Doug Pederson’s unique perspective in Jaguars’ comeback

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Did you see Doug Pederson’s halftime interview with Kaylee Hartung on NBC Saturday night during Chargers-Jaguars? Pederson had just watched his team turn it over five times in the first 25 minutes of the game, leading to 20 Chargers points and a 27-7 halftime lead for L.A. Trevor Lawrence threw four picks. It was a tragicomedy of errors. Yet, Pederson had a vibe of don’t-worry-we’ll-be-fine with Hartung. “We just gotta keep chipping,” he said, talking like he was leaving his house and telling his wife, “Be right back. Gotta pick up a few groceries.”

“The demeanor you saw with me and Kaylee was the same demeanor I carried into the locker room with the team,” Pederson told me an hour after the game. “I was internally frustrated, obviously, with how we played. But I went in and told the team, ‘One play at a time. Chip away. Defense, you’re starting the second half—get us a stop. Offense, we gotta score every time we touch the ball.’ I knew we could get back into the football game.”

Isn’t that the way a coach should be when the sky is falling? Guys, the sky is not falling. We handed them 20 points. They didn’t hurt us in the first half—we hurt ourselves. It’s not happy talk. The Chargers’ average drive start on their first seven drives—when they produced all 27 points—was the Jags’ 42-. I mean, what team wouldn’t score a bunch of points when getting the ball in such great field position drive after drive?

“It was the strangest 27 points given up I think I’ve ever been a part of,” Pederson said. “It didn’t feel like we were out of the football game, which is crazy to say. That was just Trevor’s demeanor too, the whole offense. And the team felt that.”

Chip, chip, chip. Two late plays, a dumb foul by Joey Bosa and a nothing half from Justin Herbert (four drives, three points) decided this one. After Bosa got an unsportsmanlike penalty for slamming his helmet to the ground – frustrated with an official not calling a false start on a Jacksonville TD – with 5:25 left in the game, Pederson had the option of taking the 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff, or having the ball put at the Chargers’ one- for a two-point conversion try. It was 30-26. Going for two, if successful, would mean the Jags would need only a field goal to win; failing would mean Jacksonville would need a late TD.

Pederson said he would have kicked the PAT if Bosa didn’t incur the penalty. Going for two from 36 inches away made all the difference.

“Well,” Pederson said, “the thought process was a field goal wins the game. And so that’s what I decided to do. I was putting it in the players’ hands. Players wanted to go for it. They were excited. They felt like we had a great call. I felt that was kind of an easy decision to make.”

Lawrence reached over with the ball palmed in his right hand, and the ball easily crossed the plane of the goal line. Now it was 30-28.

Lawrence’s critical two-point conversion. (Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Herbert, with a chance to put the game away, went sack, short completion, short completion, punt. Not good. Jacksonville got the ball at its 21- with 3:09 left and all three timeouts. The Jags got to the L.A. 41- and called time. Fourth-and-two-feet. Season on the line.

“I felt like we were a little too far for the field goal. Our season was coming down to basically 18 inches. We’re going for this and put it into the players’ hands. Phil Rauscher, my offensive line coach, came up with that play. Did a great job of design.”

The formation screamed quarterback sneak. Behind Lawrence, who was under center, was a three-man backfield: from the left, fleet back Travis Etienne, 252-pound tight end Luke Farrell, 260-pound tight end Chris Manhertz. At the snap, Lawrence could push forward and get backhoed forward by 512 pounds of tight end.

“Have you seen us QB-sneak this year?” Pederson said. “We’re not very good. I mean, we’re just not good.”

Rauscher’s idea against a heavy front was to signal sneak but to unleash Etienne around the end. And Lawrence handed it to Etienne and he swept right, and all he had to do was beat first-half hero Asante Samuel Jr., and he did. Etienne for 25. Easy field-goal range for Riley Patterson, and he snuck the 36-yard winner just inside the right upright. Ballgame.

“Last question,” I said to Pederson. “Where does this victory rank in your life?”

I knew what I wanted him to say. We’re a month away from the five-year anniversary of Pederson’s Super Bowl win in Philadelphia. But would this all-timer of a comeback be in the same league?

Pederson didn’t hesitate. “It’s second,” he said. “Right behind the Super Bowl.”

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule: Dates, start times, how to watch/live stream info for today’s games

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The 2023 NFL Playoffs have been filled with nothing short of excitement! The action continues this week with the Championship Round on Sunday, January 29. First, at 3:00 PM ET Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers will head to Lincoln Financial Field to take on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Then at 6:30 PM ET Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

See below for the full AFC, NFC Championship Round schedule as well as additional information on how to watch each game.

Click here for the full 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

Conference Championship Round Schedule:

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AFC Championship Game:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs – 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

RELATED: Brock Purdy, Jalen Hurts met in a 2019 college football classic


2023 Divisional Round Scores and Recap:

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)


What 4 teams are in the NFL playoffs?

The San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Which teams have been eliminated from the 2023 NFL Playoffs?

The Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys have all been eliminated from the 2023 NFL playoffs.

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys

NFL Super Bowl History:

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

What NFL games are on today? TV, kickoff, live stream for today’s AFC, NFC Championship games

NFL: AUG 21 Preseason - Bills at Bears
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The 2023 NFL Playoff action continues this weekend with two Conference Championship games this afternoon. The action kicks off at 3:00 p.m. ET as Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers will make the trek to Lincoln Financial Field to take on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Then at 6:30 PM ET Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals will go head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

See below for additional information on how to watch/live stream today’s games as well as the latest NFL playoff scores, schedules, and bracket.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule – Dates, start times, how to watch/live stream info for Sunday’s games

What NFL games are on today?

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs – What to know about SF QB Brock Purdy Ahead of NFC Championship game

AFC Championship Game:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs – 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

NFL Super Bowl History:

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys


When is Super Bowl LVII?

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

2023 NFL Playoff Bracket:


2023 NFL Playoff Scores:

Wild Card Weekend Scores and Recap:

Seahawks (7) vs 49ers (2)

Chargers (5) vs Jaguars (4)

Dolphins (7) vs Bills (2) 

Giants (6) vs Vikings (3) 

Ravens (6) vs Bengals (3) 

Cowboys (5) vs Buccaneers (4) 

2023 Divisional Round Scores and Recap:

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Playoffs, and be