Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars - jaguars.comJohn Oehser
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Senior writer John Oehser examines Head Coach Doug Pederson's press conference following the Jaguars' 38-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in a 2022 Week 3 game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday
1. Confidence growing. Pederson liked a lot about Sunday, and with reason. The Jaguars won on the road for the first time since December 2019, ended an 18-game road losing streak and beat the Chargers on the road for the first time in six all-time meetings. But while those "firsts" mattered, Pederson during his post-game comments emphasized he was particularly encouraged by how the Jaguars confidently and efficiently pulled away in the second half for a convincing victory over a team projected by many to contend for the AFC West title and perhaps the Super Bowl. "It's how we finished this game," he said. "The offense went down and scored when we had to at the end, and the defense stopped them at the end. That's something that, I think, hasn't been the case here, and these guys are playing with confidence. Winning can do that. We understand that it comes down to the preparation during the week. That's what pays off on game day." The Jaguars allowed three second-half points Sunday - on the Chargers' first third-quarter possession - and scored touchdowns on their first three second-half drives.
2. Pederson maintained perspective ... Pederson received multiple postgame questions about Sunday being a potential franchise-turning game, understandable considering the team won four games over the past two seasons and now has won two consecutive games for the first time since 2019. "I think it's still too early to tell," Pederson said, instead emphasizing his pride in the players' approach thus far. "They're beginning to see just what it takes to win in this league. It takes hard work and preparation. They're starting to come together as a football team and that's all I can ask for."
3. ... but his pride was clear. Pederson on the "message" Sunday's victory sent to the NFL: "I can't speak for the rest of the league; I can just speak for our team. This was a great win against a really good football team. This was a playoff-caliber football team. We're still young and we're still learning how to win and how to do all that stuff. I think this was just a great step in that direction." The Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts 24-0 in Week 2. The 52-point margin over two games is the Jaguars' largest such margin in two games since back-to-back victories of 48-0 over the Cleveland Browns and 44-10 over the Arizona Cardinals in 2000.
4. Credit up front. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence turned in a second consecutive efficient game, and the offense overall was strikingly efficient for a second consecutive game. Lawrence completed 28 of 39 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns - with no interceptions for a second consecutive game. Pederson focused on two other statistics: No sacks for a Chargers defense that also was credited with two quarterback hurries. "Offensive line," Pederson said. "The offensive line gave him protection. When they give him the protection, and we have the skill guys to get open, he's going to find them. That's where it starts. I thought our offensive line really took control of this football game, did a nice job up front, not only in the run, but the pass. That's the reason he can complete that many in a row, is just the fact that the offensive line is giving him time and guys are getting open for him."
5. On target. Pederson also on Sunday praised Lawrence's accuracy, which was high for a second consecutive game. Lawrence missed multiple complete-able passes in a Week 1 loss to Washington. He completed 25 of 30 passes last week against the Colts and completed 13 of 15 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the second half Sunday. "There were some opportunities there and we hit them, and we were efficient in the passing game," Pederson said. "That's all we can ask of our guys. It takes 11 [players] to do it, but he was very efficient, very accurate. We talked about that this week, against a team that plays a lot of man coverages."
Lawrence finished with a passer rating of 115.5 Sunday after having a 121.5 rating in Week 2. That marks the first back-to-back weeks with 100 or more rating for Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.