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Let him make plays

Let's get to it . . . Sabo from Brunswick, GA:
What I saw was a Blaine that made elite level passes 90 percent of the day and tipped his hand 10 percent allowing linebackers to read his intentions. I think this team needs to continue to grow. Let the defense catch up and just stay "playoff possible." Get hot in December and make a good run and I will be happy with this season.
John: If what you say you saw with Blaine Gabbert is accurate, and it's not far off, that's the best takeaway from this game. He indeed looked vastly improved overall Sunday – better than I anticipated, to be honest. Throughout last year, we saw a quarterback in a perfect storm of difficult situations and he never had a chance to grow. Now, he has had an offseason to grow and he will get coaching and improve from week to week in the regular season. This is where the process begins, at last, and I think we saw Sunday there's a very real chance for better days ahead.
Nicholas from FOB Salenro, Afghanistan:
See if this logic makes sense. Never understood why a team won't go for a touchdown on 4th-and-goal from the 1. If you don't score, you force the opponent to go about 60 yards for a field goal and 99 yards for a touchdown. If you kick the field goal, your opponent only has to go about 40 yards for a field goal try (ties the game) and 80 yards for a TD. Plus, you have the chance to force a punt and get good field position.
John: I tend to agree with you, and I think in most situations, Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey will, too. On the first drive Sunday, the Jaguars had moved 77 yards on 17 plays and he thought it was important to get points from that drive. Ordinarily, my guess is he goes for it there more often than not.
Clayton from Nashville, TN:
There are so many positives to take from this game. It's tough losing the way the Jaguars did, but we just missed getting a victory by a few plays. I'm hopeful the defense can get healthy, along with the offensive line, and rebound next week at home against Houston. There's no reason to feel down after one game, right?
John: I don't think so, but I'm probably in the minority.
Tyler from Neptune Beach, FL:
Can you explain the call on 4th-and-3 in OT? Why go deep? Even though we lost, I think there are plenty of good things we can take away! I'm ALL In!
John: Gabbert said afterward he was trying to make a play. Mularkey said he doesn't want to have Gabbert not be willing to make a play downfield, and used as an example the long pass to Shorts for the touchdown. Mularkey's pretty honest with the media and it will be interesting to see what he says Monday after looking at tape, but it's hard to say what a quarterback saw before seeing the tape.
Joe from Rockland:
Sorry O. You can spin this all you want as a step in the right direction and all of that bunk. Truth is, we have another crap coach with a crap team that beats itself. That game should have never been in overtime. Scobee's kickoffs were a joke. We just lost to one of the few teams that we're supposed to be better than. Where's your silver lining?
John: Sip your coffee and take a deep breath, Joe. Read on. You'll find it.
Greg from Section 122 The Bank, Jax FL:
I pity you on Monday. Let the bandwagon hating begin. That game was more than a loss, it was a glimpse of the future. What did I see, an effective QB, a sometimes dominant defense, and a very angry punter. Overall I am very hyped about the future of this franchise.
John: Hey, Joe! Here's your silver lining.
Josh from Harrisburg, PA:
Johnny O, I hate it when people say this but that was really close to being the exact opposite...take away the botched hike and blocked extra point and the Jags win by eight. Either way, the O moved well against a very tough D.
John: I'm not big on it, either, and while there is truth in what you say, I prefer to look at what's real. What's real is the offense was improved and looks like a group that will get better. I continue to say this group will grow once everyone is comfortable in the Mularkey offense – and that comfort is hard to attain after one regular-season game.
Jordan from Lincoln, NE:
It wasn't the offense that lost the game, could we say that at all last season?
John: Not that I recall.
T Hartley from Charleston, SC:
New owner, new coach, new staff, same problem. The Jags just cannot get the ball into the end zone when they get inside the red zone. What can and will be done to change that? If not it will be more of the same from the past couple of years.
John: Yeah, it's Khan's fault. I was thinking all night about who to blame, and now that I've thought of Khan – well, yes, that must be it. Look, sarcasm aside, I understand it's frustrating, but Gabbert had Blackmon open on 1st-and-goal from the 5, and there was just enough pressure to force an errant throw. The other team made a play. It happens. It hurts, but it does happen.
Craig from Auburn, IN:
This is not a knee-jerk reaction. Can you explain why Scobee is incapable of kicking the ball out of the end zone on the kickoffs? If that ball is out of the end zone, there is no 55-yard field goal. Instead it is a 66-yard attempt or a Hail Mary pass. With all the money he just got he should be doing what many of the other kickers in the NFL can do, kick the ball out of the end zone so there is no return.
John: That sounded an awful lot like a knee-jerk reaction.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
What injury did Cameron Bradfield suffer allowing Guy Whimper in the game? Whimper is awful. My brother and I watched him all game and he frequently allowed quarterback pressure to fluster Gabbert. If Bradfield does not return soon, I believe this could be a real problem for the team. What are your thoughts on Whimper's play and what information can you offer us regarding Bradfield's status?
John: I think I didn't watch Whimper as closely as you. I thought there were a few times when he struggled and if you say he struggled other times, perhaps he did. Bradfield re-entered the game after he was injured, but couldn't finish. I saw a few mistakes from Whimper, but overall, I saw a line that gave Gabbert time against a good defensive line and I didn't come away from that game thinking the offensive line cost the Jaguars the game. As far as Bradfield, from what Mike Mularkey said after the game, I don't think it's long-term.
Micah from Philadelphia, PA:
Why are we always injured?
John: Football is a violent, physical game.
Ray from Section 115 and Jacksonville Beach, FL:
What a difference in the offense this year, especially the play calling. Monroe was splendid against Allen, and Gabbert and the receivers (minus the drops by Robinson) were much improved. But, the defense is a concern. Too many long balls and they ran right at Bosworth. Do you expect us to shake things up a bit against Houston if Cox and Smith can't go?
John: I'm never sure what fans want to do to "shake things up." The Jaguars played the next best players in place of injured players Sunday. If there were better players out "there" they'd be in "here." The players must play better, and must eliminate mistakes. That's not an exotic answer, but that's the answer.
Anthony from Madison, WI:
It's unfortunate that fans are going to try and find a silver lining in this game. We just lost to a team that is one of the absolute worst in the league. I doubt we'll win more than four games this year.
John: Yes, Anthony – that's what's unfortunate. The fans trying to find the silver lining. Exactly.
Tyler from Section 123:
Talk about an emotional swing from elation to despair in 30 seconds. That being said, in overtime with 3rd and 3 with MJD in the backfield, I don't care how soon he is back, you run it twice. MJD will get you at least three yards in two runs. Anyways, next week is a very important game. We win that and we are tied for first in the division; we lose, and we're two games behind the Texans.
John: Or he could have lost three yards and been facing 4th-and-6. Or the pass could have gained 25 yards. If the play works, it's the right call. If it doesn't, it's the wrong one. This team has been criticized for years for being conservative. At some point, you have to let Gabbert make plays at the end of games.

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