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Lawrence and Pederson Fuel Jaguars' Optimism Headed Into Sunday: "Confidence Is Great"

W15 Wed Update

JACKSONVILLE – The goals remain in reach.

Head Coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Trevor Lawrenceemphasized as much Wednesday, a day on which perspective was a major Jaguars topic entering a key prime-time home game. That perspective?

That the AFC South is very much attainable – and a lot more is, too.

"The confidence is great," Pederson said as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (8-5) prepared to play the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens (10-3) at EverBank Stadium Sunday at 8:20 p.m.

The Jaguars, who have lost back-to-back games against AFC North-contending Cincinnati and Cleveland, enter Sunday one game ahead of the Houston Texans (7-6) and Indianapolis Colts (7-6) in the South. They hold tiebreaker advantages over both teams.

The Jaguars because of those tiebreakers will win the South if they win three of their final four games if they beat the Tennessee Titans in Week 18. The Jaguars won the South last season, with their 1998-1999 AFC Central championships their only back-to-back division titles in franchise history.

The Jaguars' remaining schedule: Baltimore, at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7), home against the Carolina Panthers (1-12) and at Tennessee (5-8).

"We're in a fine position, record wise," Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. "We have to take care of business this week and moving forward. We have to take it one week at time. We need to get back on track this week for sure. But there's still plenty of time."

The Jaguars' five losses this season all have come to teams with winning records: Kansas City (8-5), Houston (7-6), San Francisco (10-3), Cincinnati (7-6) and Cleveland (8-5). They are one of five teams in the AFC at 8-5 or better – Jacksonville, Kansas City, Cleveland, Baltimore and the Miami Dolphins.

The Jaguars last season won their last five games after starting the season 2-6 and 4-8.

"If we could've been in this position last year, we would've given a lot to be here," Lawrence said. "There's no panic, but there is a sense of urgency where this time of year – December or into January – you have to be playing your best football and we're not there yet."

Sunday's game will mark the Jaguars' first appearance on Sunday Night Football since 2008. It will mark the Jaguars' third prime-time game of the season, beating the New Orleans Saints on a Thursday Night Football game in Week 7 and losing to the Bengals in their first Monday Night Football appearance in 12 seasons.

"It's exciting," Lawrence said. "But like I said for the Monday night game, it's just another game for us. Nothing changes. We just play a little bit later Sunday night, so we can't make it more than it is. Obviously it's a great opportunity for us to take advantage of it and to play well in front of a bigger audience and crowd all that.

"It's going to be a night game and it's going to be only game on Sunday night. That's exciting, but it honestly doesn't change much. We still have a job to do. Look back at the Monday night game. We end up losing the game. There's not much show playing a prime-time if we lose."

"We just have to focus on our job and taking care of business no matter what time or what day the game's on."


  • Lawrence on Wednesday practiced full for the first time since sustaining a high-ankle sprain late in the loss to the Bengals. He did not practice last Wednesday, then practiced limited Thursday and Friday before being listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week. "It feels good," said Lawrence, who completed 28 of 50 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions against the Browns. "It's feeling better. Thankfully I made out of the game pretty clean. I didn't re-aggravate it anymore. I'm just trying to keep getting better every day, hopefully it feels even better this week. I was able to move around decent on Sunday, so that was positive. So try to keep that going."


  • Jaguars offensive linemen Walker Little and Ezra Cleveland practiced limited Wednesday, with Pederson saying both are considered "day to day." Little missed the loss to the Browns with a hamstring injury and Cleveland – starting for Little at left tackle – left the game in the first half with a knee injury. "Both guys are doing well," Pederson said. Safety Andre Cisco (groin) and cornerback Tyson Campbell (quadricep) missed practice after Campbell missed Sunday's game and Cisco left the game with the injury. "Those are tough injuries, so we'll see," Pederson said. Cornerback Tre Herndon practiced limited in a protected orange jersey and remains in concussion protocol after missing Sunday. Also practicing limited for the Jaguars Wednesday: Wide receiver Jamal Agnew (shoulder), cornerback Christian Braswell (hamstring), running back Travis Etienne Jr. (ribs), running back D'Ernest Johnson (knee), wide receiver Zay Jones (knee) and tight end Brenton Strange (foot). Backup quarterback C.J. Beathard (left shoulder) also practiced full.

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