JACKSONVILLE – This is a confident team, and that’s good.
It’s a team that is approaching confidence in the right way, which is important for Head Coach Doug Pederson as he assesses the Jaguars through three weeks of the 2022 NFL season.
It is also a team that will face a big test in a difficult environment on Sunday.
“He’s going to really see where we’re at as a football team, and how we respond after we’ve had a little bit of success the last few weeks,” Pederson said Friday morning.
The test for the AFC South-leading Jaguars (2-1): The NFC East-leading Eagles Philadelphia (3-0) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., Sunday at 1 p.m. The Eagles are the NFL’s No. 1 Offense, the league’s last undefeated team and a team that early in the season established itself as the division favorite and possible Super Bowl contender.
“It’s not just our next opponent, but it’s a good opponent,” Pederson said. “They are not defeated. They are playing very well in all three phases.”
The Jaguars, after losing 30 of 33 games from Week 1 2020 to Week 1 2022, defeated the Indianapolis Colts 24-0 in Week 2 and the Los Angeles Chargers 38-10 in Week 3. contend for the postseason.
The Jaguars rank first in the NFL in turnover differential at plus-seven, in takeaways with eight, and in rushing defense at 55.0 yards allowed per game allowed. Their 52-point margin of victory over the past two weeks marks their largest margin over such a stretch since the 2000 season.
“I’ve been really happy with where the guys are at, where they’ve come from, how they’ve come together as a team, the way they practice,” Pederson said. “Right now it’s just a matter of keeping going, riding the waves and keeping the momentum going.
“We know that every season can’t be a perfect season. There will be bumps in the road. It’s how we overcome them – wins or losses. Sometimes success can cover a lot of things and the second you lose a game, it magnifies everything. There’s a balance good there. It’s my job as the head coach and the leader to really point out how much and make sure we stay on task.
“I was really happy where the team and management are. We want to continue that in a positive direction.”
Pederson also said that the players and coaches were mostly “good” after Hurricane Ian passed through Central Florida and passed through Jacksonville on the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday. The Jaguars stayed in town Thursday and Friday, changing their schedule both days and practicing Thursday at the team’s indoor facility adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.
“I want to make sure No. 1 that the safety of the players and families comes first, and make sure they were protected from the storm,” Pederson said. “The guys have been engaged. They’ve been focused and just trying to build on the momentum from the last couple of weeks and get ready for another game.
“It’s been a good week like that, and I think the guys are ready to go.”
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