JACKSONVILLE – The opportunity is there – and the energy has been there, too.
Head Coach Doug Pederson on Friday said when it comes to the Jaguars' latest prime-time – big-game – opportunity, this much was clear this past week:
The Jaguars understand what's at stake – and what must be done.
"They want to put their best foot forward and play a complete game," Pederson said Friday as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (8-5) prepared to play the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens (10-3) at EverBank Stadium Sunday on Sunday Night Football.
Pederson added of the Jaguars, "They've had a good week. I've felt like they've been locked in and focused. We had a couple of good days."
The Jaguars, the defending AFC South champions, enter the weekend a game ahead of the Houston Texans (7-6) and Indianapolis Colts (7-6) in the division. They hold a season-ending tiebreaker advantage over both teams.
The Ravens enter the game holding the AFC's No. 1 seed, with the AFC East-leading Miami Dolphins at 9-4 and the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs at 8-5.
The Jaguars have lost their last two games – 34-31 in overtime to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football two weeks ago and 31-27 to the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday. The Jaguars during those two games have made multiple mistakes that Pederson has called "self-inflicted," including four turnovers and three long touchdown passes allowed against the Browns.
"You look at the last two weeks and just the mistakes we've made, we had chances to win both games," Pederson said. "Of course, we didn't, so if we just eliminate some of the … 'BS,' let's call it – the internal things; turnovers, takeaways, missed assignments, all that kind of stuff -- you're feeling better about yourself. But I think our guys have taken pride in that this week."
The Jaguars, after rushing for more than 100 yards in seven of the season's first 10 games, have rushed for 81, 71 and 58 in the last three games. Pederson called reestablishing the running game Sunday "important."
"It takes the heat off the pass rush when you can effectively run the football, that helps," he said. "It helps your play action pass, things of that nature. It's something that we haven't done well in, but we've got to continue to try it and continue to improve."
- Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell (quadricep) and safety Andre Cisco (groin) were ruled out on the final injury report of the week Friday. Left tackle Walker Little and left guard Ezra Cleveland practiced limited for a third consecutive day Friday and were listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week, with Pederson saying both "are doing well." Four other players also were listed as questionable after practicing limited throughout the week: Wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew (shoulder), cornerback Christian Braswell (hamstring), cornerback Tre Herndon (concussion) and tight end Brenton Strange (foot). Herndon was cleared from the concussion protocol this week after missing the loss to Cleveland and Pederson said Agnew has a chance to play Sunday after having his window to return from injured reserve opened this week. Five players who had been listed on the injury report all week were not given statuses entering the weekend and are therefore expected to play: Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (ankle), quarterback C.J. Beathard (left shoulder), wide receiver Zay Jones (knee), running back Travis Etienne Jr. (ribs) and running back D'Ernest Johnson (knee). Long snapper Ross Matiscik was added to the injury report Friday with a back injury and was listed as questionable.
Jaguars are working hard to get ready for Sunday Night Football 🌙 Check out top practice photos from the Miller Electric Center in Jacksonville, FL. Jaguars play the Ravens Sunday night in EverBank Stadium. Be here, be loud and go Jags!