JACKSONVILLE – The red zone remains a major topic around the Jaguars.
Offensive coordinator Press Taylor discussed it Thursday and Trevor Lawrence discussed it Wednesday, with the second-year quarterback saying of the offense's repeated mistakes this season near the opponent's end zone: "We've got to eliminate those."
Taylor called the team's issues in the area "a matter of execution."
"We feel like we have an identity of who we want to be down there," Taylor said Thursday morning as the Jaguars (2-6) prepared to play the Las Vegas Raiders (2-5) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m. "Our biggest issue has been turning the football over in the red zone.
"That's just taking points off the board."
The Jaguars rank ninth in the NFL in total yards (363.0) and 20th in points (21.5). They are 24th in red-zone touchdown percentage at 50 percent with 14 touchdowns on 28 possessions, with four of their 10 turnovers coming in the red zone: An interception by Lawrence versus Philadelphia in Week 4, an end-zone interception versus Houston in Week 5, a fumble lost by running back Travis Etienne Jr. versus the New York Giants in Week 7 and an end-zone interception versus Denver this past Sunday.
The Jaguars led or had a chance to take the lead at the time of all four turnovers, with the Jaguars losing all four games by a score or less.
"You can never turn the football over, especially there," Taylor said. "Worst-case scenario, we stall out. We get three points. It changes the complexion of the game. I do feel like that can improve – just putting a premium on protecting the football.
"It's just continuing to see those situations, learn from those situations, not repeat those situations. For him (Lawrence) and our entire offense general, we're learning from every single play that happens.
"We want to work to correct those mistakes and never repeat those mistakes."
The Jaguars have had three games this season in which they have scored a touchdown or field goal on every red-zone possession. Those are their three highest-scoring games of the season: A 24-0 Week 2 victory over the Indianapolis Colts (two touchdowns), a 38-10 Week 3 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers (three field goals, three touchdowns) and a 34-27 Week 6 loss to the Colts (three touchdowns).
"We just have to limit the miscues, and make sure we're doing everything that's asked and not trying to play out of character," Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk said. "We just have to finish down there. That's the big thing. We leave it in the coaches' hands to put us in the right position.
"We just have to go down there and execute."
- Taylor on Thursday praised Etienne, who has emerged in the last month as a consistent big-play threat, while also noting that the Jaguars' wide receivers have been a big reason for Etienne's ability to break long runs in recent games. Etienne, who has rushed for 571 yards on 92 carries this season, has rushed for 356 yards and two touchdowns on 48 carries in three games as a starter. He has at least one run of 48 yards or more in the last three games. "It's Travis obviously with his skill set," Taylor said. "But I really think good runs turn into great runs when the perimeter players are blocking. The things that [wide receivers] Christian [Kirk], Zay [Jones] and Marvin [Jones Jr.] and Tim [Jones] and our tight ends are doing on the perimeter in our run game has been critical to our run success. We wouldn't be able to hit some of these explosive runs without those guys doing what in the receiver world is a dirty job and getting it done at a high level."
- Wide receiver Jamal Agnew was listed as practicing limited with a knee injury on the Jaguars' injury report Thursday for a second consecutive day. Agnew has missed the last two games with the injury and was the lone player listed on the report each of the last two days.