The Jacksonville Jaguars control their own destiny in the AFC South.
Jacksonville moved one step closer to its first playoff appearance since the 2017 campaign with a 19-3 victory over the New York Jets in Thursday's AFC showdown at MetLife Stadium. Trevor Lawrence, Evan Engram and the defense led the way for the visitors, who improved to 7-8 on the season with a third straight win.
While Thursday's result can be partially attributed to Zach Wilson and the Jets offense, the Jaguars are playing excellent football. Lawrence, who combined for eight total touchdowns the previous two games against the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans, battled through the elements and maintained the momentum with 280 total yards and a score.
Social media was impressed by the team's effort:
Trevor Lawrence ends an impressive 16 play, 96 yard drive with a TD 👏<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JAXvsNYJ?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JAXvsNYJ</a> on Prime Video<br>Also available on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/gyMqx7NKs2">https://t.co/gyMqx7NKs2</a> <a href="https://t.co/2OahxhhqKU">pic.twitter.com/2OahxhhqKU</a>
Jacksonville wasted little time seizing control with a 13-3 halftime lead, although it could have been more were it not for a missed field goal on a questionable decision to not go for it on fourth down.
That first half included a masterful 16-play, 96-yard drive in which Lawrence used his legs and arm before capping it off with a keeper. The No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft was in full control, which stood in stark contrast to the loud boos Wilson, who was the No. 2 pick in the same draft, was hearing on the other side before he was benched for Chris Streveler.
Lawrence is always going to receive the headlines for the Jaguars, but Engram (113 receiving yards) was unstoppable for stretches and the defense set the tone every time it was on the field. Throw in Travis Etienne Jr. churning out tough, physical yardage, and it was a balanced showing in a must-win game.
The playoffs are suddenly in sight, and this version of the Jaguars should have no trouble next time out against the Houston Texans.