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Coach speak: Lions 40, Jaguars 14

DETROIT, Mich. – Senior writer John Oehser examines Head Coach Doug Pederson's press conference following the Jaguars' 40-14 loss to the Detroit Lions in a 2022 Week 13 game at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., Sunday

  1. Full responsibility. This was a difficult loss on many fronts. It was the most-one-sided loss of Pederson's first season with the Jaguars, and he was notably direct discussing it Sunday afternoon. The Jaguars trailed 14-3 after the first quarter, 23-6 at halftime and never got closer than 16 points in the second half. The Jaguars committed a turnover on the game's second play, then allowed scores on the Lions' first eight possessions – a streak that ended when the Lions kneeled on the game's final two plays. "They executed better than we did," Pederson said. "I felt like we were kind of shocked to start this game. We were not ready. We turned the ball over on the second play of the game, which can't happen. Then the defense can't get off the field the entire game and it's a combination of everybody. We're all included, myself included. So, it's something we have to really look hard at the next couple of days."
  2. On the defense. The Jaguars' defense allowed a season-high points Sunday, also allowing 31 first downs and 437 total yards. Every Lions possession until the final kneel-down drive covered at least 41 yards and produced multiple first downs. "I don't get involved with the [defensive] game planning," said Pederson, who calls the team's offensive plays. "That's not my expertise. We just have to have conversations and be open. We all have to be honest with what we're doing and making sure we have the right guys in the right spots."
  3. Tough and gritty. A major topic in Pederson's post-game press conference as expected was quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who took a hard hit on a sack on the last play of the first half. Lawrence lay on the field for an extended period, and doctors and trainers checked him at halftime. He returned to the field during the Lions' second-half-opening drive. "He battled, played real tough," Pederson said. "It was good to see. We'll continue to evaluate him, but he was obviously was fine to play in the game and we'll make sure he's good moving forward. But showed a lot of toughness there to come back and looked like a pretty nasty hit early, but very fortunate." Pederson said it initially looked as if Lawrence was injured "kind of around the knee area – hip but ended up down and around his lower leg – foot area. Not a lot of details because everything was fast and furious at the time but took a look at him at halftime and our doctors did a great job of making sure that there was no risk for further injury. He was good. I saw him and he said he was ready to go and did a nice job." Pederson said he needed to review the play to determine if Lions linebacker James Houston should have been penalized for hitting Lawrence low on the play. "The explanation was he was hit high, which is not illegal," Pederson said.
  4. Road woes. The Jaguars on Sunday dropped to 1-5 on the road this season, with a 38-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3 their lone road victory since 2019. They are 3-2 at TIAA Bank Field this season, including victories in their last two games there. "We should probably fly in on Sunday and play," Pederson said. "Those are things that I struggle with sometimes and I don't know. It's just something I have to take a look at. But it's just a matter of each person too. You've got to play so many home games and so many road games, and you've just got to understand that we have to go on the road to play. And it's got to be a business trip and you've got to eliminate distractions. We talk about that all the time; we've got to focus on our jobs, and we've got to treat it that way."
  5. Out of character offensively. The Jaguars' struggles weren't limited to defense Sunday. Jaguars wide receivers and tight ends dropped multiple passes, including what appeared to be at least three drops as the Lions pulled away in the first half. "That's uncharacteristic of our guys – part of the struggles on offense, on third down," Pederson said, adding that the Jaguars faced "Too many third-and-long scenarios, and that's a good pressure team on third-and-long and we just didn't do enough today to stay out of those situations." The Jaguars converted three of 12 third downs Sunday and faced eight third downs of five yards or longer.
  6. A job to do. Pederson: "We've got to lick our wounds and we've got two days to figure it out. We've got a division opponent next week (the Tennessee Titans in Nashville) and nobody's going to feel sorry for us, and so we're not going to feel sorry for ourselves. We're going to go to work and we're going to get things cleaned up and try to make it right. It's everybody, it's not one person, one position group, it's everybody. It's coaches, players, myself, it's all of us. And obviously, it starts there with me."

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions game in photos💥. 👀 Check out the custom cleats players and coaches are wearing in honor of My Cause My Cleats.

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