Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Brett from Jacksonville:
What's worse, not making the playoffs or not being competitive once you're there?
Vic: The playoffs are the goal and making it into the postseason is an accomplishment. In the case of a team in rebuilding, it would be a major accomplishment and would serve as motivation for the offseason, but what did it do for Miami? It was clearly the result of a weak schedule and the Dolphins' season quickly ended with a lopsided loss to Baltimore in round one. Now the Dolphins are 5-6, the result of a very difficult schedule, and there's disappointment in their fan base because last year's success accelerated expectations. What's required is perspective. They weren't that good last season and they're not that bad this season. They're rebuilding and if you look closely you can see the fruits of their labor. Was a lopsided loss in the first round of the playoffs worth not moving on at quarterback last season? In my opinion, the answer is no. I like to get on with it and that's what the Jaguars have done this season. As I have said all along, the playoffs are the goal, but the focus is on rebuilding the roster. You have to know what you are and not allow your thinking to be deluded by a few wins. This is rebuilding, a fact that was confirmed again last week by a 6-4 team that continued to acquire players from other teams' practice squads.
Bob from Fernandina Beach, FL:
What is your assessment of first-round pick Eugene Monroe after 11 games? He was supposed to be a good pass-blocking tackle coming out of college, but he looked terrible yesterday against the 49ers. Is he as poor as he looked and not improving, or was that just a bad game?
Vic: The good news is that I haven't had to field that type of question since the game in Seattle. That means six games had passed since it resurfaced. Hey, he's a rookie. What was your expectation for a rookie left tackle? They made a movie about Michael Oher entitled "The Blindside," but as a rookie with the Ravens he's playing right tackle, not left, and if they made a movie about his performance last night, they could call it "The Turnstile." You have to be patient with young players. You don't pass final judgment on a player in his rookie season.
Elias from Orlando, FL:
Sunday I realized this is a bad team that got lucky and won six games against worse or just as bad teams. After this loss, I think everyone should just take a step back and remember what this really is, a rebuilding year and not a playoff year. I'm ready for the offseason to start and see what kind of moves Gene Smith is going to make. I'm excited about this team's future and I hope the people in Jacksonville support their team and realize the Jaguars are what holds that town together.
Vic: What if it's a rebuilding year and a playoff year? I don't think we should be going through this weekly I'm in, I'm out, they're in, they're out routine. The only reason for taking a step back is because you made the mistake of taking a step forward. Everybody, please, let's just stand still and maintain balance.
Robert from Delft, the Netherlands:
You mentioned that the Jags have a good record bouncing back from big losses. What's the Texans record after losses like the one they had yesterday? Could they perhaps be persuaded to quit if the Jaguars jump out to an early lead?
Vic: The Texans have been resilient, too, but their situation is a lot different from the Jaguars' and Sunday's come-from-ahead loss to the Colts could be a killer. This is not a rebuilding year for the Texans. This was supposed to be the year the Texans made it into the playoffs. Now, on the verge of elimination, it could be difficult for the Texans to rally against the cries of the wolves that will, no doubt, begin to howl this week.
Mike from Quincy, IL:
The last five games are against AFC teams and two are in the AFC South. How important are the Texans and Dolphins games?
Vic: I think it's real simple now: The Jaguars are at the point that they only have one more loss to give. If they lose on Sunday, then it's got to be win-out the rest of the way.
Jack from Jacksonville:
I know it's a moot point because of the missed field goal but why do you think coach Del Rio chose to kick the field goal halfway through the fourth quarter to make it a two-score game after deciding not to do the exact same thing a few minutes earlier in the quarter?
Vic: He said after the game that he "just wasn't feeling real comfortable about the way Josh (Scobee) was striking the ball." In other words, Jack Del Rio wasn't confident that his kicker would convert, which was supported when Scobee missed from chip-shot range on the second kick. Kickers get into slumps and Scobee's may have begun on that final kickoff against the Bills, which we all thought was a squib kick but, in fact, just looked that way because Scobee mis-hit the ball.
Loftur from Reykjavik, Iceland:
After the Titans' 0-6 start, some players made a comment along the lines that they could win their remaining 10 games. Now that they have completed half of that mission with five straight victories, do you think the Titans can pull that off?
Vic: They have two potential roadblocks: At Indianapolis this Sunday and at home against San Diego on Christmas Day.
Alex from Los Angeles, CA:
The Jaguars got no sacks, the 49ers got six. The Jaguars turned it over twice, the 49ers not at all. Was it really that simple?
Vic: If you included third and fourth-down conversions, you'd have all the information you needed to know which team won this game.
John from Jacksonville:
I guess the we-don't-get-no-respect e-mails should dwindle a little.
Vic: The same people that wanted respect from the national media last week are ripping the Jaguars today. I respect the fans, players, coaches and media that know how to maintain calm. Jeff Fisher is the perfect example. He took his lumps when everybody was laughing at his team following its blowout loss in New England, and then calmly set a course for recovery. That's how you get true respect.
Peter from Toronto, Ontario:
What do you think the chances are of either Indianapolis or New England resting their starters by the time we play them?
Vic: Indianapolis? Yes. New England? No. I expect the Colts to have everything clinched by the time they play the Jaguars. The Patriots will likely still be in a seeding battle.
Mike from St. Augustine, FL:
Why was our offensive line so porous on the key plays? David could have protected the ball much better but he was certainly under some pressure. The 49ers seemed to be able to put pressure on at will.
Vic: The Jaguars' first two draft picks this year are offensive linemen, and if offensive linemen are at the top of the Jaguars' board for the team's first two picks in the next draft, I would think GM Gene would have no problem drafting two more. Now I want you to think about that and then ask yourself the question you asked me.
John from Jacksonville:
Do we have to travel out there next year?
Vic: Yep, to San Diego.