JACKSONVILLE – The theme remains the same for the Jaguars: Too many mistakes at important times, with Head Coach Doug Pederson reiterating Monday what he said throughout the previous week.
"We just have to get back to being us," he said as the Jaguars began preparing to play the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
The Jaguars on Sunday lost a second consecutive game, 37-17 to the Houston Texans at EverBank Stadium. The Week 3 loss was largely about missed opportunities at critical moments, with Pederson – as he did after a Week 2 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs – speaking afterward of "pressing" too much to make big plays.
The Jaguars on Sunday failed to score on four first-half possessions past midfield, possessions that included a missed field goal, a blocked field goal and a lost fumble.
"A big part of our problem is we're in our own way," center Luke Fortner said. "We all know and believe we can be a really great offense. We are trying so hard to put that into action and make that come true that if we would just go out and play how we know we can play, we'd be better off.
"We're all just pushing and pushing and pushing to make all these plays. We have the players in place that it will come to us, and it will happen, we just have to let it."
Pederson on Monday called the early days of the week important to focus on corrections, noting that it was his job to "paint the picture" and point out the "good, the bad and the ugly." He said, too, that a "wakeup call" needs to happen.
"There's a lot of pride in that room," Pederson said. "When you talk to the players after the game and hear what they're saying and the comments they're saying, they're still focused. We believe in them; they believe in us. It's going to be a conscious effort. We just got to stay in the moment.
"It's a week-to-week business."
Pederson following Sunday's game talked of the Jaguars perhaps reading their offseason "press clippings," with many observers considering them a favorite in the AFC South after they won their final five regular-season games to win their first division title since 2017.
Pederson on Monday spoke of "human nature" being a factor in the recent results.
"You read into a lot of the hype preseason a little bit," he said. "Right now, we're not living up to that expectation. You want to pick up where you left off, but you know it's a new season and you still have to go put in the hard work and preparation and work in practice and all that.
"That's the one thing that I really appreciate about those guys, is that they're disappointed just like I am, but they continue to work and show the confidence they need to get it fixed."
Fortner smiled Monday when asked if players indeed were listening to "outside noise."
"If they were, I hope they are not anymore because clearly, we have a lot of work to do," he said.
- Pederson on Tuesday addressed a post-game report that he had assumed play-calling duties in the second half Sunday. "That's false," he said. Offensive coordinator Press Taylor has called plays throughout the entire game this season after Pederson called plays in the first halves of games with Taylor calling them in the second halves last season. "I communicate with Press and the offensive staff no more or less than I usually do on gameday," he said.
- Pederson on wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who had two dropped passes and two false start penalties in the first half Sunday: "I grabbed him coming off the field and I reiterated to him to take a deep breath, stay locked in, stay engaged. I told him he was a big part of our system and the offense and he's going to have a lot of success. I just wanted to reiterate that confidence in him. Calvin wants to do so well, so good, so much. He wants to prove, but he doesn't have to. He's a good player and he doesn't have to do all that. Just be Calvin."
- Pederson: "With this hole we've put ourselves in, I just want to see how these guys respond. I want to see the energy on Wednesday, I want to see the attention to detail and how they attack the walkthrough and the meetings, the practice that day. How do they respond? We all know where we can go and what we can become as a football team. They get excited for that part of it. It's always going to be about us, focusing on our jobs and what we need to do. Those are the things that I want to see. I have a lot of confidence in this team and how we can respond and bounce back."