JACKSONVILLE – The goals are simple and clear.
As Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen sees it, those goals have little to do with "respect" or even national recognition because those things are uncontrollable.
"We just have to keep winning," Allen said.
Allen spoke this week as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (8-3) prepared to play the Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) Monday at EverBank Stadium. It's the Jaguars' first appearance on Monday Night Football since 2011, a 12-year span in which every other NFL team has appeared on MNF at least seven times.
"You have to earn that right to play on a Monday night or a Sunday night game," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said this week. "I feel like the guys have earned that for this game and hopefully we have more to come."
The Jaguars have played on Monday Night Football 15 times in their history, with 10 of those appearances coming one season after they made the postseason. Their other five appearances came the season after 7-9 and 8-8 seasons.
The Jaguars since 2011 have had just two winning seasons – their AFC South-title winning 2017 and 2022 seasons. They did not play on MNF in 2018, with Monday's game being one of the team's three prime-time appearances this season.
The others: A Week 7 Thursday Night game at New Orleans and a home game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 17.
"It's obviously exciting," Pederson said. "It's great for our organization and franchise and for our players to be in the national spotlight on a Monday night. We're fortunate to have a home game in front of our fans. It's always an electric moment, it's very exciting to be a part of these games."
But if an appearance on MNF might influence how observers nationally see the Jaguars, Allen this week said that's not a primary concern.
"If we keep winning and then they see us in the Super Bowl, I don't really care what people feel or how they see us," Allen said. "That's really how we rock. It is what it is. We win games and you don't hear about us. It is what it is.
"We're still going to continue to win, continue to be a unit, continue to play great defense, continue to play great offense, continue to be a complete special teams unit, continue to coach well and continue to play for each other."
- Rookie tight end Brenton Strange on Thursday was added to the Jaguars' injury report as practicing limited with a foot injury. Cornerback Tyson Campbell (hamstring), running back Travis Etienne Jr. (ribs) and tight end Luke Farrell (toe) practiced limited for a second consecutive day. Campbell has missed four of the last five games – including the last two – with the injury, with Etienne and Farrell sustaining their injuries in a victory over the Houston Texans this past Sunday.
- The Jaguars this season at times have struggled converting short-yardage situations into first downs. They are 30th in the NFL converting third-and-three yards or less, converting 21 of 41 opportunities (51.2 percent). Among the key plays in a victory over the Houston Texans Sunday was a first-and-goal from the Houston one-yard line at the end of the first half with Etienne Jr. getting stopped for no gain. "It has been hit and miss, honestly," Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor said. "There are things we could do better – whether it's scheme, execution, play call, personnel usage. There are a lot of things that could continue to be better and that's something we continue to work on. We spend a lot of time in our game-planning process on it, making sure we're trying to put the best people in the best position to do what they do really well. It's something we'll continue to try to improve on as we go. No matter where you are, you want to continue to make that number as good as it can be."
- Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker on Allen wearing "Travon Walker Foundation" cleats Sunday as part of the NFL's My Cause, My Cleats initiative: "For him to support, that means a lot to me. Josh is a person who cares for me personally on the field and off the field. That just goes to show a little bit that he pours into me."