PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Turnovers hurts Sunday. Without question.
But if quarterback Trevor Lawrence's five giveaways told the offensive story, the Jaguars' defensive story on a rainy and disappointing day was a run defense that entered the day first in the NFL. The day ended with these numbers:
- Fifty carries
- Two hundred and ten yards
- Four touchdowns
The Eagles' effectiveness running Sunday began as they turned a 14-0 second-quarter deficit into a 20-14 halftime lead and continued after that as a rainy day grew increasingly cold and slippery. They rushed for 112 first-half yards, finishing the game with four touchdowns rushing and 14 rushing first downs.
The Eagles rushed 16 times in the second quarter for 97 yards, and their second touchdown drive of the quarter – a nine-play, 71-yard possession – featured eight rushes for 59 yards, with running back Miles Sanders capping the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.
"They put up 20 points in that second quarter; as a defense, we can't let that happen," Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins said of a game-turning second quarter that featured three Eagles touchdown drives covering 163 yards and netting 12 first downs.
"We can sit here and talk about whatever: Weather, offense, whatever. But as a defense, that second quarter wasn't our best quarter of football."
Sanders for the game rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries, with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts adding 38 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and reserve running back Kenneth Gainwell rushing for 19 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
"They have a big O-Line, and Jalen can keep it," Jenkins said. "They've always got guys going in motion and it messes with your eyes – especially for young guys who don't really see those looks a lot. It can be very difficult. The gaps are always changing. Wherever your gap is before the play, that's not going to be the gap."
Said Pederson, "That's a good offensive line. We know all those guys and know how they're coached. They're well-coached. That's what they pride themselves on. We have to stay in gaps and somehow try to slow down the rush as best we can."
- The Jaguars on Sunday were without wide receiver Zay Jones, who entered the weekend questionable with an ankle injury. Jones had 19 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 1-3 and led the Jaguars with 10 receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown in a Week 3 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. "I think it was more him physically," Pederson said when asked if the conditions factored in Jones not playing. "He tried to run on it pregame and it was sort of a game-time decision. I'm a big believer if a player isn't feeling it mentally, you just don't want to risk it. You don't want to put him out there in the elements. It's only Week 4. There's a lot of football ahead of us still. I just didn't want to put him in a situation that could set him back. Hopefully, we will get him back this week."
- Jenkins: "This is the National Football League. This is part of what we do. This was a tough loss, but we're grown men. We take it on the chin and move on. We like to look at the season in quarters. That was an OK quarter for us [starting the season 2-2]. We would like to improve from 2-2 to undefeated in a quarter or knock it down to one game. That would help propel us to what we're trying to do."
- Lawrence: "We have a lot of competitors and guys that don't quit. Everyone believed the whole game. For our defense, I'm sure it's frustrating for them when offensively you turn the ball over that many times. They just kept going back out there and they had a lot of big stops. Defensively we played good enough to win the game, so that's why it's disappointing that we let those guys down. We're going to learn from it, we're going to get better, and I know that this is a really good football team that we have here. We're just going to put it together next week."