JACKSONVILLE – The issues are as frustrating as they are concerning.
Trevor Lawrencesaid the positive in that is when examining the Jaguars offensively – and the Jaguars overall – what sometimes ails them is self-inflicted and therefore correctable.
"We've been shooting ourselves in the foot too much," he said.
The Jaguars' starting quarterback was far from alone in that assessment as Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens (10-3) at EverBank Stadium approaches.
The AFC South-leading Jaguars (8-5) have lost two consecutive games by a total of seven points – and as Head Coach Doug Pederson sees it, the issues aren't unfixable or major as much as they are about communication and taking what he calls "a one-play-at-a-time mentality."
"It comes down to those guys talking, just having a conversation on the field and staying locked into the game plan," Pederson said. "They don't have to do anything other than that – just trust their instincts and how they've been coached to execute that game plan. Do that and they'll be fine."
Added Pederson, "It's all internal stuff, it's all us. It's what we see, it's how we execute and how we play. We've got to make sure we do a better job of that."
The Jaguars, after an 8-3 start, have lost back-to-back games to the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. They have allowed four passing touchdowns of 30 yards or more during that span, also committing eight pre-snap penalties.
"It's frustrating for all of us," Lawrence said. "You ask any guy on the offensive side of the ball or defense, whoever, any guy on our team, it's frustrating to have mistakes and stuff that you can control. It's all of us that have a hand in it.
"We all feel that way. We're frustrated, but it's a good frustration. It's something that we should be after not playing well."
The Jaguars in a 31-27 loss to the Browns this past Sunday committed five pre-snap penalties. They allowed three touchdown passes of more than 30 yards and committed four turnovers.
"We've played a lot of football, and those things just can't happen," Pederson said.
The Jaguars against the Browns also had multiple communication errors between receivers and Lawrence, with Lawrence throwing three interceptions after practicing sparingly throughout the week because of a high-ankle sprain.
"Whatever we're doing, do more," tight end Evan Engram said. "We have to be better. We have to be cleaner. It starts with all the small things: Conversations, double-checking things, another conversation … just doing the little things more, having the right intentions and cleaning these things up.
"It's pushing the guys to do the little things to make sure everybody knows their job and knows where they're supposed to be and how they should be."
Pederson said route running and detail is a "point of emphasis" this week.
"I tell the guys all the time, 'You don't have to go chasing plays. Just do your job and let the play or the ball come to you. Then, make the play when it comes,''' Pederson said. "Much like the issues on defense, it just comes down to that. Just do your job, let the coaches coach, let the players play, have great dialogue throughout the week, work through these issues now during practice so that they don't show up and repeatedly don't show up in games.
"That'll be a focus for us offensively, is that attention to detail in the passing game."
- As outside linebacker Josh Allen sees, the necessary approach Sunday is clear. "We need to play with our hair on fire," Allen said. "We need to come out fighting and swinging." The Jaguars' defense, after allowing 70 or fewer yards rushing in four of the first eight games of the season, has allowed 82 or more yards rushing in the last five games with the Jaguars losing three of those five games. The Ravens enter Sunday as the NFL's No. 1-ranked rushing offense. "That's Priority No. 1," Allen said of stopping the run and adding of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's mobility and running ability: "Everybody has to be where they need to be. Communication has to be at an all-time high. We have to be in the right gaps at all times. He's a dynamic player. He makes that team phenomenal. He's playing at an MVP-level so we have to do our jobs at an MVP level defensively – communication, tackling and executing."
- Engram on how the Jaguars will respond to their second two-game losing streak of the season: "It's adversity. It's what life is about. It's what the league is about. We have the guys in here to respond and turn this thing around. We're sitting at 8-5 and we know we can be better. We're definitely going to go out and try to respond and get back in the win column."
- Pederson: "We're not young. Everybody has played, rookies are no longer rookies, it's Week 15. I can't hide behind that anymore. I can't use that as an excuse anymore. Every team is in Week 15, there's no more byes, every rookie has played. It's just everybody has to focus that much greater this time of year and be on the same page."