JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's post-game press conference following the Jaguars' 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in a 2023 Week 4 game at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday
- Good feeling … Pederson liked Sunday's result, but he as much liked the feeling around the team as it snapped a two-game losing streak by winning at Wembley Stadium for the first time since 2017. Pederson following back-to-back losses the last two weeks at EverBank Stadium to the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans discussed the team's need to relax and for players to "let the game come to them." He said he saw improvement in that area Sunday. "It's hard to say if you're over it, but I think they were much more relaxed, and really the energy today was much better than last week," Pederson said. "I saw it on the sideline. You saw it with the guys, the demeanor, their play, all of that. It's things that we talked about during the week. It's about how we respond, and the guys responded extremely well today." Pederson added, "It's great. Again, it's all the things that we talk about during the week, it comes down to the guys just understanding their role, doing their job, their ownership part of it, their football team, all that. They responded well today."
- … and another good feeling. Pederson, too, liked what he saw for the most part from the Jaguars' offense. The unit produced 306 total yards and a touchdown – and perhaps more significantly turned in three key third-down conversions on two drives in the second half that led to field goals by Brandon McManus. Those field goals stretched a 17-7 lead to 23-7 and secured the victory along with critical stops from the Jaguars' defense. "Anytime you can obviously win a game, you feel good about yourself," Pederson said. "I thought the offense did some good things today. Picked up some big third downs in the second half. There are still some things we've got to work on and clean up, but obviously much better today by the offense."
- Bigger up front. Veteran offensive lineman Tyler Shatley started Sunday at left guard after fourth-year veteran Ben Bartch started the first three games. Bartch finished last season on injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament and spent the first two preseason games on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Shatley had an atrial fibrillation in late July and missed much of training camp before being active in the first three games of the season. "We felt like this defensive front was a little bigger, heavier, stronger front," Pederson said. "We just felt like Shatley gave us the best opportunity there. Was nothing really against Ben Bartch. We just as a staff just felt like it was Shatley's time to get in there." Pederson said it was "hard to say" who will start at left guard moving forward. "We'll look at the film, evaluate it," he said. "I'll let you know on Wednesday.
- Praising Ridley. Pederson on Sunday lauded the performance of wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who caught two passes for 38 yards – including a 30-yard first-quarter touchdown – against the team that selected him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Ridley, who also drew a key 40-yard pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter Sunday that led to a lead-protecting field goal, was traded to the Jaguars from the Falcons in a trade last November. He missed the 2022 season serving an NFL suspension for gambling. "I'm so proud of Calvin, what he's been through in his life," Pederson said. "He's put a lot of things behind him. He's focused on the future. His testimony is one that can be spread to a lot of professional and younger generation athletes, what he's gone through and overcome adversity. Then to come out again today and get the touchdown and the big play at the end of the game, he's just doing things right. He loves football. We love having him on the football team. He's got a lot of energy. He's excitable. I'm so proud of not only where he's come from but where he's going to as a ball player for us."
- Pederson on the Jaguars winning at Wembley Stadium for the first time since 2017: "It feels great. The guys are excited, I'm excited. Anytime you come all the way over here and spend a couple days and get a chance to play a football game, it's exciting for our organization, for Mr. Khan (Jaguars Owner Shad Khan] and for us to get a win obviously is big." Added Pederson, "I think this trip hit us at the right time. I think we needed to get away. Kind of brings you together a little bit, where we're in the hotel together, we're eating meals together, we're in meetings together, practice, so it's a bonding type experience to kind of reunite with everybody, and that's what you need sometimes."