Offensive Struggles Haunt Jaguars in Blowout Loss: Cause for Concern?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.: It’s not totally fair to judge quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Jacksonville’s offense off one game against arguably the best defense in the league. But it’s reasonable to look at Lawrence and the Jaguars after 10 weeks and have questions, probably even concerns. Nothing feels right. The result: the Jaguars (6-3) rank 19th in total offense and 15th in scoring a few months after coach Doug Pederson said he believed his team was capable of averaging 30 points a game. Jacksonville is roughly eight points off the mark, two points a game lower than last year. Pederson’s offense is still better than just about anything the Jags have delivered over the last two decades and might be good enough to win the mostly rebuilding AFC South. But no one who’s watched this group play this season can feel like it’s on the verge of something special. “You’re not going to win much in this league when the quarterback doesn’t play well,” Lawrence said following Sunday’s 34-3 debacle against San Francisco. Jacksonville has sputtered offensively. The team ranks 25th in third-down conversations, 29th in red-zone scoring and tied for 27th with 17 turnovers. “We can’t expect to be a good football team when we’re turning over the ball, especially in the red zone,” receiver Christian Kirk said. Many of those season-long problems had been masked by a defense that had 18 takeaways through its first eight games. The unit was scoring points, creating extra possessions and giving Lawrence and Co. a number of short fields. When those dried up against the 49ers, Jacksonville looked overmatched. The Jaguars turned the ball over four times and finished with their fewest points in Pederson’s two seasons. “We can’t hit the panic button. We can’t make it more than it is,” Lawrence said. “We played terrible. We laid an egg. Nothing went right. We didn’t do anything right and we got to bounce back and play better next week. We got to flush it quick, and we will. “The leaders on this team, we’ve been talking. We are made of the right stuff. You got to handle a little adversity along the way and that’s what this is.” WHAT’S WORKING Jacksonville’s red-zone defense has been solid all sea