Wow. Are you people happy today. I am happy for you.
Let's get to it . . .
Damon from Studio City, CA:
Since when is a good defensive game unwatchable and garbage? If teams aren't scoring 20-plus points a game it's boring? Why is the national media so unwilling to give credit where credit is due? The Jags defense played an awesome game against supposedly the best team in the AFC yet they get no credit. It's ridiculous!
John: I guess I'm lucky, because I am familiar enough with media to have some perspective and don't spend a lot of time watching post-game coverage, so I don't worry about what the talking heads say. The media, especially in deadline situations, make quick-trigger judgments and they aren't always accurate or even all that pertinent. If you can avoid getting worked up about how people interpret your team you'll save yourself a lot of grief. This is fun. It's entertainment. The opinions of observers should be treated as such. The Jaguars won and the defense looked very, very good. Enjoy it.
Harold from Jacksonville:
There seems to be a major dip from Cox to Middleton. This secondary has played very well but seemed to just be missing something. I think now we know what that is, Cox. Am I wrong for assuming that with a healthy Cox, an inspired Mathis, plus two ball-hawking safeties and a nickel corner who knows how to close out a game we may be the best secondary in the league and we haven't even realized it yet? I mean, numbers don't lie.
John: Yes, Cox is better than Middleton. That's why he's starting. Slow down on the best secondary stuff. The Jaguars played very well against a quarterback that struggled at times. Enjoy the victory, keep it in perspective and know that there will be ups and downs.
Margy from Jacksonville:
Do you think Wayne Weaver regrets not intervening with his "office" to draft Tim Tebow? Sometimes a business owner needs to go over his staff to secure his business, and I am sure since Wayne Weaver is a business winner he recognized the winner in TT. Tebow may not have the mechanics or the accuracy but his intangibles seem to outweigh this.
John: I do not think Wayne Weaver regrets it.
Jeremy from Navarre, FL:
The good news is the defense played awesome and the team won while Gabbert had his worst game as a Jag. The bad news is that he really looked like he lacked a confidence he seemed to have in previous games. He just wasn't the same guy we've seen before. He didn't make any mistakes that cost the game, which was good but he didn't have any wow type plays either. I like Gabbert so I'm just curious of your honest assessment?
John: I agree with you. It wasn't his best game and he didn't play well at times. He also didn't panic or make awful plays to lose the game, and rookies have been known to do that. Gabbert clearly needs to improve his pocket presence and his footwork, but he just as clearly showed on several throws the reason he's a Top 10 pick. His arm . . . well, you saw it. He also is seeing the field and did a decent job of making the right decisions against a very good defense. The fundamentals have to improve, but those are things you can teach. Remember when I said before his first start there would be highs and lows? This is that.
Howard from Homestead, FL:
"Show me a receiver who could have helped and who would have been a significant addition, one worth having around for a long-term contract." Plaxico.
Jason from Mims, FL:
Could our receivers' problems be as simple as they're not used to catching the ball on the run? Our previous QB had admitted a few times he's not an anticipation-thrower. So could it be that the receivers are just getting used to turning around and seeing the ball in the air instead of in the QB's hands?
John: It's hard to give a definitive answer because there's no proof, but it's certainly a theory that has merit.
John from Jacksonville:
Mathis played a Hall of Fame worthy game. He was truly amazing. You should ban anyone who has anything negative to say about his performance.
John: The Jaguars must have won because the fans love Mathis today. I'm not penciling in Mathis for a bust in Canton yet, but I agree. He has played better than people thought much of the season and he played well Monday.
Brandon from Jacksonville:
Oh my, what a satisfying win. If our defense keeps playing like this, and our offense can get rolling, we might be able to string together a few wins. I know it's one game, but it's so satisfying coming against a quality team on MNF! Hope your inbox is a happy place! Go Jags!
John: It's quite a different in-box. I'm disoriented. I may need to call somebody.
Joel from Jacksonville:
One of the things I have noticed is the extreme unevenness of the NFL scheduling. For instance this weekend where Denver gets two weeks to prepare against Miami who had six days. I know the Jags have had similar schedule challenges (of the Miami) kind. Does this occur often, and do you think if affects the quality of the game?
John: I used to not buy into the theory that scheduling made a huge difference. But many, many wiser football minds than mine – they're not hard to find – have told me that yes, it makes a huge difference. It's not as much the preparation time for game-planning as the recovery time between games. Factors such as West Coast trips and a change in schedule have a much larger impact on games.
Micheal from North Charleston, SC:
Can you shed some light on why the NFL insists on playing games in London? What is the significance behind this location and what will it do for the NFL as a whole?
John: The idea is to grow the league in new markets. The NFL wants very much to be foresighted and to not miss opportunities overseas. The NBA and Major League Baseball have become worldwide leagues, and the NFL doesn't want be left behind. The problem is the NFL is a harder sell overseas than baseball and basketball, and the going has been fairly difficult overseas.
Derek from Cedar Falls, IA:
Going to be tough to make the O-Zone cut today, here we go. I'm starting to see why the Jaguars left cap space this season; a lot of these homegrown players are going to be worth extending. We already made a commitment to Mike Thomas during the season. Do you see us doing the same with the rest of our young core? I think Knighton and Cox deserve to be extended, and soon we'll have a better picture how Lowery and Coleman fit into our long term plan.
John: You're implying that the Jaguars' front office has a long-term plan and that they shouldn't be beaten about the face and neck for lacking any sort of football knowledge. Must be the day after a victory. Seriously, a lot of the young players who are playing well could and probably will be extended, but there's time for that.
Paul from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Looking at the remainder of the Colts' schedule, it seems they could easily lose every game. With the way they've dominated the division the past decade, it's unfair that they would have such a great shot at Andrew Luck, but such a nightmare is now one more week from coming true. Are you still sure they won't get the first pick? Jaguars fans need to be able to sleep easy at night, but Indy continues to torment us. Another decade or more of having to settle for second place is unbearable.
John: We'll interrupt the giddiness of the in-box for this question, and because it involves the Colts being 0-7, I'm sure most people won't mind. I still don't believe the Colts will lose every game, but could they get the first pick? I'll absolutely admit that has become much more of a possibility. The roster is not without talent, but the franchise's approach has been built around Manning so long and to such a degree that it's hard for them to function when he's not in the lineup. As far as what the Colts will do should they get the No. 1 overall pick? Up until a few weeks ago, I believed they would have a dilemma, so fierce is the Colts Owner Jim Irsay's loyalty toward Manning. Now, though, I get the feeling the Colts would take Luck. The fascinating aspect of that is I can't imagine Manning playing mentor to the younger quarterback, which could mean Manning has played his final game for the Colts. However it plays out, it's going to be fascinating, but I wouldn't say the Colts getting Luck would mean another rookie quarterback would need a lot of developing to reach the level of a Manning, Brady, Rodgers, etc.
Andrew from Okinawa, Japan:
I nominate Scobee for team MVP so far. 14 of 14, with five being 50 yarders. That's impressive, and I don't think many people realize how valuable a solid kicker is.
John: I think more people do today than did yesterday.
Sid from Pittsburgh, PA:
I was one of the Jags fans who thought it would be a horrible idea for the team to draft Tebow. However, I now think it may have been the biggest mistake made by this franchise. Tebow has the power to motivate a team, a community and now even a nation of football fans. To think he could have been a Jag . . .
John: Stick with your first instincts.