 10-yard toss to Marvin Jones Jr. to pick up the first down. Jacksonville's opening drive stalled out after eight plays, 30 yards and two first downs as Lawrence went 3-of-5 passing with 24 yards. 


.<a href="https://twitter.com/Trevorlawrencee?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TrevorLawrencee</a> throws an absolute dime to <a href="https://twitter.com/MarvinJonesJr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MarvinJonesJr</a> 🔥<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CLEvsJAX?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CLEvsJAX</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLNetwork</a> (or check local listings)<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/bqQXNtJ0KD">https://t.co/bqQXNtJ0KD</a> <a href="https://t.co/73EWuvHmEq">pic.twitter.com/73EWuvHmEq</a>

Lawrence would go on to take two official sacks, balancing out the breakdowns with the type of throws Jags fans watched all last year when the QB was tearing up college football. 

The offensive line in front of him wasn't perfect, but there were a few plays where it was able to give Lawrence plenty of time to read the defense and make a throw. That might not remain the case by the time Week 1 rolls around, but it was exactly what he needed to get used to life on an NFL field in the preseason opener. 


Laser from <a href="https://twitter.com/Trevorlawrencee?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TrevorLawrencee</a> for the first down.<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CLEvsJAX?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CLEvsJAX</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLNetwork</a> (or check local listings)<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/bqQXNtJ0KD">https://t.co/bqQXNtJ0KD</a> <a href="https://t.co/vx2JBAbwBr">pic.twitter.com/vx2JBAbwBr</a>

Michael DiRocco @ESPNdirocco

Gardner Minshew in at QB now. Trevor Lawrence's day: 6 for 9, 71 yards. Sacked twice. Some nice throws, some off-target, held ball a little long at times. OK debut. First-team OL didn't play particularly well, either.

Lawrence's second-and-final drive of the day went seven plays and 44 yards before a turnover on downs ended the rookie's night. While Lawrence did get the start Saturday, head coach Urban Meyer has yet to determine a Week 1 starter between Lawrence and veteran Gardner Minshew II. Both C.J. Beathard (13-of-16, 102 yards, one touchdown) and Jake Luton (8-of-13, 53 yards, one touchdown) saw action as well in the opener, though they are expected to provide depth at the position more than anything else. 

Cleveland Rookies Show Off 

Anyone from Cleveland tuning into Saturday's game looking to see a plethora of first-stringers take the field for the Browns instead found a number of rookies making an immediate impact. 

While Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., Grant Delpit, Anthony Schwartz and Myles Garrett all sat out, Cleveland 2021 draft picks cornerback Greg Newsome II, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, safety Richard LeCounte and wideout Demetric Felton each made standout plays that are sure to improve their standing on the roster this week. 

Owusu-Koramoah, the team's second-round pick, was particularly impressive, posting eight tackles—seven of them solo—with one sack and three tackles for loss. 

Cleveland Browns @Browns

.<a href="https://twitter.com/j_owuu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@j_owuu</a> getting after the quarterback 😤<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CLEvsJAX?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CLEvsJAX</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a> <a href="https://t.co/hAKvVPThxF">pic.twitter.com/hAKvVPThxF</a>

The Checkdown @thecheckdown

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah making noise 🔥 <a href="https://twitter.com/j_owuu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@j_owuu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Browns?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Browns</a> <br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CLEvsJAX?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CLEvsJAX</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> (or check local listings) <a href="https://t.co/YOcYCYl6C7">pic.twitter.com/YOcYCYl6C7</a>

LeCounte also finished with a sack and two tackles, while Felton caught four of six targets for 44 yards. Newsome, the team's No. 26 overall selection, recorded two tackles, making the most out of a quieter debut than his classmates. 

As the Browns prepare to challenge for the AFC North, the early progress of the team's newest players makes Saturday's win even sweeter—especially as many of the starters were able to take the night off. 

What's Next

Cleveland will be back in preseason action on Aug. 22 when they host the New York Giants at 1 p.m. ET. One night later, on Aug. 23, the Jags play their second preseason game at the New Orleans Saints at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.