Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
John from West Chester, PA:
The reason we lost is simple: The number two-ranked defense showed up in the second half.
Vic: That's a big part of it, but there were other factors, too. Allowing a pass to glance off their hands and be intercepted produced three points and allowing a two-point conversion run that was nothing more than a dive play off left tackle were big plays in the second half and the latter one doesn't even show on the final stats. The Jaguars dominated the stats in this game, but it was the little things, the hidden yardage, that beat them.
Barry from Jacksonville:
From your in-game blog: "I have the feeling that when the day ends only one game will separate the four teams in the AFC South." The only way that could've happened was if the result of all three of the AFC South games were exactly what they turned out to be. Good call.
Vic: I'm on a roll, baby.
David from Jacksonville:
When is the last time Garrard threw the ball 35 times in a game?
Vic: I love your selective use of stats to make a point, whatever that point is. You could've asked when the last time was that Garrard threw 34 passes in a game, to which the answer would've been the previous week against Cleveland, but that wouldn't have produced the effect you're seeking so you bumped it up one to 35. The answer to that question is the final game of the 2009 season, when Garrard threw 39 passes in a 23-17 loss to the Browns.
Paul from Arlington, VA:
Peyton looked old on Sunday night.
Vic: There comes a point in every great player's career that age spots begin to show and he has to apply his first coat of vanishing cream. The cream covers the age spots for awhile before they appear again and a new coat of cream has to go on. That routine continues until one day the player runs out of cream. Manning is at the point that the first coat has to go on, but he's got a long way to go before he runs out of cream. The interceptions have become his age spots and they're popping up all over his face. He'll cover them, but they'll reappear because it's a natural phase in the aging process. Quarterbacks throw interceptions at two stages of their careers: when they're young and when they're old.
Michael from Jacksonville:
David got roughed up the entire three-minute drive and hit on the helmet on the game-changing fumble. How are any of those hits not roughing the passer?
Vic: You need two ingredients for roughing the passer to be called: The quarterback has to be a sissy and the pass-rusher has to be James Harrison.
Reese from Frederick, MD:
What happened in the second half?
Vic: The Giants woke up and played harder. They moved a safety up into the box to get an eighth man to defend against the run and they brought some five-man and six-man pressures late in the game but, otherwise, they made no major schematic adjustments. The big adjustment they made was to their attitude. The Giants took the Jaguars lightly at the start of the game and so did their fans; that was the most subdued crowd of nearly 80,000 people I have ever heard.
Jimmicane from Cardiff, CA:
How do you decide what players get interviewed after the game?
Vic: The head coach and quarterback are fundamental to the postgame interview process. It always begins with them. Then there are those players who have to be interviewed because of the role they played in the game, and sometimes it's because of a failed role. Courtney Greene is a player I had to interview on Sunday because he missed the tackle on the Giants' game-winning touchdown. It's not an interview you want to do and it's not a question you want to ask, but it has to be done. I asked Greene to describe what happened on that play and he was very gracious in answering the question. Finally, there are those players that I try to interview after every game because they are good spokesmen for the team and the game. They have a feel for what happened and they're good at putting their thoughts into words the reader can understand. They're players who, in many cases, fit my style of writing. I'm talking about players such as Terrance Knighton and Marcedes Lewis, who've become go-to guys for me. Maurice Jones-Drew is a go-to guy. Aaron Kampman was the king of go-to guys. Mike Thomas is developing into a good talker; Uche Nwaneri and a lot of other young players are becoming spokesmen types.
Jonathon from Lawrence, KS:
Does strength of schedule come into the divisional tiebreaking process? If so, how bad does that Steve Johnson drop hurt the Jaguars?
Vic: Strength of schedule is the number six criteria in breaking a tie for the division title. Don't worry, it's not gonna come down to that in the AFC South. As far as the Stevie Johnson drop, I don't think that'll have any impact on the AFC South, but it could hurt the AFC West's chances of landing a wild-card berth. From where I sit, the AFC South appears to be the weakest division in the AFC and there should be no thoughts of landing more than one playoff berth. The Colts have lost three of their last four games, the Titans have lost four in a row and the Texans have lost four of their last five games. The Jaguars are the hottest team in the division currently.
Brian from Round Rock, TX:
Vic, you called it again. So what is wrong with Manning? Is father time finally catching up to him? Or is it his supporting cast (like all of the Manning apologizers are proclaiming)?
Vic: His receivers aren't getting open quickly enough and his offensive linemen aren't blocking long enough and the combination is resulting in pass-rush pressure that has Manning jittery, out of sync and throwing interceptions. The one thing we've always known about Manning is that pressure beats him. Getting pressure on him, however, has usually been nearly impossible. Now it's not.
Jeff from New York, NY:
All reasonable Jags fans should be delighted with the Jags' position right now. Let us not forget that this is a rebuilding year and with five games to go they are neck and neck with the Colts. Think back to our expectations before the year. We all would have made a deal to be in this position this late in the year.
Vic: You're right on every count but I think this has stopped being a rebuilding year. I'm sensing development in young players and in the team in general that has the team a little ahead of schedule and allows me to move it out of the rebuilding category and into the contender category. I could be wrong about this but I'm getting a strong feeling that the finish to this season could resemble the finish to the 2007 season. It was a strong running game and an efficient quarterback that powered that December drive in '07 and I see those same ingredients in this team now. My main concern continues to be on defense, just as it was in '07. I've adjusted my expectations upward.
Jim from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How do you let a team run a two-point conversion? Take out those two points and Scobee kicks a 46-yard field goal when the Jags are on the Giants 29 after running the clock down; 23-22, Jags.
Vic: That's the way to think. Let all the play-calling sissies screw themselves into the ground. You've taken the high road on this one; the road of higher intelligence.
Errol from Jacksonville:
My wife asked the question and I didn't have an answer: Since the Jets and Giants share the same stadium, do they share the same locker room?
Vic: They each have their own clubhouse, which is as it should be when you've spent a billion dollars to build a football stadium.
Joey from Atlantic Beach, FL:
It seems like your don't-go-for-two-until-absolutely-necessary creed was wrong this time. Coughlin won because he went for two early. Yet, if the Giants had not converted, they likely would have lost.
Vic: Why would you say my creed was wrong? You only apply it when a team goes for two and fails and, as you said, had the Giants not converted, they likely would have lost. At the least, not converting would've put them in the two-point spiral, meaning they would've had to go for two the next time they scored. So let's look at it both ways. 1.) If they had kicked and accepted a 17-16 deficit, they would've trailed by 20-16 when they began their game-winning touchdown drive. If they had kicked after that touchdown, they would've led 23-20 when the Jags had the ball at the Giants 29, which would've left the Jaguars with a decision to make: Stay aggressive, risk the sack and get taken out of game-tying field goal range, or be cautious so they could at least send the game into overtime. 2.) If they had failed to convert their two-point try, the Giants would've trailed by 20-15 when they began their game-winning touchdown drive. They no doubt would've gone for two after Kevin Boss scored to give the Giants a 21-20 lead. In other words, the Giants would've been in the two-point spiral and had they missed on their second two-point try, there'd be no controversy about the Jaguars' play-calling because they would've been running the ball to center it for a game-winning kick by Josh Scobee. Was my creed really wrong? The lesson is this: If you're gonna go for two, you better make it.