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Game plan made sense

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Robert from Gainesville, FL:
I was looking for Khalif Barnes on Sunday but didn't see him. Did he play?

Vic: Barnes was "inactive" for the game. I think it was decided that playing on the road against John Abraham might've been too much to ask of a rookie making his NFL debut. Maybe this will be the week.

Josh from Sierra Vista, AZ:
I'm thinking the football philosophy of coach Del Rio has never been more vindicated than today: run the ball, stop the run. Thirty-seven carries for Fred. Are you kidding me? What did you think about the commitment to running against the Jets?

Vic: It made perfect sense and shouldn't have come as any surprise. The Jaguars were attempting to protect a quarterback on a gimpy leg. The majority of e-mails I received following the game offered complaints about the Jaguars' conservative play-calling, but I've come to expect that after every game. Everybody loves passing and a small percentage of fans like running. What those who love passing fail to acknowledge is that it was two passing plays that produced 10 of the Jets' 20 points. I'm referring, of course, to the James Reed fumble return for a touchdown and the David Barrett return of Reggie Williams' fumble that led to the field goal that sent the game into overtime. The intent is to win the game. What does it matter how you accomplish that goal?

Joseph from Statesboro, GA:
Please comment on the success of Greg Jones on short-yardage situations.

Vic: That's why he was drafted; to become the player to whom the Jaguars turn in short-yardage situations. He was two-for-two against the Jets. If you don't think that's an important enough role for Jones, consider the fact that the Jaguars lost two games – Indianapolis and Pittsburgh – last season due to a failure to convert short-yardage plays. It was, ultimately, the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs.

Daniel from Orlando, FL:
Please explain the logic of the Jaguars not playing in a hurry-up offense in the last two minutes of the half.

Vic: After the first-down holding penalty against Ephraim Salaam moved the ball back to the Jaguars 30-yard line, Jack Del Rio obviously decided to play it conservatively with a 10-7 lead. Why? For two reasons. 1.) The Jaguars were confident in their control of the game and Del Rio probably didn't believe the Jets could move the ball consistently enough against his defense to warrant taking risks on offense. At that point, Chad Pennington had a 32.8 passer rating, compared to Byron Leftwich's 123.8, and the Jaguars had out-rushed the Jets 87-39. 2.) One of Del Rio's major concerns for this game was protecting Leftwich from further injury. In case you haven't noticed, the Jaguars are having pass-protection problems. The day will come when this offense can step up to a higher plane of performance. Right now, it's trying to do whatever it takes to win, which is what it did against the Jets. You don't get style points. The win is all that matters.

Alan from Buford, GA:
Is it safe to say Ernest Wilford should be in the wide receiver rotation more frequently?

Vic: I like the way the Jaguars are using Wilford. They're using him in big-play ways. When they put him into the game, they put him in with a purpose. I like that.

Nick from Jacksonville:
Do you think Fred Taylor is 100 percent back to where he should be?

Vic: No, I don't. He's bouncing instead of running. I think he's got more comeback left in him. At some point he's going to regain complete confidence in his knee and he's going to cut it loose. What I liked most about yesterday was what I saw in Taylor in the locker room after the game. He had a smile from ear to ear. He was truly proud of his 37 carries and that's a very good sign. You want your star running back to want the ball. You want him to be proud of his dependability and endurance. These are the first steps back for a proud running back. It's nice to see. Don't ever think this is a video game. Real football is a human confrontation. Taylor is winning his confrontation against the forces of football that challenge a man's will.

Scott from Woodbridge, VA:
Am I the only one disappointed about all the up-the-middle runs today? I didn't feel we tried to attack the Jets at all. It seemed like my old conservative Jaguars.

Vic: As opposed to five runs by Taylor in the second half in Indianapolis? That worked well, didn't it?

Al from Fort Smith, AR:
A win, is a win but this was really frustrating to watch. We will have to get a lot better on third-down conversions because play selection is going to lead to a lot of third downs.

Vic: They were 10 of 20 on third down. That's outstanding.

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