Jaguars HC Doug Pederson kept ‘fanning the flame’ before Texans game
The Jacksonville Jaguars did it. For the first time since 2010, they’ve managed to pull off a trifecta, beating the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Tennesse Titans in the same season.
But this isn’t the first streak the Jags have ended in head coach Doug Pederson’s first year at the helm though. They also beat the Titans at Tennessee for the first time since 2013. Similarly, they ended a nine-game losing streak against the Texans in Week 17. Last but not least, this is only the second time since 2008 that Jacksonville has won eight games in a season.
With one game left to play in the season, Jacksonville is 8-8 and closing in on the playoffs. Given how they’ve been playing, there’s a good chance they’ll get in and Pederson deserves credit for keeping the team focused.
Despite the fact that the Jags played ‘a meaningless’ game, Pederson did his best to turn out the noise and keep the team focused. The day after the win over the Texans, Pederson told the media that he wanted the players to focus on the task at hand during the week preceding the game.
There were a lot of distractions around the football team last week”, Pederson said. “And my main focus was to keep them focused, the task at hand. You guys are asking him about meaningless games, and this one doesn’t matter, and why you are playing and all this other stuff”.
“So you’re fanning the flame and I’m trying to go the other way with it, and it’s hard. There were a lot of distractions around the game but the one I’m the most proud of is how the guys handled their business there” Pederson said.
The Jaguars could have lost to the Texans and still be in a position to qualify for the postseason. They had the chance to rest their starters but Pederson refused to take it easy and instead opted to go full steam against their division foes.
The Jaguars are full steam ahead of the 2022 season finale
Once the Jags built a comfortable lead, they did rest some of their starters but that was only after they made sure they could take the foot off the gas pedal. Pederson also told the media that he wanted to make his players understand that “everything we do matters, whether you go back to the preseason games or Week 17 games”.
Looking back, his message worked and his approach didn’t backfire. The Jaguars didn’t suffer any significant injuries and players did eventually rest. On the other hand, it helped them get dialed for their Week 18 matchup against the Titans.
Coming off one of the most taxing seasons in team history, Pederson has helped the Jaguars pull off a 180-degree turn. The only item left on their to-do list is beating the Titans on Saturday.