The Jacksonville Jaguars are heading on the road this weekend as they will be traveling to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be a homecoming of sorts for head coach Doug Pederson, as he spent five seasons as head coach of the team.
He helped lead them to a Super Bowl victory for the 2017 season, overcoming the loss of starting quarterback Carson Wentz and not missing a beat with Nick Foles taking over the starting job. The team was competitive throughout most of his tenure there.
Had Nick Sirianni not been doing such a great job as his replacement, there would likely be a lot more backlash about the franchise’s decision to fire Pederson following the 2020 season. That season ended in turmoil as there were hints of the Eagles losing the final game of the season on purpose to improve draft position.
Pederson caught the heat for that and was fired after the team went 4-11-1. That snapped their three-year streak of having a winning record and making the postseason. After sitting out last season, Pederson returned to the sidelines this year to oversee the Jaguars.
So far so good, as Jacksonville is 2-1. They are heading into Philadelphia with a ton of momentum after shutting out the Indianapolis Colts, 24-0, in Week 2 and blowing out the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3, 38-10.
Now, they will be faced with another stiff test trying to slow down the soaring Eagles. They have been excellent on both sides of the ball, as Jalen Hurts is coming into his own as the starting quarterback. That isn’t something Pederson is all too surprised about.
Pederson coached Hurts during his rookie season and was part of the regime that saw enough in him to select him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The former Heisman Trophy runner-up is starting to realize that potential that they saw, as he is among the early favorites for the MVP award this season.
Slowing Hurts down will not be easy for the Jaguars, but their defense has been playing very well. This matchup is one of the more intriguing ones of the week as both teams look to keep their early season momentum going.