NFL

Jaguars 'starting to believe' as overtime win against Cowboys maintains playoff push

By Sports Desk December 18, 2022

The Jacksonville Jaguars are gaining ground on the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South and, according to head coach Doug Pederson, they are gaining something even more important — belief.

A pick-six from Rayshawn Jenkins clinched a thrilling 40-34 overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, with the Jaguars fighting back from a 27-10 deficit in the third quarter.

The win moved Jacksonville to 6-8, just a win behind the Titans in the AFC South, boosting their hopes of featuring in the postseason for the first time since 2017 and making what would only be a fourth playoff appearance since the turn of the millennium.

Four of the Jaguars six wins this season have come since Week 9, when a five-game losing streak came to an end against the Las Vegas Raiders, and Pederson attributed the turnaround in fortunes to Jacksonville's resilience.

"I'm just happy for the guys. They never gave up, we talked about it at the hotel and again today," he told his post-match press conference.

"We kept chipping away against a good football team. They're a well coached unit, they're one of the top teams in the league. This win today just gives our guys confidence in who they are as a team.

"The belief has always been there. Trevor [Lawrence] has done a great job of just running the show, running the team, doing what he is capable of doing.

"I'm just so happy for him but really for the whole team. The guys are starting to believe too and that's important down the stretch. It was a tremendous win, everybody in all three phases had a part in it."

Quarterback Lawrence echoed those views, praising the team's mentality in fighting back from difficult positions.

"This is a newer group, a lot of us haven't played together before. We've got a lot of new guys, you build that trust together over time. I think we've built that pretty fast but it takes time," said Lawrence.

"Early in the year we had to prove to each other we can win no matter what the situation is. I think we got more and more confident as the season has gone on.

"No matter what hole were in, we can get ourselves out of it. We've just got to keep playing.

"I think we've done that three or four times this season, when something bad happens, no one is looking around, were staying calm, we've just got to make the next play. We've been able to make plays in those big moments where you have to have them.

"Obviously you don't want to be in that situation every week but sometimes it's going to happen. To be able to fight through that, it says a lot about this team, how much we trust each other."

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