There are many reasons the Jacksonville Jaguars lost 30-12 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Trevor Lawrence's play certainly had a role, and his exit with a shoulder injury didn't help matters. But as head coach Doug Pederson pointed out, he wasn't the only play who failed to show up in Week 16.
Pederson met with the local media after the loss and said that Lawrence shouldn't be the only player who needs to shoulder the blame.
"You can't pin this all on the quarterback," Pederson said. "Everybody else practiced, we didn't as a team. It wasn't good, the sense of urgency wasn't there. We didn't execute very well on offense, the turnovers kept piling up, the run game all that kind of stuff. It affects the whole process and so, it's not one guy, it's the coaches, myself, players, we're all in this together."
Regarding the offense's four turnovers, Pederson says there's only so much the coaches can do, and it's up to the players to execute.
"I can't go out there, do it, Press can't do it. Mike Caldwell can't. The players, at some point, have to have enough pride to not try to turn it over. They're not trying to turn the ball over. But there has to be a sense of urgency, the ball security to protect the football and it's not there right now," Pederson said.
Lawrence threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. That's five turnovers he's had the past two games. All things considered, it's possible that the third-year quarterback wasn't 100 percent. He suffered a concussion in the loss to the Baltimore Ravens and sprained his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals three weeks ago.
Following the Ravens game, Lawrence spent most of the week in concussion protocol. Pederson told the media Friday that if he got cleared Saturday, Lawrence would play. He now says that the thought of not playing him never crossed his mind:
"I did not. Once Trevor was cleared, and he was good, he spent the week in the meetings and all that. I didn't not hesitate. Once he was cleared, he's our starter," Pederson said.
The Buccaneers showed up ready to play, the Jaguars didn't
In the end, C.J. Beathard ended up playing, even if it only happened until Lawrence wasn't able to go. Either way, it's hard to think the outcome of the game would've been much different had Beathard gotten the start.
The defense couldn't stop Baker Mayfield, who went 26-of-35 for 283 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. While they held the Bucs to just 70 yards on 36 carries, they gave up a touchdown on the ground.
By the time the Jags reached the Tampa Bay end zone, the game was already out of reach. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley's two touchdowns were a bright spot in what was otherwise an embarrassing performance, but even he made plays when it no longer mattered.
Working in the Jags' favor is that the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans, teams they're tied with for first place in the AFC South, also lost Sunday. Having said that, it's hard to see Jacksonville getting hot and doing much of note the remainder of the season based on how things have unfolded the past four weeks.