Trevor Lawrence’s 1st playoff pass picked off, and he throws another few plays later
Trevor Lawrence will probably play in a lot of playoff games. It’s hard to imagine any of the others getting off to as bad a start as their first postseason game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback threw an interception on the first pass of his playoff career. He was hit at the line, hit again by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa and stopped by linebacker Drue Tranquill. The Chargers scored a touchdown two plays later and took a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into Saturday night’s AFC playoff game.
Lawrence punted right back and drove the Jaguars into Chargers territory. The Jaguars decided to make it a fourth-and-7 instead of trying a 51-yard field goal, and Lawrence threw another pick. There was some contact between cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. against intended receiver Zay Jones, but no flag was thrown. Jones was too late to return, and Samuel took leave of Lawrence. Jones and Lawrence motioned to the officials, and Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson argued the no-call, but it didn’t change anything.
It’s been a while since a quarterback opened a game by throwing two straight interceptions. The last time was the 2003 AFC Championship Game, when Peyton Manning threw interceptions on each of the Indianapolis Colts’ first two possessions against the New England Patriots, according to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco.
Lawrence wasn’t done. In the third and fifth game, Lawrence made a bad decision. He didn’t see Samuel in a shallow area when he tried to throw to tight end Evan Engram. Samuel had his second interception of the first quarter and the Chargers returned it on Ekeler’s second touchdown of the first quarter.
According to NBC, Lawrence had not thrown an interception in 222 first-quarter throws in his NFL career. Then he had a slump in the first quarter of his playoff debut. Lawrence was the first quarterback to throw three interceptions in the first quarter of a playoff game since play-by-play data was first tracked in 1991, per Jeff Kerr of CBS.
The story continues
Lawrence’s terrible day continued. He threw another interception in the second quarter, again to Samuel. The Jaguars were down 24-0 at that point.
Lawrence played very well late in his second NFL season. It’s not like he hasn’t been to big games before, having beaten Alabama in a college national championship game. There was a bit of bad luck involved in his terrible start. But Lawrence’s playoff debut couldn’t be worse.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) had a rough start against the Chargers. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)