Doug Pederson back in Philly with upstart Jaguars seeking upset
A week after beating — and beating up — their former quarterback, the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles seek a similar outcome against a former head coach on Sunday.
Doug Pederson, who took the Eagles to their only Super Bowl championship five years ago, returns to Philadelphia with a Jacksonville Jaguars team enjoying its first winning streak since October 2019.
Pederson compiled a 42-37-1 record in five seasons (2016-20) with the Eagles, highlighted by the Super Bowl LII win against the New England Patriots. Before becoming the head coach, he was on Andy Reid’s Philadelphia staff from 2019-12. He also started nine games at quarterback for the Eagles in 1999.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back there,” Pederson said. “I understand that city, I understand that passion for football, but now I’m on the other side. … But I’m looking forward to it and to getting back up there. It’s been a great place. We did a lot of good things there and I’m looking forward to hopefully the welcome.”
Even with Philly’s famously fickle fans, Pederson can expect a much warmer welcome than the one that the Eagles defense delivered last weekend to Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz.
Philadelphia (3-0) sacked Wentz nine times and limited the Commanders to 240 yards total offense in a 24-8 victory. Jalen Hurts powered the NFL’s No. 1 offense (447.0 yards per game) with 340 yards and three touchdowns through the air and DeVonta Smith caught eight passes for a career-high 169 yards and a score.
The Jaguars (2-1) halted an 18-game road losing streak with a 38-10 win against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3. A victory against the Eagles would be their first against an NFC team since defeating the New York Giants in the 2018 season opener.
Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni, who took over after Pederson was fired in January 2021, is excited for their first meeting.
“I have a ton of respect for him,” Sirianni said of Pederson. “… I’ve heard nothing but phenomenal things. I think he’s a great football coach, obviously, he brought this city a world championship and so, so much respect for him.”
The Jaguars are playing their best football in years, shutting out the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2 and piling up 413 yards of offense against the Chargers. Trevor Lawrence was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week — 262 passing yards and three touchdowns last week — against L.A. and James Robinson rushed for 100 yards and a score.
“You can just tell that they’re well coached and it doesn’t surprise me at all because I know how good of a coach [Pederson] is,” Sirianni said. “So we’re going to be working like crazy to put our guys in good position and I know he will be doing the same there.”
Several Eagles did not practice Wednesday, including wide receiver A.J. Brown (personal), cornerback Darius Slay (back), guard Landon Dickerson (foot) and running back Boston Scott (rib). Smith (back) was a limited participant, as were running back Miles Sanders (hip) and defensive tackle Milton Williams (knee).
Offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen missed Jacksonville’s practice Wednesday with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hip) was limited.
–Field Level Media