Jaguars players approve decision to go for it before halftime vs. Texans in Week 12

• Jaguars HC Doug Pederson opted to go for it on 4th down before halftime

• The Jags couldn't convert and the decision was under scrutiny

• But all players stand behind Doug P and his approach

Nov 26, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) runs
Nov 26, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) runs / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars were leading the Houston Texans 13-7 at halftime. They had one more chance to put points on the scoreboard before the end of the second quarter after driving 40 yards on four plays to get to the Texans' one-year line. The Jags could've easily kicked a field goal to extend their lead to 16-7. However, they went for the touchdown on first-and-goal and came empty-handed. Jacksonville ultimately won the game 24-21, so the decision didn't come back to haunt them. But even if it did, players fully support head coach Doug Pederson's decision.

Following the win, Pederson told sideline reporter Bucky Brooks that he felt comfortable going for it because the offense was getting the ball to start the second half (20:25 mark). Had the Jaguars scored a touchdown, they would've entered the third quarter with a 14-point momentum swing, which he believes could've been demoralizing for the Texans.

The Jags didn't score though but Jaguars players fully stand behind their decision. When asked about it, wide receiver Christian Kirk told the media after the game, "Yes, you have [go for it] in that situation. He's always going to put us in situations to go out there to make those plays," Kirk said. "We weren't able to make it but we were able to get the ball coming out of half and get some momentum going."

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley echoed Kirk's sentiment. "Be aggressive, we got the players. We believe we're unstoppable, let's think like that, let's do it... just call it, do it. If we get in, we get in. If we don't, defense steps up, makes a play, gets it back," Ridley said.

When Pederson met with the local media Monday, he expanded on the decision, noting that he trusts his players and "his players trust in him to make these decisions, and put them in successful situations."

"There was a logical reason for making that decision, and the decision was we were getting the football. I want it to go up 20-7, with a chance to go even more than the beginning of the third quarter. So those all factor in when making those decisions," Pederson said.

The Jaguars could've easily trusted kicker Brandon McManus to make a field goal and go into halftime with a 17-7 lead. However, Doug Pederson didn't go for it just for the sake of it. He compared the pros and cons and ultimately came up with the conclusion that the positives outweighed the negatives.

Had the Jags scored, Pederson would've been praised for being bold or gutsy. That's how these calls go. Pull it off, and you'll get credit. Fail, and the decision will be scrutinized all week long. Either way, it's easy to see why Doug Pederson thought that going for seven points at halftime made sense.

The offense was playing well ahead of halftime, and if the decision failed, the Jags would've still gotten the ball back in the third quarter. You may not have agreed with it but it seemed like a calculated risk, one Doug Pederson was willing to take.

In the end, it didn't work, but the Jaguars were in a position to beat the Texans, which is what they did. Now, they're 8-3 and hold a two-game lead on Houston in the AFC South.

Here are other recent Jaguars stories you may also enjoy: