Jags’ Pederson on Lawrence: ‘This is really a great performance by our quarterback’


That was the score after Los Angeles Chargers kicker Cameron Dicker made a 23-yard field goal with 4:25 left in the first half on Saturday night.

Before that kick, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw four first-half interceptions, and Jacksonville committed five first-half turnovers.

After that field goal, Jacksonville scored a touchdown before the end of the first half as Lawrence connected with Evan Engram on a nine-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-7 at the break.

In his first playoff game, Lawrence finished the first half 10/24 for 77 yards, one touchdown, and, again, four interceptions.

“For myself, obviously yeah, definitely the worst half of my football life, of a lot of people’s football life, too,” Lawrence said about the first half. “Some type of history probably in that stat.”

Fortunately for Jacksonville and Lawrence, there was another half of football, and they took full advantage of it.

Lawrence settled down in the second half and was 18/23 for 211 yards and three touchdowns, and he finished the game 28/47 for 288 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

Ultimately, Jacksonville completed the third-greatest comeback in NFL postseason history when kicker Riley Patterson made a 36-yard field goal at the buzzer as they defeated the Chargers 31-30 at TIAA Bank Field.

With the win, Jacksonville moves on to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson played with a gunslinger in Brett Favre. The Hall of Famer had been known to bounce back from interceptions, so Pederson is very familiar with these types of performances from quarterbacks.

“I played with one of the greatest quarterbacks ever in Brett Favre, and there were times he didn’t have a great first half and came back in the second half and could light it up,” Pederson said. “That’s what I love about Trevor [Lawrence] and his demeanor and his aggressiveness and the ability to just forget and move on… But from an individual standpoint, this is really a great performance by our quarterback.”

According to Lawrence, he got more comfortable as the game went on.

“I felt like I was seeing it all right, and I just needed to settle in,” he said. “We didn’t get any momentum going, couldn’t get a drive going. Really just felt like we needed to settle in, and then our defense kept getting stops for us, and I knew once we get the ball and get rolling for that first score like we did at the end of the half. Once we kind of got that and got the momentum back, felt good about – we’ve been in that situation before, not that many points but similar situations. That’s the thing, just the belief in this team. It’s kind of – it’s really cool to see what can happen when everybody believes.”

Pederson says this win is one the greatest victories in his coaching career.

“My hats off to our guys, our team,” he said. “I told them after the game that other than obviously winning the Super Bowl a few years ago, greatest coaching victory as a team, this one is right up there with it. My hats off to our guys for just battling. As deep a hole as we dug in the first half, there was – you guys have been around our team; you know there’s no quit in our guys.”

This was a big win for Jacksonville, and fortunately for them, the Chargers cooperated, but credit to Lawrence for not giving up and credit to this team for fighting to the end.

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