The Jacksonville Jaguars are far from the team they were last season. They’ve gone from a 3-13 squad that finished last in the AFC South, to 9-8 division winners this year. Thanks to a wild comeback, excellent play-calling and a complete turnaround between halves from quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in the wild-card round 31-30 and kept their season alive. Despite having five turnovers in the first half, the Jags overcame a 27-0 deficit at home in impressive fashion.
The Jaguars will now play on their biggest stage yet against the top-seeded team in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Jags will have to travel to face Patrick Mahomes and Co. as underdogs in a difficult stadium, so it will not be easy for head coach Doug Pederson’s team.
Regardless, Pederson is impressed with how his team has played already and whatever the outcome is on Saturday, he’s proud of his team.
“Whether we win (or) whether we lose, our season was a huge success,” Pederson said on Tuesday, via NFL media
Pederson commented on what an accomplishment it is to make it to the divisional round, saying, “Whether it’s house money or our money, we’re here … we’re one of four teams left in the AFC and that says a lot.”
Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins compared the team to a cockroach, and while Pederson is not exactly a fan of the bug, he explains the metaphor and how the comparison made since in Saturday’s victory.
“I mean, cockroaches are kind of disgusting,” Pederson said on the comparison. “Maybe that’s what we are, I don’t know. They are. I probably would’ve used a different analogy there, but players and coaches, we all see it differently but the same. Right now, our team is, we’re a tough football team, we’re a physical football team.”
He admitted the team has some things to work on, but that they never give up.
“Those are some of the things we pride ourselves in,” Pederson continued. “We’re not perfect, we still make mistakes. It was evident Saturday night. The one thing our team is going to do is they’re going to battle. They’re going to keep fighting, scratching and clawing. We’re going to give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter and I hope that’s what he meant by us being cockroaches.”