The Jacksonville Jaguars are facing the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football. They've lost two games in a row but tight end Evan Engram believes they have enough talent in place to bounce back. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley echoes that sentiment, noting that it's not time to press the panic button just yet.
Ridley met with the local media ahead of the Sunday Night bout and shared a balanced take on the current state of the Jaguars.
"We shouldn't panic, we're football players. You win, you lose. It's a game," Ridley said. "Sometimes you feel good. Sometimes you don't feel good. We just got to be good when it counts when it starts to count, be good, we'll be alright. It is what it is, we lose some games, we win some games but you got to be good when it counts. That's what we need to do."
Ridley is right. The Jaguars are still 8-5 and in first place in the AFC. Clinching the top seed, a realistic possibility a couple weeks ago, may no longer be feasible but that doesn't mean Jacksonville is suddenly the worst team in the league. Simply, they've failed to deliver the past two losses. The good news is that they have four games left to get back on track.
For that to happen, the Jaguars need to execute, both the coaching staff and players. Ridley, for his part, says he needs to focus better, "pay attention more in meetings, be more in the moment, and the moment only. Pay attention."
Ridley was the subject of controversy when he failed to turn around on a play that resulted in Trevor Lawrence throwing a pick in the loss to the Cleveland Browns. Lawrence looked visibly frustrated but later downplayed the situation. Offensive coordinator Press Taylor later clarified that it wasn't a matter of running the wrong route but rather an instance of not being on the same wavelength.
Regarding the play, Ridley had no trouble accepting blame, "I just needed to look, literally that was it. That was pretty much it. Just get my head around a little faster on the play."
Ridley joined the Jaguars via trade at the deadline last year. At the time, he was serving a suspension for betting on NFL games in December 2021. He was reinstated in March and quickly showed he was still in football shape. The Alabama product was one of the stars in training camp but he's been somewhat inconsistent in the regular season. In seven of the 15 games he's played in Jacksonville, he's registered 40 yards or fewer. Yet, he's caught 55 receptions for 742 yards with three touchdowns, routinely showing flashes of the player he was early in his career.
Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley's responses show he's level-headed
Some critics may want Calvin Ridley to put his head down and apologize for not turning in time to catch Trevor Lawrnece's pass. But the truth is that he's got a healthy approach to the situation. He surely wishes he had made the play but there's not much he can do but pay more attention moving foward.
Similarly, his response about hitting the panic button shows maturity from his end. The highs are never that high nor the lows that low. More importantly, you cannot go into panic mode every time you face adversity, that's life, and the Jaguars are in a position to bounce back against the Ravens.
It's true that the Jags won't be at full strength but that doesn't mean they should go ahead and forfeit. Injuries are an inherent part of the sport and the best teams manage to overcome them. It won't be easy to beat Baltimore without wide receiver Chrisitan Kirk and a patched-up offensive line but Jacksonville still has enough talent to repel the Ravens.
Calvin Ridley is ready to put the loss to the Browns behind and a big game from him could help the Jaguars get on top of the Ravens.