2023 NFL playoffs: Jaguars’ rare prime-time game a sign of what’s to come with Trevor Lawrence, Doug Pederson – CBSSports.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a new era of their franchise, winning the AFC South in the first year with Doug Pederson as head coach. The immediate success under Pederson, combined with the development of Trevor Lawrence as a franchise quarterback, makes Jacksonville a must-watch team heading into the postseason, which is why the Jaguars got the Saturday prime-time spot on Super Wild Card Weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Jacksonville hasn’t played a Saturday home playoff game since the Jaguars defeated the Miami Dolphins, 62-7, in the AFC divisional round in January of 2000 — which happened to be Dan Marino’s final game. The Jaguars have had just one home playoff game since, and that 2018 win over the Buffalo Bills was on a Sunday afternoon. 

Playing Saturday was new territory for the Jaguars until last week, when Jacksonville beat the Tennessee Titans on a Saturday night to clinch the AFC South. Prior to that, the Jaguars never played in prime time on a Saturday.

Featured Game | Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Night games aren’t common in Jacksonville. The Jaguars haven’t played on “Monday Night Football” since 2011 and “Sunday Night Football” since 2008. This is also a franchise that went an NFL-worst 47-130 from 2011 to 2021 (.266 win percentage) — before Pederson arrived. 

So, how does Pederson get his team prepared for the unfamiliar start time, even though Jacksonville experienced this last week?

“I just told them to get off their feet, to rest, take a nap, maybe watch some more tape. Whatever they can do,” Pederson said Monday. “I didn’t want them running around town or spending a lot of time at home with family and friends. Sometimes that can pull you away and drain you a little bit mentally as well. 

“Just if they could get away and take some time for themselves, and then get over here and get ready to play. It’s a long day. [Last week] we got together, we did some meetings and things like that on game day. For the most part, guys did a nice job of just handling their particular business.”


Playing a Saturday night playoff game is unfamiliar for the Jaguars, yet it’s something they may grow accustomed to with Pederson and Lawrence leading the way. This could be the beginning of a great run in Jacksonville.

“It’s exciting. It’s exciting for the game. It’s exciting for fans, the league, the whole thing to have these young quarterbacks who are year in, year out vying for these postseason spots, and now Trevor gets his opportunity,” Pederson said. “It just goes to show you how important that position is, as we know. 

“We’re just fortunate and blessed to have Trevor as our guy and how much he’s improved over the course of the season leading this football team. Really looking forward to watching him now on this type of stage. Last week was a step for him. Obviously, now this is another step in that direction.”

This content was originally published here.

Share this story