JACKSONVILLE – This week is about big challenges for the Jaguars.
The biggest may come on the offensive line, with Los Angeles Chargers edge defenders Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa considered perhaps the NFL's best pass-rush tandem.
Bosa and Mack are good. And experienced. And dangerous. It's a big enough task that Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor on Thursday said Sunday won't necessarily be just about matching Jaguars offensive tackles Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson against the pair.
"It's going to take everybody," Taylor said as the Jaguars (1-1) prepared to play the Chargers (1-1) at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
Bosa, a seventh-year veteran, has 59.5 career sacks with 1.5 this season. Mack, a ninth-year veteran signed by the Chargers as an unrestricted free agent in March, has 80 career sacks with four this season. Bosa historically often has lined up on the left side over the right tackle (Taylor) and Mack usually lines up over the left tackle (Robinson), but the two have switched at times this season.
"It's going to be a good test for both our tackles, really, with these two guys," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "Again, a lot of respect for both of them and what they've done in this league, and we've got a challenge ahead of us."
They're veterans who have led an improved Chargers defense this season, and Press Taylor said handling the pair is a team effort involving the game plan, the tight ends/running backs/receivers playing well and quarterback Trevor Lawrence being in timing and rhythm.
"All of it goes together to try to contain dynamic edge players like they have," Taylor said, with Lawrence adding: "They're just playmakers. They're great."
"You've got to be able to manage that," Lawrence said. "You've got to have a plan. Obviously, they're going to make plays, that's just the way they are, but we've got to manage that and figure out the best way to attack those guys and the whole defense."
- Press Taylor on Jawaan Taylor, who according to Pro Football Focus has not allowed pressure this season: "He's done a great job, and I think that goes back through the spring – that there was real competition for that [right tackle] job. I think it made everybody better – not only Jawaan, but Cam [and swing tackle] Walker Little … Everybody who we had an expectation could play had to rise to the level of competition. Those guys all did a great job of pushing one another. You've seen Jawaan's work has consistently showed itself on game day."
- Press Taylor on Thursday discussed Lawrence against the Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday. Lawrence, after completing 24 of 42 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown with an interception in a Week 1 loss at Washington, completed 25 of 30 passes – a career-high 83.3 percent – for 235 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in a 24-0 victory over the Colts. "He's right on schedule, just continuing to grow week to week," Taylor said. "That's the fun part of this league: The plan of attack each week might have to change. We talk about being fluid as an offense and doing whatever it takes to put us in a situation to win that week. The Colts' defense was very different than the Commanders' defense that's different from the Chargers' defense. It's on all of us as a group to get together, learn about the opponent and put together a plan of attack and communicate that to players. I think you saw that out of Trevor [in Week 2]. He played with a lot of confidence. He was prepared and confident in the plan of attack, trusted the guys around him and had a good showing for it."
- Press Taylor on Thursday discussed the offense's confidence that it can win a high-scoring "shootout" game. The Jaguars have scored 22 and 24 points this season, and last scored 30 or more points in a 2020 Week 2 loss at Tennessee. "As a unit, we believe that in ourselves," Taylor said. "If we need to go out and win a slugfest we could do that if that's the game that's being dictated, if we need to go win a shootout, we feel like we could do that. That's the belief system the guys have: We need to be able to do whatever it takes to win a game. Sometimes that's a plan you put together on Monday and it sees itself play out through the week. Or it's something that just happens on Sunday. We certainly feel like we have the players, the system, capable of doing that at any point in time."