JACKSONVILLE – Focus isn't a worry for Doug Pederson.
The Jaguars' circumstances and a long NFL calendar make that true for the team's head coach – even in the wake of a few disappointing losses, and even in the wake of a five-game losing streak.
"There are nine games left," Pederson said Friday morning as the Jaguars (2-6) prepared to play the Las Vegas Raiders (2-5) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday at 1 p.m. "There's a lot of football. Anything's possible here in the second half of the season.
"We're just about halfway and obviously not where we thought we would be. We probably could be a little bit different here and there. But look: These guys are still practicing hard. They're playing hard."
The Jaguars, after back-to-back one-sided victories over the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2-3, have lost five consecutive games by a score or less to unbeaten Philadelphia, Houston, Indianapolis, the New York Giants and this past Sunday to Denver.
The Jaguars have led in every game this season, and the defense has allowed the go-ahead touchdown in the final six minutes in each of the last four games.
"We just need the ball to bounce our way and get that first one," Pederson said. "There are a lot of opportunities. They're still focused on this week and this season and trying to get things turned around."
Pederson on Friday called getting players to not play beyond their roles – and therefore being susceptible to mistakes – in an effort to end the losing streak "a challenge."
"You don't want guys to press," Pederson said. "You still want guys to let the game come to them and to make plays that come their way. It's part of my job to keep communicating that it's about handling opportunities that show up in games. It's about making plays that come their way.
"Don't go searching for stuff. There are a lot of plays in a football game and it's about understanding that when they come to you, it's your job to make them."
Pederson on Friday also discussed the challenge of facing a Raiders offense with Davante Adams (38 receptions (512 yards, five touchdowns) at wide receiver, Darren Waller (16 receptions, 175 yards, one touchdown) at tight end and Josh Jacobs (676 yards, six touchdowns, 121 carries) at running back.
"All three of them are great players with a lot of production in the league, and then throw in [quarterback] Derek Carr," Pederson said. "They can stress the defense because you've got to think about resources on defense … where are you going to put them?
"It's a challenge defensively and it's something I know our guys are ready for."
- Wide receiver Jamal Agnew was listed as questionable for Sunday on Friday's final injury report of the week and was listed as practicing limited for a third second consecutive day. Agnew has missed the last two games with the injury and was the lone Jaguars player listed on the injury report this week. "He's doing well and we're optimistic he plays this week," Pederson said Friday.
Back stateside. 📍Swipe through photos of the Jaguars Thursday practice ahead of the Week 9 game against the Raiders.