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Jaguars' Doug Pederson sees Trevor Lawrence's strong end to Year 2 as blueprint for success in 2023

Trevor Lawrence's unmistakable growth down the stretch of his second season was the catalyst to Jacksonville's success in 2022. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson sees it as the blueprint for a strong start in 2023 and beyond.

"I think going into his year three -- year two with us -- as a staff, I think the way he played the back half of the season is the way he needs to start this year," Pederson said on the Rich Eisen Show Friday. "There was a lot of confidence at the end of the year with him, and that's the next phase, right? It's putting all of that together, and we feel, or I feel too, like he's the guy that, you know, which he showed towards the end of the year, he can put the team on his back."

The Jaguars ended the regular season with a five-game win streak to claim the AFC South title in Week 18, which was a wild end for a team that entered its Week 11 bye with a 3-7 record. Lawrence threw for 1,279 yards and accounted for 10 touchdowns (eight passing, two rushing) during the season-saving streak, but the QB was faced with great adversity in the postseason.

Lawrence threw four interceptions by the time the game's first two-minute warning hit, resulting in a 27-point deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers. The 23-year-old didn't waver, however, leading the charge with four TD throws in a thrilling 31-30 comeback victory to advance to the Divisional Round.

While the Jaguars' run ended against the eventual Super Bowl-champion Chiefs the following week, Pederson believes the end of Lawrence's second season proved he can lead a team going forward. In addition to that, Pederson also feels the team's belief in Lawrence has only grown stronger.

"We don't want him to throw four picks and then four touchdowns. We'd rather him just throw the four touchdowns and win a football game, but he can do that," Pederson said. "He's capable of putting the team on his back and finishing a football game, and potentially winning. He did that against Baltimore. He did that against obviously the Cowboys. That was more of a pick-six walk-off there but did some things late in the season that proved to us that he's our guy, and we're excited about that, so for him to take that next step is just that. Just having that confidence the way he ended the season and start this year that way and try to come out with a fast start and finish faster."

Lawrence earned his first Pro Bowl bid in 2022 after establishing career-high numbers in completions (387), completion percentage (66.3), passing yards (4,113), passing TDs (25), passer rating (95.2) and a career-low eight INTs.

While the Jaguars aimed for continuity in 2023 by re-signing key players, the addition of wideout Calvin Ridley at the 2022 trade deadline should greatly benefit Lawrence as he enters Year 3. Perhaps more importantly, the former No. 1 overall pick will get another full offseason in Pederson's offensive system as the Jags look to win consecutive division titles for just the second time in the franchise's history.

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