3 favorable matchups for the Cardinals vs. the Jaguars in Week 3

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) JJ Watt
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) JJ Watt /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Chandler Jones /

Arizona’s pass rush vs. Trevor Lawrence

It’s no secret the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line has protected Trevor Lawrence well. He’s been sacked just twice and hit just five times. However, Lawrence has also struggled in the passing game, and the Cardinals’ relentless pass rush, led by 10-year veteran Chandler Jones, can easily rattle the rookie signal-caller early.

Lawrence’s biggest issue is that he holds onto the ball way too long, delivering throws late, and it has led to insufficient numbers throughout the first two weeks of his NFL career. Lawrence, for better or worse, has looked like Ryan Leaf from an accuracy standpoint, completing just 50 percent of his passes in Weeks 1 and 2.

This will change as he grows used to the speed of the game. But through the first two weeks of the season, and especially in Week 1, the Cardinals’ pass rush has been one of the league’s best. The Cardinals are fourth in the league in sacks throughout the first two weeks of the season, and they’re fifth in sack percentage.

Despite Jacksonville’s talent up front, Lawrence’s tendency to hang onto the ball could result in another field day for the Cardinals pass rush. And even if they don’t get to Lawrence, they can easily turn Week 3 into another long day for the 2021 first overall pick.