Trevor Lawrence said after the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that the Jacksonville Jaguars looked like a team that doesn't practice. He later revisited his remarks, clarifying that he was talking about himself. However, he isn't entirely wrong. Practice gives teams the chance to make adjustments, install the game plan, and work on things such as execution.
It's fair to say that a team that doesn't practice well will be at a disadvantage on game day. Outside linebacker Josh Allen seems to agree with that. In his latest exchange with the media, Allen said that the effort in practice carries onto the football field.
"It's practice for a reason, practice the right way, you prepare the right way, you build up your confidence for Sunday," Allen said. "When Sunday comes, you've done the hard work of practice, that carries on. Limit the mistakes, you eliminate mistakes and practice each day, that carries on to the game. You run to the ball and practice each day, it carries on to the game."
Allen continued, "If we can show ourselves that we can get back to doing that consistently every day, every play, Sunday is gonna be easy. But again, let's challenge ourselves here today, tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Just get back on track."
Earlier in the exchange, Allen said he was pleased with the way all three phases of the team practiced ahead of Sunday.
"The energy was super hot, it's where we needed to be, offensively defensively, special teams. Just to see everybody go out there and compete a little bit harder, going back to the fundamentals, going back to the basics, man. It is a reality check of where we need to be and where we are, so we're excited about this week, focused on this week, and ready to go out there and showcase what we've been doing," Allen said.
The Jaguars can qualify for the playoffs if they beat the Panthers and both the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts lose Sunday. Conversely, losing to Carolina would be a massive blow to their postseason hopes. In fact, they might need to win out to fend off their division foes.
Josh Allen and the defense must show up for the Jaguars vs. the Panthers
The defense hasn't been particularly great during the Jaguars' four-game losing skid, giving up an average of 29 points during the stretch. Not wrapping up tackles, in particular, has been an issue, with Jacksonville missing a concerning 52 in that span. As Allen noted, practice carries over into game day.
While teams have a limited number of padded practices in any given season, they may not be stressing proper technique. Based on Allen's comments, it seems like the Jaguars are operating with a sense of urgency, something left tackle Cam Robinson also stressed during his exchange with the local media.
Allen is having a career year and has been the team's best defensive player. However, he was relatively quiet against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, posting just five total pressures. Jacksonville will need him and the rest of the defensive front to show out if they don't want to be on the wrong side of an upset.
The window to turn their season around is quickly closing. However, the Jacksonville Jaguars still have a bit of time. They'd better hurry if they don't want to miss the playoffs.