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The Day After | "We're Still 8-5. There's No Need to Panic."

The Day After - Week 14

JACKSONVILLE – There was perspective, with a heavy dose of urgency.

Doug Pederson spoke to the media Monday, a day after a second consecutive loss. The Jaguars' head coach noted during the availability that the season's goals remain very much attainable.

"For us, the sky is not falling," Pederson said Monday, a day after a 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Jaguars (8-5) lead the AFC South ahead of the Houston Texans (7-6) and Indianapolis Colts (7-6), with a season-ending tiebreaker advantage over both teams. They currently hold the AFC's No. 4 seed with four regular-season games remaining.

"This time of year is where teams begin to separate, you start to get a better picture or a clearer picture, at least, of the postseason," Pederson said. "For us, it's a matter of just continuing to focus on us, be us, be who we are, control the things that we can control."

The Jaguars will play host to the Baltimore Ravens (9-3) at EverBank Stadium Sunday.

"We've got four more weeks, another month," Jaguars defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot said. "We're definitely still optimistic. We're still 8-5. There's no need to panic. We're still in a good place. We just need to be able to figure out the problems that are happening and communicate more as a team.

"We need to all just get on the same page and be able to make a push for the next four weeks."

The key to making that push?

As Pederson sees it, it begins with eliminating a slew of what he called "self-inflicted" errors that have led to a two-game losing streak – and that defined Sunday's loss. The Jaguars committed five pre-snap penalties for 25 yards Sunday, also committing four turnovers with multiple communication errors offensively that led to interceptions.


The Jaguars also allowed Browns quarterback Joe Flacco passing touchdowns of 34, 35 and 41 yards – with tight end David Njoku wide open in the first half for the 34- and 35-yarders. Those touchdowns gave the Browns a two-touchdown lead, with the Jaguars never cutting the lead below seven points.

"It's just fundamental things that we can control," Pederson said. "You get those corrected and you put a little bit of attention to detail on those, I think you will be back to playing good football and competing."

Pederson on Monday focused particularly on the pre-snap penalties.

"Quite honestly, they show up in practice during the week," Pederson said. "That's where it starts. I'm a big believer that you're going to play like you practice. When you don't have the crisp practice during the week, sometimes those things can creep into a game. It gets magnified in a ballgame, everything matters.

"That is a point of emphasis offensively. We pride ourselves with the silent count. Those are things that are concerning and alarming, because those are things that are holding the offense back right now."

Added Pederson, "It drives me nuts. We continue and I continue to talk to the team and just reiterate the impact that those fouls and mistakes have, the implications of those plays in a game. It's the things that have kept us from being better maybe in the win-loss column this season than where we are right now.

"We've got to take responsibility and accountability for it. Everybody has to lock in and focus a little bit more."


  • Quarterback Trevor Lawrence came through Sunday's game "fine," according to Pederson. Lawrence played through a high-ankle sprain Sunday sustained the previous Monday in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. "We'll be careful with it," Pederson said of Lawrence's practice status this week. "Being a Monday, if we had any practice today, probably not, but coming back Wednesday he should be good." Lawrence completed 28 of 50 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions Sunday.
  • Safety Andre Cisco sustained a groin injury and offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland sustained a knee injury Sunday, Pederson said Monday. Pederson said Cleveland – who started at left tackle in place of Walker Little, who was starting in place of starter Cam Robinson – will be day-to-day this week; Blake Hance finished Sunday at left tackle, with Pederson saying there's a possibility Little could play against the Ravens. Pederson said of Cisco's groin injury: "Those are a little bit different injuries, so he'll be day to day. We just have to see how he feels this week he progresses." Pederson also said tight end Brenton Strange could return to practice this week after missing the last two games with a foot injury.

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