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A life of bliss

LookAhead Wednesday. At last.

Let's get to it . . . Josh from Lynchburg, VA:
The Bears looked very good Monday night. I know there's a reason we play the games, but we're going to be outmatched and outmanned on every front. We're going to need a miracle.
John: This is a common theme this week, and understandably so. The Bears crushed the Cowboys and there were many high-fives, a lot of smiles and even a little dancing. It was probably a nice plane ride home. But remember matchups are rarely as one-sided as they may seem. The Bears intercepted Tony Romo five times Monday, and five takeaways with two for touchdowns can make teams look very, very dominant. I'm not saying the Bears won't be favored. And they are very good. But miracle? I wouldn't put it the category of water into wine.
Daniel from Johnston, IA:
I don't buy that injury is the reason Britton struggled so badly. He's a bust. It's OK, it happens from time to time. He wasn't left tackle he's looking like he's not even guard material.
John: He wasn't drafted to be a left tackle, but I get your point. He struggled Sunday, no question. And if you're splitting reps midweek to see who's starting clearly that's an issue. I don't know that injury was the only reason, either, but Britton has played a lot of football for this team and never had a game quite like that. Let's let this play out before writing him off completely.
Stephen from Switzerland, FL:
Maybe I'm fooling myself, but this is my silver lining for our offense. They had a 13-play, 77-yard drive that ended in a touchdown without the assistance of defensive penalties keeping the drive alive. I don't know about anyone else, but that sometimes does not always seem the case to me and was good to see as a step forward.
John: It was a step forward, and it's those sorts of drives that keep the coaching staff believing this offense can be productive. In the NFL, you need playmakers and the Jaguars absolutely need players to start making more plays given the opportunity, but they indeed have had several long, extended drives this season. That shows they can do it. They just need to do it more often.
Nathan from Richmond, VA:
"Intensity is a lot of guys that run fast." - John McKay
John: That's a perfect quote and as was the case with a lot of things McKay said, it was dead on. You hear people talk all the time about a lack of intensity, passion or heart. You have heard it a lot about the Jaguars this week. I don't buy it. When you're not stopping people on defense, and when your offense is struggling, it appears you lack passion, intensity and effort. It's rarely the case. Perception does not always match reality.
Trey from Jacksonville:
Since the Bears are a good team, I think we should forfeit. Since we are going to make that excuse after every loss. Honestly you have a new excuse every day of every week. I think they are just comical now.
John: You know what they say, Trey – leave 'em laughing.
Corey from Orange Park, FL:
I, too, once bought a used car. I remember it came down to two choices, and I chose the lesser of the two being I was 16 at the time and didn't want to pay too much. I regret that decision to this day. Fun fact. Denver drafted a punter in the fourth round. Anger would have been gone. If we had a fourth-round pick, I have little doubt we would have chose him then. Even so, why are we complaining about one of our draft picks who we ALREADY know is going to be good?
John: I made a feeble attempt to break this down and I'll admit it – I quit. My mind turns to mush with Anger questions right now. I'll almost certainly get past it, but right now when I think of Anger and the arguments for and against I think of car ads and vehicle reports and car salesmen and the occasional 65-yard punt and I just start giggling and slobbering and looking for a fork to stick in my eye, so I just have to step away. Breathe, John, breathe.
John from Jacksonville:
Hopefully, you understand that the frustration of this fan base isn't over these last four games. We've been in a perpetual rebuilding program for five years now. Enough is enough. We're tired of this. Why should any us of have hope things are going to get better? Just a glimmer that we are heading in the right direction would be enough for most of us.
John: Yes, I understand. It's frustrating. No one's saying it shouldn't be. The Jaguars haven't been in the playoffs since 2007, and that's a long time. There also was talk of improvement and a positive direction this offseason and that hasn't happened yet. Many, many teams have looked bad early and turned things around. More often than not in the NFL, there's a small difference between losing – even losing 27-10 – and winning. But, yes, it's hard to see that. It doesn't feel like you're close when the rain is coming down hard and your team is down by 17, but if you want glimmer, remember: the Jaguars are a play away from .500. That's not to say they aren't also a play away from 0-4, but a play here or there can often change a lot. Right now, it's time for the Jaguars to start making those plays.
Mickey from Section 217:
Still loving my Jags and plan on being at every game, even though things haven't looked great so far. This team really seems to be missing that "difference maker," someone who can step in and make the necessary play at the opportune time. I keep thinking back to the Bosworth interception and fumble and then the Mathis missed interception. The top teams in the league seem to make those plays all the time. I think we have good solid players, but we need a couple of guys to step up and start changing the game.
John: The NFL is about making plays. No doubt.
Sandro from El Paso, TX:
The problem is we fans don't really know the problem. Is it the wide receivers not getting open or the offensive line not blocking? Is it the defensive line not rushing or the secondary not covering? The answer keeps changing or combining and that is why it is frustrating.
John: It's a tough week here in the O-Zone, but questions like this – they make me smile. It sort of sums up a lot of things and sums up the questions I get somehow. I wish the NFL were a place where your question was answerable. I wish you could say, "It's the offensive line and THAT'S IT." I wish you could say, "It's the PASS RUSH and THAT'S IT." The thing is, in a team sport, one thing plays into another and it's hard to point to one thing. The receivers aren't getting open. The line didn't pass block well Sunday. The defensive line hasn't rushed well, but at times it hasn't had the opportunity because the run defense is struggling. There are many plays run in many situations in every NFL game, and each play has many variables. It's very difficult to make a definitive statement that, "THIS is the problem." I wish it wasn't that way. But it is.
William from Orlando, FL:
Thirty-five players have more sacks than our entire team. Embarrassing.
John: That is not a "feel-good" stat.
Roy from Orange Park, FL:
In the fourth quarter, Blaine began throwing to Blackmon more often. Blackmon caught most of those passes even though he was covered. Blackmon has proven that he can catch the ball in traffic. Blaine needs to throw the ball to him more often. I say that he catches those balls more often than not.
John: Blackmom has been targeted 25 times, more than any receiver on the team. The desire to get him the ball is not the issue. He needs to get open more consistently, and at the same time, not every pass to him has been on target. As with a lot of statistics, there are many reasons. The Jaguars did a better job getting him the ball on Friday. I expect you'll see that continue.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Your predecessor used to implore his readers to trust their eyes. My eyes tell me that both the offensive and defensive lines were dominated by the Bengal players and that is a concern because it has nothing to do with route running, dropped passes, accuracy, or play calling. It's either a matter of not being motivated or being outmatched. I don't think motivation should have been an issue on Sunday. It now seems as if both the skill players and the lines are not winning their battles. Typically, this is not a situation that is corrected by coaching over the course of a few weeks. Am I wrong?
John: I generally believe an offensive line can get pass blocking issues fixed a little more quickly than a defense can get pass-rush issues fixed. That's because often pass-blocking problems are about technique and communication. The pass rush has struggled, and it remains to be seen if production will go up there.
Johnathan from Richmond, VA:
She said yes!! Now what??
John: Sit back and enjoy a life of bliss. That's what it's like for the rest of us. Honest.

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