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Coach speak: Giants 23, Jaguars 17

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines Head Coach Doug Pederson's press conference following the Jaguars' 23-17 loss to the New York Giants in a 2022 Week 7 game at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday

  1. Little things mean big things. Pederson spent much of his post-game press conference discussing mistakes and missed opportunities. With reason. The Jaguars are 2-5 through seven games, with all five losses decided by a score or less. Among the primary topics Sunday when Pederson spoke following the loss: a fumble by running back Travis Etienne Jr., which came after a 12-yard run by Etienne to the Giants 5 in the second quarter. It was recovered by Giants safety Julian Love in the end zone to give the Giants possession and keep the Jaguars' lead at 11-10. "Listen: That's where we're at as a team right now is we're just learning things the hard way, you know?" Pederson said. "Plays like that change the outcome of a lot of different things. We just have to keep hanging together and keep working. Just like I told the guys after the game, we do that, stick together, you know, good things are going to happen for them, and we'll get it flipped around."
  2. Mistakes, mistakes. The Jaguars were penalized 13 times for 81 yards Sunday, with seven of those penalties coming on the defense. One of the penalties cost the Jaguars their first takeaway since Week 4 with a roughing-the-passer penalty on linebacker Foye Oluokun negating an interception by linebacker Devin Lloyd at the Giants 17 in the third quarter. "That one, too, is unacceptable there," Pederson said. "We got the turnover. We got the interception, and we had the roughing the passer. Again, these are plays that are keeping us back. We just can't do that. We can't do that as players. Obviously, as coaches, we have to be smart too in the decisions we make. It goes hand-in-hand. Those are big plays." Added Pederson, "We just have to keep working. You got to keep showing them. It's not for lack of conversation and talking to them about it and stuff like that. I still want them to play hard and aggressive and all of that. I don't want to take any of that away from them at all, but you get in the heat of the battle sometimes, man, you just have to be cooler heads and just understand your role."
  3. Pederson's not giving up on this season. The Jaguars are 2-5 with four consecutive losses. After being in first place in the AFC South through Week 3, they remain in third place behind Tennessee (4-2) and Indianapolis (3-3-1). "We have to look at everything big picture right now, but you know, we can't, obviously, lose too many more, right?" Pederson said. "That's just the big-picture view. First of all, we have to learn not to beat ourselves and just worry about us. I think if we do that and focus internally on what we do, the process that we do, then I think everything else kind of takes care of itself."
  4. Another step for Lawrence. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 22 of 43 passes for 310 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions Sunday, his second consecutive game without a turnover after committing seven turnovers in Weeks 4-5. Lawrence for a second consecutive game led a long drive in the fourth quarter. The drive last week resulted in a fourth-quarter touchdown with the Indianapolis Colts rallying for a 34-27 victory in the final minute. Lawrence on Sunday drove the Jaguars from their 25 to the Giants 17, then threw to wide receiver Christian Kirk on the game's final play. Giants safeties Xavier McKinney and Julian Love stopped Kirk at the Giants one as time expired. "I think he is gaining more confidence in what we're doing and himself," Pederson said. "These are obviously situations you would love to pull out a win, but at the same time for him and his development, his growth, you know, as a leader of this team, the offense, I think it's a step in the right direction."
  5. Going for it. Perhaps the game's key moment Sunday came early in the fourth quarter, with the Giants stopping Lawrence's sneak on fourth-and-one from the Giants 20 with 11:25 remaining. The play followed a run for no gain by Etienne. The Jaguars led 17-13 at the time, with Giants driving 79 yards on the ensuing drive for a 20-17 lead they never relinquished. "I think hindsight is 20/20, and we can sit here right now and say, 'Hey, kick the field goal,''' Pederson said. "When you're in the game and your offensive line is handling them the way we did, I put it on them to do that. That had nothing to do with an analytical decision right there. It was more about how we were running the football at the time and felt really good about where we were."

Time to get loud 📣. Swipe through to view the top live game photos from the Jaguars Week 7 matchup against the Giants.

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