LONDON – Winning was good, and so were the signs.
The Jaguars on Sunday snapped a two-game losing streak, and Head Coach Doug Pederson said that made this Monday much better than the previous two.
"Winning obviously motivates," he said. "The spirit is definitely better this morning than it was last Monday. Definitely, winning helps. At the same time, it's short-term memory."
The Jaguars, after back-to-back home losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, beat the Atlanta Falcons, 23-7, in a home game at Wembley Stadium Sunday. The Jaguars took a 17-0 halftime lead, securing the victory with a solid second half.
They are now 2-2 tied with all three other teams in the AFC South – the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and Texans.
"I like the way they responded," Pederson said of a game in which the defense produced four sacks and three takeaways, with outside linebacker Josh Allen registering three sacks.
The Jaguars in addition to holding the Falcons to a touchdown also scored their first defensive touchdown of the season when cornerback Darious Williams returned a second-quarter interception 61 yards for a 17-0 lead. The Jaguars now have nine takeaways and are fourth in the NFL in the category after finishing fourth in the league last season with 27 turnovers forced.
The Jaguars offensively on Sunday produced 300 yards, with quarterback Trevor Lawrence throwing for 207 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions and running back Travis Etienne Jr. rushing for 55 yards on 20 carries.
After entering the game converting 11 of 37 third downs for the season, the Jaguars converted five of 14 third downs Sunday.
"We've got to stay on the field," Pederson said. "We did a little bit better [Sunday]. One of the things coming away from the game, Trevor did a nice job with his legs running in a couple of situations. He was really good running the football. We know we have to be better there and continue to work at it, especially in those third-and-one and fourth-and-one scenarios where we can stay on the field."
Pederson called the Houston loss one in which all areas contributed and said following Sunday's victory the opposite was true against the Falcons. On Monday, he discussed the positives of a solid overall performance in a game the Jaguars needed to keep pace in a division in which three of four teams won Sunday.
"I do like what I see," he said. "With Houston, we knew we didn't play well. We had a good week of preparation, good travel over here. Guys were focused on Friday, then Saturday night at the meetings. There was a lot of energy on the sideline during the game. There was a lot of enthusiasm going into the game, which was good to see. I think part of the success [Sunday] was just how well these guys showed up and responded extremely well. That's really good to see."
- Cam Robinson, the Jaguars' starting left tackle from 2017-2023, is scheduled to return from a four-game season-opening suspension this week. He traveled with the team to London and may begin practicing Wednesday. Pederson said coaches will discuss Robinson's role this week "before we get back on the practice field on Wednesday. But we're definitely going to incorporate him back into the lineup, get him out there, see where he's at physically from a football standpoint." Walker Little has started the first four games at left tackle, with rookie right tackle Anton Harrison, veteran right guard Brandon Scherff and center Luke Fortner also starting the first four games. Ben Bartch started the first three games at left guard with veteran Tyler Shatley starting there Sunday. Pederson added of Robinson, "He is in really good shape. He was in the meetings the last couple of weeks. Mentally, I think he's in a really good spot. Now it's just a matter of where he is football wise, so we'll see. Come Wednesday, we definitely want to get him in there and get him in the mix and see how it all shakes out throughout the week."
- Wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew likely will practice limited Wednesday after missing Sunday's victory with a quadriceps injury, Pederson said. "He's doing extremely well," Pederson said. "He's kind of day to day right now, but we're optimistic. Pederson said rookie wide receiver Parker Washington likely will miss Sunday's game against the Bills with a knee injury sustained on the first punt against Atlanta. Washington, a fifth-round selection from Penn State, was playing for the first time this season in Agnew's absence.
- Pederson on how Robinson might help the team's short-yardage offense: "He could definitely boost us. He is a bigger body – a powerful physical guy in the run game. We recognize we need to be better in those third-and-one, fourth-and-one situations. We must stay on the field and I think he can definitely help us there."
- Pederson on players in London this week: "I know we're young, but I think it's a very mature football team. I don't expect anything [off the field] to pop up or anything like that. I definitely want them to enjoy the time. Most of these guys haven't traveled overseas or spent a full day or a week over here. It's part of being part of a team and keeping these guys together like this is definitely positive."
Jaguars are bringing the heat to Wembley Stadium 💥 Swipe through in game action ➡️