JACKSONVILLE – The goal will be the same.
How to reach that goal? That changes constantly in the NFL, and that was Head Coach Doug Pederson's message Wednesday when discussing the Jaguars' offense.
Pederson the Jaguars certainly have an ideal offensive approach. But there's often a different reality.
"You do what it takes to win," Pederson said Wednesday morning as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (1-1) prepared to play the Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
You do what it takes to win…
Pederson, the Jaguars' offensive play-caller, has said that multiple times in multiple availabilities since a 24-0 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. The Jaguars ran 37 times and passed 30 in that game, a mix that helped produce an efficient day for quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the offense – 331 total yards, 21 first downs, two red-zone touchdowns, a 38:15-21:45 time-of-possession advantage.
An ideal mix? Perhaps? Achievable on a weekly basis?
Perhaps not, Pederson said.
"One of the things you learn in this league is it's week to week," Pederson said. "Sometimes, the game plans are going to be different, the way we attack an opponent is going to be different, the way our opponent attacks us is going to be different.
"You're constantly evolving and constantly shaping your game plans that way. If there's a blueprint … yeah, you would want to be that balanced and have success in the red zone. We know as coaches that sometimes it's going to be a different offense week to week just based on your opponent."
Pederson said the week-to-week NFL extends beyond game plan – and while the Jaguars felt good about themselves Wednesday three days after their most-one-sided victory since December 2017, that feeling won't help Sunday against one of their most-talented opponents of the season.
"You see a little bit more confidence, coming off a win," Pederson said. "But we understand it's week to week. As much as you want to live in the past, you can't. You have another set of challenges. We have to go to work today. We have to put the pads on and go to practice.
"You have to learn the game plan and study your opponent. You can't worry about last week and [you have to] focus to trying to go 1-0 this week."
Pederson said while he has been around teams that struggled the week after winning, it's his responsibility to "keep reeling the guys in and keep the goals right in front of the team."
"It's the so-what, now-what mentality," he said. "Wins are great in this league. They're hard to come by and we like them. But it's my job to make sure the goals, ambitions and things we're trying to go get done stay in front of our football team."
And while the Chargers are a preseason playoff/Super Bowl favorite, Pederson said that storyline should have little effect on preparation or outcome Sunday.
"It's our next game," Pederson said. "All the emphasis I need and our players need is the fact that it's the next one on the schedule. We don't look past anybody, obviously, and we try to stay in the moment."
- Pederson on Wednesday reiterated what he said early in the week about travel this weekend – that the Jaguars will fly to California Saturday with the idea of maintaining a similar routine to all road trips. NFL teams historically take various approaches when playing across the country from their home stadiums with many East Coast teams opting to fly two days before the game rather than flying the day before the game.
- "The only thing I'll tweak is Saturday," Pederson said. "We'll be in the building a little sooner Saturday. It's an earlier flight, then we'll just keep everything sort of on East Coast time when we're out there." The Jaguars never have won on the road against the Chargers in five meetings and are 3-15 in the Pacific time zone.