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O-Zone: Give it time

Posted Sep 11, 2017

HOUSTON, Texas – Let’s get to it …

Brett from Whangarei, New Zealand:
So, John: how do the Jags get some credit from NFL.com? A complete destruction of the Texans and the headline reads "Watson replaces Savage in Texans' loss to Jags." Surely, we deserve better than this.
John: Some friendly advice, Brett? Enjoy Sunday; don’t worry about credit. Credit, respect and all the other things fans so desperately and understandably covet come with consistent winning. As for the headline on NFL.com, it’s understandable: Quarterback changes get clicks because quarterbacks are recognizable names and because of fantasy football. This one had extra pop because Deshaun Watson was a Top 10 selection. If the Jaguars had lost Sunday and replaced a veteran with a Top 10-drafted quarterback, it would have been a headline. The victory is better than a headline. A headline will be gone in a few days; the victory is here forever. Enjoy it. And read jaguars.com. The Jaguars get plenty of credit here, and you’ll get the privilege of reading a damned funny, strikingly insightful – and devastatingly handsome – senior writer. With all that here, why go anywhere else?
Al from Orange Park:
Finally, a good day to be a Jags fan. Feels real good, doesn't it??
John: It a-ight.
Geoff from Jacksonville:
Man, I feel horrible for A-Rob. Get better soon!
John: The Jaguars announced on Sunday evening that wide receiver Allen Robinson sustained an injury to his let anterior cruciate ligament on the first series Sunday. They didn’t announce that it was torn and they didn’t announce he was done for the season. But any ACL injury isn’t good. Head Coach Doug Marrone is expected to discuss the issue further on a conference call Monday. We’ll hear the news soon enough. But yes, it’s OK to feel horrible for Robinson. He worked throughout the offseason, had a great camp and was going to be a major part of the offense. If he’s indeed out for the season, it’s not good.
TJ S from Orlando, FL:
Nicely done! Now let's do that 15 more times! #DTWD
John: I’ll send this up the ladder to Doug.
Justin from Jacksonville:
I hope your job got a little easier after this W.
John: Thanks, but I write and talk about football. It’s not hard. But I am honestly happy for Jaguars fans, players and coaches after a day such as Sunday. The players and coaches work hard and their careers depend on these games. Jaguars fans have waited a long time for the team to succeed. I know a lot of people in all three categories and even like some of them. Seeing them happy is cool. I like it.
Bob from Jacksonville:
When the Texans scored on the opening drive of the second half, I got that "here-we-go-again” feeling. The offense promptly marched down the field and scored on the next drive. Very impressive. Maybe we ain't so bad after all.
John: Defensive end Calais Campbell and Marrone both correctly identified the drive as the key point in the game. The Texans had cut a 19-0 lead to 19-7 early in the third quarter. Momentum felt a bit in their favor. The Jaguars responded with their lone length-of-the-field touchdown drive of the game. I’m sure the Jaguars have had other such drives in recent seasons, but I’m hard-pressed to remember many. The 10 sacks by the Jaguars’ defense was the most impressive thing Sunday. The play of the offensive line was second. But that drive? A pretty solid third.
Darrick from Jacksonville:
When was the last time the Jaguars nailed your "10 Things" list like this? Maybe you need to be on the sidelines with a headset.
John: I can only write the 10 things the Jaguars must do to win. I can’t remotely control whether or not they do them.
Todd from Jacksonville:
I'm anxious to see what Dave from Duval, Bill from Hammock, Ben from Jacksonville and Mike from St. Louis thought of the game.
John: Are you really?
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
Kings for a week, I will take it. You know, being huddled up in an unfamiliar hotel room out of town, avoiding the hurricane at home … I needed this. It was a thing of beauty. What a happy moment. I hope my tree didn't fall on my roof.
John: I talked to more than one Jaguars player Sunday who would be glad to read what you wrote. I won’t say that the concerns of players and coaches about what’s happening in Florida caused Sunday’s victory. Such issues, while dire and far more important than football, have limited impact on outcomes of sporting events. But I will say that when players such as Telvin Smith and Brandon Linder talked afterward about hoping Sunday’s game had at least some level of positive effect on people dealing with Irma, it seemed heartfelt. By the way, I also hope a tree doesn’t fall on your roof. What I really, really hope is that a tree doesn’t fall on my roof. All the same, good luck with yours.
Ed from Jacksonville:
What accounted for our offensive line's performance? How safe is our kicker's job; how safe should it be? How well did our wide receivers play?
John: The offensive line played well and were not as bad as many feared in the preseason; game-planning matters, and teams don’t game plan as much during the preseason as the regular season. I would assume Jason Myers is not as safe as he was Friday. As far as the Jaguars’ receivers, they were OK given their opportunities. If Robinson is indeed out, they must be better.
Ryan from Fremont, OH:
Two things. 1. Who woulda thunk? 2. If Bortles plays the rest of the season like he did against the Texans, do you think he will still be the quarterback?
John: Two answers. 1. Few. 2. For the rest of the season, yes; after that, I don’t know.
Keithen from Jacksonville:
The Jags won their season opener against the Texans with a 29-7 victory. Are the Jags really that good or was the game just to get our hopes up for a team that is going to be mediocre? Thanks.
John: The Jaguars play the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field in the second game of the 2017 regular season Sunday.
Jessie from Orlando, FL:
John, the defense looks to have come together sooner rather than later. Do you see them bringing in a wide receiver if Allen Robinson is out? No one seemed to step up on the receiving corps.
John: I do expect the Jaguars to bring in a receiver if Robinson’s injury is serious – and it appears as of Sunday evening that it is serious – but don’t hold your breath thinking a receiver not on the roster is going to replace Robinson’s production or his value. While the receiving corps is deep, Robinson was the most important piece of that group. That’s because of his ability to high point the ball and make plays in traffic. The players who must step up if he is out are Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns, but I wouldn’t assume they can’t be more productive moving forward than they were Sunday. The Jaguars threw just 21 passes Sunday. There weren’t all that many opportunities for the receivers to “step up.”
Steve from Denver where they know how to play pro football:
O- Great team win. Shouldn't a pro team be able to start the season getting off the first play without a penalty? Are you sure reviewing the last several years that readers could not do better than our "decision makers?"
John: Yep. Yep. And yep.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
You told us so. I can and do admit when I am wrong. The O-line showed up strong Sunday. We knew the defense was good, but they made a jump to elite today! THAT was a beautiful win from start to finish. Let's see if it can keep going! GO JAGS!
John: Whoa, whoa, whoa Logan … while I am thrilled to hear that you always were and always will be wrong, I can’t rightly say “I told you so.” I did write often that you can’t assume preseason struggles will become regular-season reality, but I didn’t expect the Jaguars’ offensive line to play as well as it did Sunday. And while I thought the defense would be good this season, I was up front in my doubts about whether they were yet a disruptive, turnover-forcing unit. I had to see to believe. Still, just as preseason is best kept in perspective, the same is true of regular-season Week 1. Enjoy Sunday, but all questions aren’t magically washed away and this defense is not yet elite. One and oh is better than oh and one, but it ain’t two and oh or three and oh or …
Paul from Los Angeles, CA:
At LSU, Leonard Fournette had incredible success on power pitches/tosses plays. Is this not a play that can have success in the NFL? It seems odd that a team would not try a play that was so successful for Fournette.
John: The Jaguars have 15 games remaining in the 2017 season. Barring injury, Fournette not only has those games, but a lot more to play for the Jaguars. I’m assuming he won’t run for 100 yards every game and the Jaguars won’t win every game he plays. I’ll probably wait until one of those two things happens before I start answering questions about how he’s being misused.

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