JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's post-game press conference following the Jaguars’ 37-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in a 2023 Week 6 game at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville Sunday.
- Trevor Time I. Trevor Lawrence as expected was Topic No. 1 during Pederson's post-game press conference Sunday, with the quarterback throwing two touchdown passes but sustaining a knee injury late in the game. Lawrence sustained the injury when he was sacked on a rollout with the Jaguars leading, 34-20, with 3:04 remaining. Lawrence limped from the field and did not return, with Pederson saying he expected to have an update on the injury Monday. Lawrence completed 20 of 30 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns with an interception Sunday. "I thought he played well," Pederson said. "I thought he played extremely well, saw the field well, threw the ball well. Just the one miscommunication with [wide receiver] Christian [Kirk] for the [fourth quarter] interception, but we'll clean that up."
- Trevor Time II. Lawrence's injury occurred on 3rd-and-7 from the Colts 16, a play on which he rolled left and was sacked by Colt's linebacker Samson Ebukam. "As far as that play call, those are situations that we understand," Pederson said. "We were trying to get a short sack, not necessarily trying to circle the defense. Part of it's on us, part of it's on Trevor. At the same time, we have to be smart there." Pederson added, "That call is in the game plan because it's a movement play. It allows the quarterback to get on the edge. In situations like that, you've seen it work a million times. A million and one, it didn't work. We were able to get three points out of it. From that standpoint, it was effective. Look, is there a little bit of risk there to run your quarterback? Yes. But at the same time, the reward is you get the first down, and you stay on the field and ice the game in those situations. Definitely wouldn't change the scenario or the situation. We can coach that a little bit better and ask him maybe to go down a little bit sooner."
- Smooth transition. Pederson this past week spoke of the need to guard against jetlag and a potential letdown in the aftermath of back-to-back victories in London the past two weeks. The Jaguars last season trailed the Las Vegas Raiders 17-0 in the first game after their London trip before rallying for a 27-20 victory. The Jaguars on Sunday led 21-3 at halftime and 31-6 entering the fourth quarter. "The effort, intensity … guys responded really all week," Pederson said. "It's hard when you're over there [in the United Kingdom] for 10 days. Your bodies are used to that time change. Coming back here, it takes a while. It takes several days to get back on east coast time. But the guys handled the week extremely well. Proud of them, they had a lot of energy today. That was really good to see."
- Turnover time. The Jaguars' defense continued a strong start to the season Sunday, holding their opponent to 21 points or fewer for a fifth time in six games. The Jaguars also forced a season-high turnovers to push their total for the season to 15, also registering three sacks. The highlight of the day defensively: An early sack-fumble forced early in the second quarter by outside linebacker Josh Allen, with running back Travis Etienne giving the Jaguars a 14-3 lead with a 22-yard direct-snap touchdown run on the ensuing play. "The defense sometimes doesn't get enough credit for that," Pederson said. "The takeaways are something that we as a team talk about. They talk about it as a defense. It just shortens the field for your offense. The pass rush again today, there was pressure on [Colts quarterback] Gardner [Minshew], putting it in places that he maybe didn't want it to go. It was just a great team effort on defense to play the way they did today."
- Standing out. Pederson lauded Allen after Sunday's game, calling him the "heart and soul" of the defense. Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, has a team-leading seven sacks through six games. He has registered a key sack/fumble in two of the last three games. "He's been playing extremely well," Pederson said. "It's good to see. He probably felt a little pressure maybe to start the season to perform. He has answered. He works hard during the week. It's no surprise that this is what he's capable of doing. He just continues to find ways to get around the quarterback, to affect the quarterback. It obviously impacts the defense when he's creating the plays that he's doing, either a tackle for loss or a strip sack, fumble, things of that nature. It's a credit to Josh and how he's getting himself ready to play."