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Jaguars insider: Hanging tough

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans December 11th, 2022

JACKSONVILLE – Doug Pederson ideally likes fast starts.

Life in the NFL is rarely ideal, and one trait Pederson likes about the 2022 Jaguars is what happens when they don't start well. They respond, which is a reason they remain alive for the postseason.

"I like the way this team hangs together," Pederson said.

The Jaguars have done that multiple times in Pederson's first season as head coach – most recently rallying from two first-half deficits in a 36-22 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday.

"There's not a lot of panic or finger-pointing on the sideline," Pederson said. "Guys just tighten up and understand their roles and their jobs. They make the necessary adjustments on the sideline or at halftime. There's no quitting. They stick to the game plan, and they trust it.

"We've been able to string some wins together because of that. That's really good to see from a young team."

The Jaguars seven times this season have rallied to lead after trailing. They lost the first four such games – to the Washington Commanders, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants and Denver Broncos. They have won the last three games in which they have trailed – rallying from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Las Vegas Raiders 27-20, from 19-10 and 27-20 deficits to beat the Baltimore Ravens 28-27, and from 7-0 and 14-7 deficits Sunday.

"There are going to be ebbs and flows in a game," Pederson said. "You never want to get too high, too low – kind of stay in the middle. You make adjustments as the game goes. We do say it's a week-to-week league and each game plan is a little bit different. But sometimes, too, you get in the flow of a game and you kind of stick with what works.

"If it doesn't work, you need to change in a hurry and go in a different direction. That's happened to us this year."

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  • Rookie inside linebacker Devin Lloyd finished with eight tackles Sunday in his first back in the starting lineup after backing up rookie Chad Muma for two weeks. Muma missed Sunday's game with an ankle injury. "He did a good job – much better," Pederson said of Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. "There are still some things to learn and correct. But I thought he really settled down and the game didn't seem too big. He made some plays and some tackles. It will be good for him to see this tape and catapult him moving forward."

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  • Pederson, too, said he liked cornerback Darious Williams' performance at outside cornerback Sunday – and how veteran Tre Herndon played at nickel. Williams had played mostly nickel this season after signing as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason from the Los Angeles Rams. The Jaguars began the season with Tyson Campbell and Shaq Griffin at outside corner and Williams at nickel, but Griffin has been out with a back injury since allowing a late game-winning touchdown in a Week 6 loss at Indianapolis. "I liked the way that worked out," Pederson said. "Darious is really good on the outside. That's kind of his spot. When we had Shaq Griffin out there, Darious was a natural fit outside. But having him (Williams) outside, he can use his athleticism and speed out there. Tre is comfortable inside. He's a touch bigger and doesn't mind the physicality and type of play a nickel corner has to have. I thought that combination worked well between those two."
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  • Pederson on Monday wasn't sure about quarterback Trevor Lawrence's practice status this week. Lawrence, who missed practice Wednesday and Thursday last week with a toe injury, completed 30 of 42 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions against the Titans. "We'll see how he is Wednesday," Pederson said of Lawrence, who prepared last week mostly with "mental repetitions" until a Friday practice and Saturday walkthrough. "If he can go, I'd rather him go than not. If Trevor can practice some, I definitely want to get him out there."

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  • The Jaguars on Sunday rushed for 60 yards on 25 carries, their fourth consecutive game under 100 yards rushing. Running back Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for 32 yards on 17 carries. The Jaguars have rushed for 67 yards per game over the last four games after averaging nearly 147 yards a game through the first nine games. "You have enough in your arsenal in the running game to make changes," Pederson said. "If you want to attack the perimeter and that doesn't work, then you work inside. You do things that way. You'd love to see a little more production there and get more out of it, but if you look at Sunday's game it just happened that throwing the ball was just as good as running it." The Jaguars passed for a season-high 368 yards Sunday.

The wins are even better when they are against your division rivals. 👀 Swipe through to view top victory photos from the Jaguars Week 14 game against the Titans.

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