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O-Zone: All-seeing, all-knowing

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Palm Beach Gardens, FL

I don't remember the exact question the reporter asked Pederson after the Titans game about Lawrence, but it was something along the lines of what's left for Trevor Lawrence to do to prove himself. Pederson's response was "win a Super Bowl." Loved it. That's exactly what every fan wants to hear.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has made enormous progress in recent weeks, and he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance this past Sunday in a victory over the Tennessee Titans. He has reduced his interceptions. He has increased his big plays. He absolutely appears headed toward fulfilling the potential that made him the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson is well aware of this – and well aware of the importance of that to the organization. At the same time, Pederson knows Lawrence has not "arrived" and that he has the potential to be better than he has been the last five weeks. He also knows that Lawrence has won eight career NFL games and has yet to play a late-season or postseason-intensity game – and that that level is higher than anything Lawrence has experienced. Mostly, Pederson knows Lawrence is still a second-year player with much more to achieve. I expect Pederson will emphasize that Lawrence has much more to prove until Lawrence achieves all there is to achieve.

George from Blue Ridge, GA

John, I noticed the game Sunday is the featured matchup on FOX. We may finally get some respect if we play like last week.

Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know I'm not big on the whole "respect" issue when it comes to a sports team. I'm never sure exactly how to determine when a team has respect, and I don't know that it matters if a team has it or not. Will an ESPN or NFL Network analyst speaking positively about the Jaguars help them win Sunday? It's also my experience that fans of any team – no matter how successful – figure out a way to feel disrespected. Fans, actually, are insanely good at this. Remember, too: While Jaguars fans have written me often about the team being disrespected, the reality is the team has done little-to-nothing over the last decade to earn respect. But, if things such as respect and recognition matter to you, then yes … this is a game where I suppose it can be earned. The Cowboys are good. They're one of the NFL's signature franchises. If the Jaguars win Sunday, people will damned sure notice.

Mark from Archer

Zone, I think the Jaguars have a good chance of winning three of their last four games. I also think there is a good chance the Titans will lose three of their four games. The Jaguars are winning the AFC South.

Mark is "all in."

Gary from Fleming Island

"The Jaguars have rushed for 67 yards per game over the last four games after averaging nearly 147 yards a game through the first nine games." Doesn't that coincide with JRob being traded?

Not really. The Jaguars traded running back James Robinson to the New York Jets on October 25. The Jaguars rushed for 191 and 168 yards in the next two games before averaging 67 yards in the last four. Robinson has rushed for 85 yards in four games for the Jets. I liked Robinson. He was a good player on a couple of bad Jaguars teams the past two seasons. I don't see him as the reason the Jaguars' rushing numbers are down the last four games.

Keith from South Florida

With Trevor being as hot as he is, how can the team get the running game going again to make them extremely dangerous?

By breaking a long run or two per game more. The Jaguars haven't been a four-to-five-yards-every-carry running team this season; few teams in the NFL can run that consistently. A big reason they were really good rushing through the first nine games was they were consistently breaking a long run or two a game. They haven't been as successful on that front in the last month. My sense is this is a key to Sunday's game. The Cowboys are good against the run. The Jaguars probably will have some negative runs and zero-yardage runs – maybe quite a few. If they can sprinkle in a few flip-the-field runs – and running back Travis Etienne Jr. absolutely is capable of that – that could turn this game in the Jaguars' favor.

Mike from Rochester, NY

I saw a stat where the Jaguars lead the league with games where they have not given up a sack. How much would you attribute this to Trevor getting rid of the ball quicker this season?

Quite a bit. The Jaguars' offensive line has played well in a lot of games this season, but when teams have low sacks numbers that usually means they have a quarterback with the awareness and ability to get rid of the ball in a timely manner.

Adam from Saint Johns, FL

I sit in the end zone every week. Sat in the end zone in Tennessee this week. Trevor's pre-snap reads and his kill plays is getting so impressive. You can see he's getting fooled less and less. Excited for this Dallas game. They are legit on defense. It should be a good test for him. I'm not saying he's Peyton Manning yet, but he seems to really be getting there. Do you see the same, or is it just being more comfortable in the offense?

I see the same, Alan – and a lot of it is because he's getting comfortable with the offense.

Levi from Huntsville, AL

Let's say Trevor Lawrence finishes the year with a 100-plus rating in three of the last four games. Could he be in the conversation for comeback player of the year?

Almost certainly not. Comeback Player of the Year typically is an award for players who missed significant time the previous season – usually with injuries. Lawrence never has missed an NFL start, so he really didn't come back from much this season. At least not on the field.

Bob from Sumter, SC

Something I haven't seen since the 90s is the way Trevor can throw for a first down after a holding penalty puts the offense behind the chains. Second- or third-and-long doesn't mean the drive is most likely over.

Good eye.

Johnny from Howey In The Hills, FL

Mr. O. Lots of hype on T-Law and indeed deserved, but the offensive line needs some kudos. They have played as well as I would have expected, especially center Luke Fortner. What a pickup. And with the competition in the fall, right tackle Jawaan Taylor felt the pressure and has responded. Also, when left guard Ben Batch went down, Tyler Shatley stepped right in. Good balance, good depth.

One fer the O-Line …

Jeff from Wake Forest, NC

Our rookie class has overall been, I think, a good one and with all of the talk of the defensive players, i think i am most impressed so far with Luke Fortner. The kid is a rookie, but he has manned his position well and I get some Peyton Manning/Jeff Saturday vibes from what he and our quarterback could become long term. He has been impressive so one for our center!

These last two emails arrived back-to-back Wednesday, qualifying it as perhaps the greatest day of Luke Fortner's life.

Earl from Middleburg, FL

Should Trevor cut his hair for good luck?

Why should he?

Richard from St Augie

Playoffs? Playoffs? Are you kidding me? We need to just win two in a row first! Meaningful games in December? Only three teams are officially eliminated but that doesn't mean 29 teams playing meaningful games in December. I have been season ticket holder for 23 out of 28 years so I have invested in my fandom but playoffs, really? Sounds like thirsty panting to me!

The Jaguars have beaten two AFC division leaders in the last three weeks. They are two games out of first place with four games remaining – and they have a home game against the division leaders in the regular-season finale. There's a chance that home game could be for the division title. It's a difficult scenario, but not an impossible one. Should we not discuss it? Should fans not be allowed to get a little excited?

Bill from Hammock, FL

Zone, as I was looking at your all-important power rankings, I could not help but recall your comments when the schedule initially comes out. Everyone immediately counts wins and losses based on the previous year's results. You see the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and the Broncos. You said it can change a lot year to year. Is this why you are the king of all funk?

It's "A" reason. There are many.

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