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Trevor Lawrence shines for hometown fans in preseason debut

The Jaguars jumped out to a 13-0 lead but the Browns scored 24 unanswered points and rallied to win 24-13.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For the first time this preseason, Trevor Lawrence took to the field in front of his home crowd at TIAA Bank against the Cleveland Browns.

The Jaguars wasted no time getting Lawrence going, on the first series, first play, Lawrence hooked up with Zay Jones for a 32 yard pass. The opening drive pretty was a precursor to what the Jaguars first team offense was able to do against the Browns. 

The first team offense put up 13 points, scoring on all three of its possessions. With Lawrence hooking up with tight-end Evan Engram for a 9 yard touchdown catch on their third and final possession of the game. Lawrence finished the game 6 of 12, for 95 yards and one touchdown. 

Keep in mind, the Browns were without five starters including defensive end Myles Garrett.

“Yeah, that's the goal, to end with a touchdown. Helps a lot when you can turn those field goals into touchdowns, get those extra points. For us to finish that way, we had two opportunities and didn't really finish in the red zone, so it was nice to get that and finish the right way. I think overall we played pretty well those first three series," Quarterback Trevor Lawrence explained. 

"Like I said, there's always some things to clean up and we'll watch the tape and get better. But I thought the guys were ready, played fast, and that's the biggest thing, guys were playing fast, getting open. I thought they did a good job." 

Jaguars Head Coach, Doug Pederson, weighed in as well.

“I thought it went well for them. Yeah, a couple field goals early and the touchdown drive we ended with, I wish we would have finished the other two with touchdowns. But I thought for the first time they did some good things. It wasn't perfect, but they did well on both sides of the ball."

The preseason game against the Browns was also the debut for running back Travis Eitenne, who missed his entire rookie season with a foot injury. Etienne, showed his explosive miss in the run game and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. Etienne had 9 carries for 23 yards and he caught a pass for 10 yards.

"Yeah, it's just great to see him back out there. It's been a long time since he's played. He's had a rough year. Last year wasn't the easiest year for anyone, but on top of that, he's hurt and rehabbing and not really as much a part of the team as you'd like to be in your rookie season, so I know that was tough for him. But just seeing how he's fought back and rehabbed really hard to get back and be 100 percent, and I think he looks great," Lawrence said. 

"He's still kind of getting back in the, I guess, rhythm of things because he hasn't played in so long, but just to see the plays he made tonight, that catch he made, ran a great route, catch he made on the sideline coming up the field, he had some great plays. He's going to help us a lot."

On defense, the Jaguars front seven was able to get pressure on DeShaun Watson and the Browns offense. In fact, the Jaguars defense forced a fumble, when RayShawn Jenkins hit D’Ernest Johnson, the ball popped out and Shaq Griffin recovered the fumble.

Overall, Pederson was happy with what he saw from his first team offense and first team defense.

“Well, the fact that we scored. I wanted to see execution. I wanted to see physicality up front with the offensive line, move the line of scrimmage, things like that, and end up either with kicks or touchdowns, and we did that. Those are all positives that we can build off of"

The Jaguars jumped out to a 13-0 lead but the Browns scored 24 unanswered points and rallied to win 24-13. 

The Jaguars fall to 0-2 this preseason and will host the Pittsburgh Steelers next Saturday at 7pm.

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