JACKSONVILLE – The week went as Doug Pederson hoped – and as he expected.
The Jaguars' head coach has liked how the team has responded and prepared throughout the season, and he said Friday he liked how the Jaguars have prepared this week for a big home game in the wake of a frustrating three-game losing streak.
"It felt good," Pederson said Friday morning as the Jaguars (2-4) prepared to play the New York Giants (5-1) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m. "The guys have been able to put a lot of the negativity behind them and really focus on the week at hand.
"They've done a nice job with that."
The Jaguars, after a two-game winning streak in Weeks 2-3 moved them to first place in the AFC South, have slipped to third place behind the Tennessee Titans (3-2) and Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1). Three losses in the last three games have come by a score or less – the Philadelphia Eagles (29-21), Houston Texans (13-6) and Indianapolis Colts (34-27).
Pederson has talked this week of needing players to make big plays in big situations.
"The biggest test will be Sunday and seeing who will be that guy," Pederson said. "It's hard to do that in practice. We talk about it and talk about it, but really it just has to be done. That's the bottom line with it. I'm excited for these guys on Sunday to get that opportunity."
The Jaguars led by double digits in the first half against the Colts and Eagles. They have led in the second half of three losses this season and have led in every game this season.
The Jaguars on Sunday will face a defense coordinated by longtime coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale. Long the coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, Martindale's defenses are known for being blitz-heavy and complex with multiple looks and packages.
"You've just got to do it one play at a time," Pederson said. "You really just trust the rules and trust how you've been coached during the week. The protection plan, you trust that. If we need to make adjustments, we make adjustments in-game. That's just what we do.
"[Quarterback] Trevor [Lawrence] understands, too, you don't just want to sit back there and hold the ball. An incomplete pass and a punt are OK in games like this. We make the corrections as we move."
- Cornerback Shaq Griffin (back) and wide receiver Jamal Agnew (knee) both were ruled out for Sunday's game on the Jaguars' final injury report of the week Friday.
- Pederson said Griffin sustained the injury Sunday against the Colts, a game in which Griffin committed two interference penalties and allowed a 32-yard game-winning touchdown with :17 remaining. "It was in the game," Pederson said. "Sometimes, too, when players get hurt they don't feel the injury until maybe the next day and then we get them checked out." Veteran Tre Herndon likely will play a key role in Griffin's absence. "He's a veteran player," Pederson said. "He has stepped in in the past. Sometimes it's tough being in a backup role like that. He did a nice job in the Chargers game several weeks ago. He makes the most of his opportunities, so we have a lot of confidence in him."
- Four Jaguars players who practiced limited all three days this week -- defensive end Foley Fatukasi (quad), wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. (hamstring), DaVon Hamilton (foot) and inside linebacker Foye Oluokun (calf) – all were listed as questionable on the Friday injury report.