Sports

Thursday Night Football pairs Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow in 2020 BCS Championship rematch, with sideshow Urban Meyer

Round two, now with meddling, in-over-his-head coach.

Round two, now with meddling, in-over-his-head coach.
Illustration: Getty Images

Some people consider Trevor Lawrence’s Clemson career one of the greatest college careers of all-time. The man never lost a regular season game, won a National Championship, and was promptly drafted first overall as soon as he became eligible. However, several other people would say his career paled in comparison to the greatness that was Joe Burrow’s 2019-2020 season, where Burrow completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 5671 yards and 60 touchdowns en route to going undefeated and winning the title. Burrow’s importance to the LSU football team only furthered after his departure. Since Burrow left Baton Rouge, LSU has gone just 8-6, a far cry from their 25-3 record with Burrow under center. Burrow and Lawrence faced each other in college once, for the 2020 BCS Championship, with Burrow’s Tigers coming away victorious by a final score of 42-25, and, if we’re being realistic, tonight’s game between Burrow’s Bengals and Lawrence’s Jaguars will probably end in a similar fashion.

I’m not blaming Lawrence for his struggles in the NFL thus far. Sure, he could have made some better decisions on some of his throws, but that area of the game will hopefully come to him in time. However, Urban Meyer’s play-calling and inability to use his players properly is going to doom the Jaguars tonight, and, hopefully, a big loss to a rebuilding team (I know this win would make them 3-1, but they’re clearly still in the latter stages of a rebuild) in primetime should be all the exposure the Jags’ front office needs to pull the plug on this Urban Meyer experiment.

I mean, all Meyer has done since becoming the Jaguars’ head coach is bring on Tim Tebow for a hot second, draft a running back to compete for snaps with an undrafted second-year player who just rushed for over 1000 yards a season ago, trade Gardner Minshew away for a pack of M&M’s, get demolished by Tyrod Taylor and the Houston Texans in Week 1, and compare facing NFL teams to getting matched up with Alabama every week, which is pretty much the head coach equivalent of saying you were “seeing ghosts” on the field. Nothing has gone well. While you might think that those personnel decisions fall on GM Trent Baalke rather than Urban Meyer, that’s not the case. The Jaguars have given Urban Meyer an insane amount of power when it comes to roster decisions, and now, that decision is biting them in the butt.

I won’t sit here and act like I could do any better as a GM or head coach in the NFL, but Jacksonville brought Urban Meyer on to turn this franchise around. They’ve seen all of their best players leave or get traded. Their only playoff appearance in the last 15 years was with Blake Bortles at quarterback, and the biggest cultural impact the team has had is being Jason Mendoza’s favorite team on The Good Place. Yet somehow, Urban Meyer has made them an even bigger joke. He’s turned one of the most promising, young quarterback prospects in recent memory into a turnover machine. He’s turned James Robinson into an afterthought on offense, and somehow brought Carlos Hyde back into relevance. It’s insane what he’s done.

We knew this season wasn’t going to be a pretty one for the Jaguars. We knew that the Jags would likely face some growing pains. However, nobody expected the team to look this bad. We expected a capable offense that could keep the team respectable even when their defense allowed 30+ points, similar to what the Detroit Lions had been in years past with Matthew Stafford, Marvin Jones, and Kenny Golladay. So far though, the only similarity they have to those Lions is Marvin Jones.

Urban Meyer was not ready for the NFL, and prolonging his time as head coach is only going to hurt Trevor Lawrence’s development. I like the Jaguars, but I hope the Bengals smack them in the yap tonight, just so Jaguars fans don’t have to keep living this nightmare they’ve been facing ever since it was announced that Tim Tebow would be showing up to training camp. Urban Meyer once made a great name for himself by coaching a fantastic quarterback to incredible heights in Florida. Now, he’s letting his Florida quarterback down.

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