The Jacksonville Jaguars taketh, and the Jaguars giveth away

Jacksonville Jaguars v Cleveland Browns
Jacksonville Jaguars v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages

There’s a fascinating game on Sunday night at Jacksonville when the 10-3 Baltimore Ravens, tied for the best record in the NFL and with the best win-loss mark in the AFC, take on the division-leading but perplexing 8-5 Jaguars.

Both teams come off games in which they gave up 31 points. John Harbaugh’s team got a return 76-yard punt return from Tylan Wallace in overtime to outlast the Los Angeles Rams, 37-31. As for the Jaguars, Doug Pederson’s club made one too many mistakes in a 31-27 setback at Cleveland.

Pederson’s club has been tough to get a gauge on. A 1-2 start was followed by five straight wins. However, the Jaguars have now dropped three of their last five games. It’s also worth noting that the team has won only two of their six games at TIAA Bank Field. Jacksonville’s 3-4 home record includes a 23-7 victory over the Falcons in London.

It’s more interesting with the fact that the team continues to make it sure of mistakes but also takes advantage of the fact that they have a defensive unit that comes up with plenty of opponent miscues.

Prior to Pederson’s arrival in 2022, the Jaguars finished dead last in the league with nine takeaways. A year ago, Jacksonville tripled that total by forcing 27 turnovers. The team did give up the ball 22 times in 17 regular-season outings.

Now 13 games into this season, Pederson’s club has come up with 24 takeaways but has already turned over the ball 22 times. Last Sunday’s loss to the Browns epitomized the season as the Jaguars came up with three Browns’ turnovers. However, Trevor Lawrence and company gave up the rock four times, including three interceptions by Jacksonville’s star signal-caller.

Pederson’s reigning AFC South champions has the much-improved Colts and Texans right on their heels. A third straight loss could make things interesting in this division. If the Jaguars are going to hold on and win a second straight division title, they have to do a better job of hanging onto the pigskin.