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Pederson 'excited' for Jaguars' future after 1st playoff run since 2017

Jason Hanna / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Head coach Doug Pederson is "excited" for the Jacksonville Jaguars' future after the club's first playoff run since the 2017 season came to an end Saturday.

"I feel like we're close. Obviously, we've got the right leader in Trevor (Lawrence). Feel really good about him, obviously. What he's done, how he's played this season. ... I'm excited for the future in Jacksonville," Pederson said postgame after the 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.

The Jaguars made a remarkable turnaround in Pederson's first season as head coach. Jacksonville, which picked first in the last two NFL drafts, won six of its last seven games to clinch its first playoff berth and AFC South title in five years. The Jaguars then stormed back from a 27-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Chargers in the wild-card round before falling to the Chiefs on Saturday.

Jacksonville never trailed by more than 10 points against Kansas City, but a failed onside kick in the final minute ended any hopes of a comeback.

"Nobody expected us, the Jaguars, to be in this football game from the beginning of the season to today. ... Our expectation is to be in these games every year," Pederson told reporters.

Lawrence enjoyed a breakout year under Pederson, completing 66.3% of his passes for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. The 2021 No. 1 overall pick also expressed confidence that the team will be able to build on its playoff berth.

"This is more the beginning than the end for us," Lawrence said postgame, according to The Athletic's Jeff Howe. "It's just getting started."

Pederson 'excited' for Jaguars' future after 1st playoff run since 2017
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