JACKSONVILLE – Doug Pederson kept the moment in perspective.
Pederson, one day after the Jaguars' first loss of the 2023 season, spoke as he did immediately following the game about a lack of execution – and about opportunities missed. He spoke of the importance of moving forward positively.
The Jaguars' head coach spoke, too, of understanding the moment in the big picture.
"We're still right where we want to be," Pederson said Monday, a day after the Jaguars' 17-9 loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs at EverBank Stadium.
The Jaguars (1-1) enter Week 3 tied for first place in the AFC South with the Tennessee Titans (1-1) and Indianapolis Colts (1-1). The Jaguars will play the Houston Texans (0-2) in a division game at EverBank Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.
"It's not a long-term concern at all," Pederson said of Sunday's loss, adding that the game reminded him of the last time before Sunday the Jaguars failed to score a touchdown – a 13-6 home loss to Houston in Week 5 last season.
"It's Week 2," he added. "It's one game and half the league lost yesterday. We were one of those teams to lose. You're 1-0 in the division with a division game this week and a lot of football ahead of us."
The Jaguars converted three of 12 third downs Sunday and scored two field goals on three possessions past the Kansas City 20-yard line. They led 3-0 late in the first half, with Kansas City scoring touchdowns on its final possession of the second quarter and first possession of the third quarter.
The second Kansas City touchdown gave the Chiefs a 14-6 lead. The Jaguars never cut the lead below five again, managing a field goal on two fourth-quarter possessions past the 20.
"One thing about our league is we only have seven days before we play again," Pederson said. "You feel like this on Monday. You watch the tape and you make the corrections and you move forward. Now you're focused on the next opponent here coming up this afternoon.
"You wish you could get out there and redeem yourself in a couple of days, but you have seven days to really think about it and process it and make all the adjustments you need to make."
Pederson immediately following the game Sunday spoke extensively of a lack of execution. He focused on that area Monday, calling the game a "struggle." The Jaguars' offense missed multiple opportunities in potential game-changing situations, including a lost fumble after a Chiefs turnover gave the Jaguars possession and a fourth-quarter field goal on a drive after facing first-and-goal at the 1-yard line.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence rolled left for a 3-yard loss on first and goal, a play on which he had a choice to hand the ball or run. He then threw incomplete twice before a 22-yard field goal by kicker Brandon McManus.
"He's trying to make a play," Pederson said of Lawrence. "I think we're just doing too much as a unit. We don't need to necessarily take things into our own hands sometimes and just run the show, run the offense. And from a coaching standpoint, too, I'm saying we need to put our players in a little better situation.
"Maybe we don't give Trevor that type of option. [Maybe] we just say, 'You're at the 1-yard line. Let's run it four times in a row. Those are all things that we're going to learn from as a group and get better."
Pederson, too, said there were times the offense felt as if it was "forcing some things."
"We were trying to make a play rather than just going out and executing the offense," Pederson said. "There was plenty of opportunity in the red zone there to score and we just didn't capitalize on them. I think it was that struggle all day, maybe not getting in rhythm, in sync – even in the passing game, just being off … the timing of routes, depth of routes, the protection being a little off, helping out with the backs on defensive ends.
"It just felt like that was the struggle. Then ultimately trying to make a play, you press just a little bit. Coaches do the same thing. We try to make a call that's going to get us a chunk play. We all just need to stick with the game plan."
- Pederson said right guard Brandon Scherff and center Luke Fortner "came out good" Sunday after being listed on the Friday injury report as questionable with ankle injuries. Rookie right tackle Anton Harrison sustained a calf contusion when he was stepped on by a Chiefs player. Outside linebacker Josh Allen sustained a shoulder sprain and Pederson said he "should be day to day, should be fine." Wide receiver Zay Jones sustained a knee injury, with Pederson calling him "day to day right now." "He's pretty sore today," Pederson said of Jones.