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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

Jaguars anger gamblers with surprising late-game decision

Doug Pederson in a visor

Aug 12, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson looks on during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars made a puzzling decision late in their loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday that infuriated some people who wagered on the game.

The Jaguars were trailing 31-21 when they scored a touchdown with 1:33 left to cut the lead to 31-27. It seemed obvious that Jacksonville would kick the extra point to go down a field goal, but Doug Pederson opted to go for two. The two-point attempt failed when Trevor Lawrence was sacked.

Jacksonville then attempted an onside kick and did not recover, allowing the Browns to kneel out the clock.

There would have been no difference in the outcome even if the Jaguars kicked the extra point, but it is unclear why Pederson risked putting his team in position to need a touchdown rather than a field goal with so little time remaining. The likely reason is that he preferred to play for the game-winning field goal or touchdown rather than risk overtime, as Lawrence was dealing with a significant ankle injury.

Whatever the case, there were a lot of people who bet on the Jaguars at +3 in the game. Had Jacksonville lost by three, those bettors would have pushed. They were not happy with Pederson’s unusual decision.

Lawrence was in significant pain after suffering an ankle injury late in Jacksonville’s Week 13 loss. He appeared hobbled at times on Sunday, so Pederson probably wanted nothing to do with overtime. Unfortunately, the circumstances led to a lot of people getting burned.

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