O-Zone: Entertainment only


JACKSONVILLE – One more day until Look-Ahead Wednesday. Sigh.

Hey, Zone. I’m hard-pressed to remember a game where the team failed on all three fronts like Sunday. Last week felt like everyone was pressing too much, but what went on against the Texans? This feels like it could be a turning point, for better or for worse.

This is a fair question and a fair point. The Jaguars lost to the Houston Texans, 37-17, at EverBank Stadium Sunday. It felt early as if the Jaguars had momentum and energy. That lasted until wide receiver Calvin Ridley dropped a potential 30-yard first-possession touchdown reception on the first series, with kicker Brandon McManus missing a 48-yard field goal to end the series. The Texans hit a big pass play on the ensuing series to set up a touchdown for a 7-0 lead. A slew of Jaguars mistakes followed. Was that the same “pressing” of which players and coaches spoke after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs a week before? Was it just an awful first half followed by a brief second-half surge followed by a really weird kickoff return for a touchdown by the Texans? My sense is that without that kickoff return for a touchdown this might have been a tight game. The Jaguars perhaps would have rallied and won as they did so often late last season. But that’s a big “perhaps” – and the Jaguars didn’t win. This is a long answer in part because I don’t know the answer. Coaches will spend this week looking for answers. You’re correct that it could be a turning point. Sunday is the sort of game that defines or turns seasons. If the Jaguars don’t recover, Sunday will be remembered as the day a slide started. I expect it will be a turning point in the other direction. We’ll see.

So, knowing that we’re not football professionals, can we at least agree that the fans MAY have been justified in being nervous about the offensive and defensive lines going into the season? I know that left tackle Cam Robinson will be coming back in two weeks, but help is not on the way for the defensive line. There’s seriously no one who could’ve been signed to at least challenge this Texans’ hodgepodge line? We heard all week how the Texans were doomed that they had four of five starters injured, yet the Jags made them look like a playoff-caliber offensive O line? Talk me off the ledge, O-Zone.

The offensive line has been inconsistent through three games. The defensive line/pass rush did not have a good day Sunday. I was surprised. I thought the pass rush Sunday would be closer to what it was in the first two weeks of the season. Were fans justified in being nervous? Sure, fans can worry about whatever they choose. They can feel justified for worrying about whatever they choose, too.

Curtis from Shack Outside La Grange

Not sure that I’ve ever been more disgusted with a Jags performance. Every phase of the team was unprepared, disinterested and pathetic. I know that I’m not supposed to tell you what to print in your column but please don’t say that it was only Week 3. #Disgusted.

When teams lose, it’s easy to say they were unprepared and disinterested. Sometimes they just play poorly and lose. Either way, it is fair to be disgusted with what we saw Sunday? Sure, why not?

Vince from St. Augustine, FL

I wish I could say that this game was disappointing, but “disappointing” doesn’t even scratch the surface. Not only did the offense, defense and special teams break down, but they seem to be regressing every week. You keep harping about all the talent that this team has. Are you wrong, just plain wrong, or was last season just a shadow like the 2017 season?

I haven’t the foggiest idea what harping means in this context. People ask questions, I answer. The Jaguars have talent. If you watched last season, you see they have talent. They’re not playing well right now.

I don’t like the trend of slow starts and horrible third-down conversion rate. What is it going to take for this team to snap out of it?

Better execution and fewer mistakes at key times.

Daniel from Geneva, Switzerland

O-man, do you think it’s time to stop talking about the talent on this team, but rather start talking about the lack thereof?

The Jaguars have talent. They have played poorly and made mistakes in recent weeks. That’s not the same thing.

So, permission to panic now?

Experience tells me fans do what they want when they want. They do not seek permission for anything and they particularly don’t follow my lead on these matters.

Remy from Saint Augustine

Let’s talk No. 1 draft pick!

No sacks against backups. Don’t we have to admit that outside linebackers Josh Allen, Travon Walker  and K’Lavon Chaisson are busts?

I understand the need for labels and judgments. I’m not interested in such things three weeks into a season. The pass rush wasn’t good Sunday. It had been OK the first two weeks.

Your assessment is that the Jags played with more passion and energy than the Texans until the Ridley drop of the would-be touchdown pass? A play that happened with 11:45 left in the first quarter? That is enough for you to surmise that the Jags came into the game with more passion and energy? You could be right, but if two mistakes in the first four minutes of a game are enough to cause your team to lose that energy and go into the tank, I’m guessing we’re in for a long season.

You’re referencing an O-Zone answer from Monday. I don’t know that the answer surmised anything as much as it was trying to figure what happened Sunday. I wrote how it looked at first glance. The Jaguars seemed to have energy early. It seemed to go away after the first drive and first Texans drive – at least in the first half. I don’t know why what happened next happened. I’m not sure Head Coach Doug Pederson knew exactly why what happened next happened. You’re right that it’s concerning. It’s up to the Jaguars now to make that concern go away.

Tony from The Land of Confusion

Given that Walker Little is currently the only offensive lineman playing well, is it possible that when Cam comes back he ends up playing somewhere else along the line aside from left tackle? Seems like “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” would apply here.

I expect Cam Robinson to play left tackle when he returns from his four-game season-opening suspension. This is not written in stone or gospel. Stay tuned.

Here’s one for you. The only games in the Doug Pederson era they didn’t trail: Week 3 versus Indy last year, Week 3 versus Chargers, Week 17 versus Houston. Most of these games, Jags don’t score first or they trail at halftime. This needs to change, agree?

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

I finally thought we broke the Jags’ curse. Are we back to being the same ‘ol jags?

I don’t know what “same old Jags” means. I know fans interpret these things in different ways. I expect the Jaguars to win more games than they lose this season – in the 11-to-12-range – and contend for the AFC South title.

John. Let’s set aside for a moment the play-calling and the execution, the design of who should be targeted in the passing game is my biggest concern. Why were wide receiver Christian Kirk and tight end Evan Engram targeted just one combined time in the first half while wide receivers Jamal Agnew and Tim Jones and tight ends Luke Farrell and tight end Brenton Strange had a combined six targets? No offense to those players, but I can’t think of any reason those players should have that many targets, especially in a single half. Can you think of one?

Targets typically are the result of the look the defense gives rather than predetermined decisions. Pederson said the idea was to get Kirk and Engram involved earlier. I would expect them to focus on this area this week.

I had season tickets for 16 years, took three years off for COVID and Urban Meyer. Jumped back on the Jaguars’ bandwagon and got season tickets again. Can you tell me that I have not wasted my money and time in supporting this “thing?” I have been through the down years, and after being at the last two home games, I’m sitting in the same disaster AGAIN. Any recommendations?

I am not a Certified Public Accountant nor am I a financial advisor. Words written here in the O-Zone should be considered entertainment and not financial advice.

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