If one is searching for a flashpoint in Trevor Lawrence's 2022 season, look to Week 8 at Wembley Stadium.
In a showdown of 2-5 teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars had an opportunity about which they were right to feel good. Sure, the Jaguars hadn't won in a month, but they held a fourth-quarter lead over the struggling Denver Broncos. A win was in sight.
Instead, Denver took a late lead, and Lawrence threw an interception that ended the Jags' chances of responding before time ran out. Jacksonville was forced to fly home with the bitter taste of defeat in a season that once again seemed destined for nowhere.
Since then, Lawrence has played the best football of his career. Jacksonville has won three of its last five games, and for the first time in his career, Lawrence looks like the franchise quarterback the Jaguars believed they were selecting at No. 1 overall in 2021.
Lawrence thinks that loss changed something within him for the better.
"[We] should have won that game," Lawrence said Wednesday. "I remember I never forgot how I felt in that locker room, so I don't want to feel like this anymore. I'm going to one, start taking care of the ball, but two, I just want to be the player that I know I can be.
"And I think that kind of flipped a switch in me and honestly, too, I think I have a little bit more of a chip on my shoulder now."
Lawrence lived a charmed life prior to his entry into the NFL. He never lost a game in high school, was a top recruit in his class, became Clemson's starter after just four games and won a College Football Playoff National Championship (plus an offensive MVP award) in his first season with the Tigers.
Although that title was the only one he'd win at Clemson, everything seemed to come easy for Lawrence. The NFL agreed, with a sky-high consensus opinion of Lawrence leading to his No. 1 overall selection in 2021.
Lawrence quickly learned things wouldn't be as easy at the professional level. He was thrown into the fire in Jacksonville, attempting to learn the pro game amid a dysfunctional environment created by one-and-done coach Urban Meyer. His second professional season -- spent under a much more stable coach in Doug Pederson -- has included its own rough patches, with the loss in London standing as yet another bump in Lawrence's NFL road.
That bump knocked every component into place for Lawrence, it seems. Since the Week 8 defeat, Lawrence has been statistically stellar, completing 71.8 percent of his passes for an average of 272.4 yards per game, a 111.7 passer rating and a sparkling 10-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio, the best in the NFL in that span.
Lawrence has gone five straight games with 30-plus pass attempts and not a single interception thrown, becoming the youngest player to accomplish such a feat since at least 1950. He's thrown 192 consecutive passes without an interception and stands a chance to break 200 consecutive attempts this weekend.
It's taken plenty of intestinal fortitude for Lawrence to get to this point, and it might only be the beginning for a quarterback many saw as a once-in-a-generation talent coming out of Clemson. The best part of Lawrence's sudden rise: He's done it with clear intent to prove naysayers wrong.
"Last year and a half, I don't really forget what's been said and what people have written," he said. "Now you see people change their mind after a couple weeks, but I remember everything. I don't use that necessarily as my only fuel, but [I] definitely use that, and I think that's something this team's done.
"We kind of remember what people were saying when we lost five in a row and then we've won some big games now and people kind of changed their mind quick. So, we just have that same mentality that we want to prove how good we can be every week."
Jacksonville will have quite a test against Dallas, owners of the NFL's fifth-ranked defense, this weekend. If Lawrence shines against those wearing the star, he'll turn more doubters into believers -- and potentially start to reverse the narrative in Jacksonville for good.