Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars - jaguars.comJohn Oehser
JACKSONVILLE - The season isn't over, and goals remain within reach.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said if that seems more unrealistic than before a one-sided loss this past Sunday, it nonetheless remains true.
And a game against the division leaders this week remains a big game.
"I want them to understand what's in front of us," Pederson said Monday, a day after the Jaguars' 40-14 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.
"As crazy as it sounds, we're not out of anything. It's still in front of us."
The Jaguars (4-8) will visit the Tennessee Titans (7-5) in an AFC South game in Nashville Sunday at 1 p.m. The Jaguars missed a chance to move to within two games of first place Sunday, with the Titans losing to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Jaguars play host to the Titans in the regular-season finale, with Pederson on Monday saying the focus this week will be on eliminating errors that proved costly in what Pederson called the most frustrating loss of the season.
"We've got a lot of mistakes we've got to correct," Pederson said. "That's kind of what this week is going to be about - making sure we're on track that way and getting back to fundamentals, details and focusing on that within the game plan."
The Jaguars allowed 437 total yards and 31 first downs Sunday, with the Lions scoring on every possession until kneeling to run out the clock on the final possession. The Jaguars have allowed 415 or more yards in each of the last three games and have allowed 20 or more points in seven consecutive games.
"You look at everything," Pederson said, adding that that includes players and coaches. "We need to look at ourselves and see if we can coach things a little bit better, so the players understand exactly what we're asking them to do - where to line up, how to line up, which gap to fit.
"Then it's on the player to understand that. There has to be some give and take. That's part of this game. It starts with us and making sure we have everything covered before we ask the player to assume he knows everything."
Pederson also discussed defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell Monday, saying he doesn't worry about Caldwell being in his first season as a coordinator.
"Part of my job is to help support him and give him everything that he needs to be successful, and I'm going to do that," Pederson said. "I want to make sure that he has everything readily available to him. I want to support him and make sure that he has everything he needs to be successful as well."
Pederson added, "It takes time. I remember back when I was a first-time coordinator and you're trying to do a lot of different things. Then you realize [and] back off just a little bit, and we've done that. We have. We've scaled back a little bit. We've got some talented players. We've got some good players.
"As a staff, we're just making sure we put these guys in the right positions. That's on us to do. I think Mike has done a good job of organizing and keeping things together, but on the same side of that we've got to do a better job of coaching and teaching and making sure everybody understands their jobs."
Pederson on Monday discussed wide receiver Zay Jones, who dropped three passes in the first half Monday after a career-high 11 receptions for 145 yards in the previous Sunday's victory over Baltimore. "We've just got to get to focusing on the ball," Pederson said, adding that Jones didn't get full practice repetitions leading to the game because of a chest injury. "He's very prideful and he'll make sure he bounces back, corrects that stuff in practice and makes sure it doesn't happen again."
Pederson also discussed running back Travis Etienne Jr., whose four fumbles this season are tied for second-most in the NFL behind Melvin Gordon. Etienne fumbled on the second play Sunday, with the Lions recovering at the Jaguars 38 and taking a 7-0 lead seven plays later. "We've just got to keep on him, keep on all the guys: ball security," Pederson said. "The football is the prize possession. We have to continue to teach, continue to show them. They just have to learn."
Pederson said he didn't believe Lions linebacker James Houston should have been penalized for the hit that injured Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence on the final play of the first half Sunday, calling it "borderline" and adding: "I think the hit was OK. It was up high, in the hip area. It was the nature of the twist on the tackle, which is what happens. Guys want to get him on the ground. No fault. It was a good play. It was just unfortunate that Trevor's leg just got caught underneath."
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