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O-Zone: A real treat

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Sean from Jacksonville

Many, many "One fer(s)" for Damar Hamlin.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin as of this writing remained in critical condition in University of Cincinnati Medical Center after suffering cardiac arrest and being administered CPR in the first quarter of a game with the Bengals Monday. The NFL announced Tuesday that the game will not be resumed this week. That news – and any news pertaining to this situation – remains far less important than Hamlin's heath. So, yeah … many, many ones fer – and prayers for – Hamlin.

Paul from Jacksonville

Zone, Hamlin's health and recovery and the impact of his injury was the first concern on Monday night, which was correct, but what does the NFL do now? How do they reschedule the game or just cancel it and how does that impact the standings?

Hamlin's health and recovery remains the first concern. The answers to your questions remain to be seen. Not making up the game – and perhaps having some games, particularly those involving the Bills and Bengals, not played this weekend – obviously is a possibility. It would affect the postseason chase, which would be extreme and unusual. But these are extremely unusual circumstances.

Lz from Bronx

_O, Win or lose Saturday, I'm ecstatic with what the team has shown us this year! Go Jags!!                   _

This isn't a bad place to start as we look ahead to perhaps the biggest regular-season game at TIAA Bank Field in 26 seasons. The Jaguars are scheduled to play the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Saturday at 8:15 p.m. with the AFC South title at stake. It's an unreal moment considering the Jaguars were 2-6 two months ago and still struggling to learn how to win. But make no mistake: This is not a fluky moment, and that's what's most exciting about this week. Yes, the Jaguars are 8-8. And yes, they needed some help from a struggling Tennessee team that has lost six consecutive games to set up this winner-take-the-AFC South showdown. But the Jaguars have won four consecutive games and six of the last eight. They have earned their way here. They are improving by the week and this feels far more like the beginning of something than a one-off late-season run. The Jaguars have a really good head coach and playcaller in Head Coach Doug Pederson. They are young and beginning to have the chemistry Pederson worked hard to build during a difficult first half of the season. They are confident. They are fun. Most of all, they have a talented young quarterback in Trevor Lawrence with a limitless future. Win or lose Saturday, it feels as if this team is building a strong foundation. Ecstatic about that? Absolutely.

Mark from Sobieski, WI

You watch, the Titans will do one "trick play" against us.

Very possibly.

Howard from Homestead, FL

Before we complain too much about scheduling, remember this: It's those high-profile, large-market teams that attract viewers, which results in the big TV contracts, which is why we can pay lots of money to our players and be competitive in Jacksonville. So yeah, let Aaron Rodgers have Sunday night if that's what it takes to bring us the revenue we need to win.

You're referencing Jaguars-Titans being scheduled on Saturday night rather than Sunday night. This bothered some fans who wanted the Jaguars in the more high-profile Sunday night slot. But you're right that high-profile, large-market teams attract viewers. So do successful, popular teams – and the NFL and networks indeed lean toward games featuring such teams. The Jaguars haven't been popular for a long time. That's because they haven't won. They can change that starting now.

Coach Tom C from Sawgrass

JO- Do most of your readers claim the team is better but you still suck? Asking for a friend.

Yes.

Roger from Houston, TX

The Titans are a smaller-market team than even the Jaguars, who are always referred to as a "small-market team." It's no wonder that the networks are hesitant to give this game the premium Sunday night spot.

Fans will always take these things as insults, and I suppose there's an element of that. But there's also an element of reality involved. Would Jaguars-Titans have been on Sunday night if the teams were based in New York and Philadelphia? Yeah, probably. But it also probably would have been on Sunday night if the teams were 12-4 and 11-5 entering the game as opposed to 8-8 and 7-9. The Jaguars as a small-market team probably must do a little more and be a little better to get "recognition" and "respect." But if they get really good and start winning a lot of games, those things will come. Remember, too: The games are still played on the field. If the Jaguars win Saturday, I expect it will feel just as good to fans that night as it would the next.

Dean from Rochester, NY

I'm still wearing my 1996 good luck shirt. Just sayin' ...

You go, girl.

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

While I am not able to attend now cause it's Saturday night instead of Sunday, I hope the Jags next year finally get a Sunday night game at home. What are your thoughts on getting a Sunday Night Football game next season?

I think the chances are very good the Jaguars will play on Sunday Night Football next season if they beat the Titans and win the AFC South Saturday.

Daniel from Jersey City

O-man, I've been laying low for awhile, and thought I'd check in to see how you're holding up with all the happiness in the Zone?

It's a-ight.

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

I'll take "boring" next weekend please?

This references a recent email calling the Jaguars' 31-3 Week 17 victory over the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday boring. The victory probably was better described as "methodical," though it offered little in the way of highlights beyond a 62-yard touchdown run by running back Travis Etienne Jr. and a scoop-and-score touchdown by cornerback Tyson Campbell after a sack/fumble by outside linebacker Josh Allen. But as your email suggests, "boring" – like beauty – is in the eye of the beholder. And for the Jaguars and their fans, a boring game Saturday would be beautiful indeed.

Scott from Jacksonville

Looked to me like Trevor came out against Houston with a little extra adrenaline going and just rushed and sailed a couple of passes. So, T-Law had an "off day" and still completed over 80 percent of his passes. How cool is that?

Quite.

Kat from Augusta, GA

To what extent, if any, is the Jags playing on Saturday night a disadvantage due to one less day rest? The way I see it is we were able to rest some folks Sunday and one day really won't make any impact on the game, but it's being extensively discussed among fans right now … because it's what we do.

There definitely will be a rest discrepancy in the Titans-Jaguars game Saturday. The Jaguars will be playing with five days between games. The Titans, having lost to the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday, will be playing with eight games between games. Pederson made clear Sunday after the Texans game he wanted Titans-Jaguars played Sunday and he made it clear Monday that would have been his preference. The date of the game matters or Pederson wouldn't have wanted it Sunday rather than Saturday. The Jaguars have had to compress their schedule a bit. The Titans also has the extra advantage of resting front-line players against the Cowboys. Because they have lost six consecutive games, Saturday's game represents sort of an all-in Hail Mary to save their season. I consider the discrepancy something of an edge for the Titans, but the Jaguars beat Tennessee by two touchdowns in early December. But it's far from insurmountable. The Jaguars are young. They're improving. They're playing at home. They have a chance to win the division for the first time in five seasons. A day or rest here or there shouldn't be enough to ruin their moment. Go win the game.

Sam from Jacksonville

If we place fourth by winning our division would you know the percentage of chance for the Jacksonville Jaguars to make the Super Bowl?

No, but I suspect it would be a lot better than if they don't make the playoffs.

Josh R. (and Carter R.) from Fernandina Beach, FL (via Fort Lauderdale)

Hey Zone: Do you believe Pederson will treat our Jags to some ice cream if they beat the Titans in the regular season finale?? Thanks and Go Jags!!!

Probably not. My guess is if the Jaguars beat the Titans Saturday Pederson will probably treat players to o Victory Monday (on Sunday), a day off (on Monday) and team meetings the next day (Tuesday to start get ready for the first round of the postseason – which I suspect would be on Wednesday).

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