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O-Zone: All smiles

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Bradley from Carson City, NV:
Are you surprised the Jags have already beaten the oddsmakers' over for (regular-season wins) with six left to play?
John: I don't follow odds particularly closely; they don't have all that much to do with all that much. But if you're asking if I'm surprised the Jaguars already have won seven games this season … yes, I'm surprised. I thought the team would be improved, and I thought the defense and running game would be improved, but I didn't think the Jaguars would lead the NFL in rushing – and I sure didn't think they would lead the NFL in most major defensive categories through 10 games. I thought the Jaguars would have a chance to win seven or eight games, and I didn't think they would be able to push beyond that. I also did not think they would have a chance to make the postseason this season. So, yes … if you're asking am I surprised they have reached seven victories – and if I'm surprised they lead the AFC South through 10 games – well, Eddie … if I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am right now.
Greg from Jacksonville and Section 147:
I understand that whenever you ask "why" in the NFL the answer is always about the money, but why aren't there sideline cameras at every stadium?
John: Money.
Ric from Jacksonville:
Pssst... Hey, John: Guess what? It's almost December and we aren't talking about the draft. He, he, he…
John: I never talk much about the draft until after the Senior Bowl in late January. Is it cool and refreshing that the Jaguars' success is helping many readers perhaps take a similar approach? It doesn't suck.
Mark from Archer, FL:
If I read one more article about how the Titans will win the division, I will go mad. So what … they won in week 2. That game was more the Jags beating themselves with too many horrible penalties, which then wore down the team. Not to mention our run defense is miles better now. The only thing the Titans have on the Jags is a better quarterback. But our monster defense will negate that.
John: Penalties indeed were a major factor in the Titans' Week 2 victory over the Jaguars, and there's no question the Jaguars' run defense is a mile better than they were then. If that game is for the division title, I expect it to be a monster, emotional game. I expect it to be difficult for the Jaguars, though, because Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota's mobility still will be an issue – and because the Titans' offensive line is the real deal. Plus, it will be played in Tennessee. Do I believe the Jaguars can win? Sure. If I were a Jaguars fan would I feel better about life if the Jaguars had a two-game lead entering the game? Absolutely.
Gabe from Jacksonville:
I know I keep hearing that Aaron Colvin is going to want to get paid next year, but is it a fair possibility that Aaron may renegotiate with the Jags to take a little less in order to stay? I just can't see a player who is making a significant impact on a very good and possibly historic defense leaving to play with one that could possibly be mediocre. Is it really about the money? Or is it about getting that Super Bowl ring?
John: It's really about the money.
Biff from Jacksonville:
Have you heard anything from Jalen Ramsey regarding his matchup with Larry Fitzgerald? Considering the class with which Larry holds himself, and the respect he has earned from based on how he approaches the game, I'm curious as to whether Ramsey will tone down his rhetoric at all.
John: I'm curious about this, too. When Ramsey speaks with the media, my experienced "nose for news" tells me this might be a topic.
Robert from Moorpark, CA:
Do you believe Jalen Ramsey when he says that he hasn't shown his best yet?
John: Of course. Ramsey is in his second NFL season. He has many years remaining to be in his otherworldy physical prime, and it stands to reason he will get progressively better in the coming three or four seasons at understanding how to study opposing receivers.
MrPadre from Kinglsand, GA:
John, do you think the Jaguars are trying more than normal to score early to get the lead so the defense can do what it does so well: get after the quarterback? I thought about this after the attempted onside kick against the Browns. Obviously "every" team wants to score and score early. But I'm just wondering if maybe this is being over emphasized this season? Thanks. Oh......#DTWD!
John: Not to be snide, but I'm not sure how you overemphasize scoring. Should it be emphasized less? The Jaguars on Sunday had seen something in the way the Browns blocked for kickoffs that made them think an onside kick would work. They tried it – and except for an offsides penalty, it worked. The guess here is the Jaguars keep emphasizing ways to score. I think you're overthinking this one.
Donny from Sacksonville:
O-Face! I think it's silly to think the Jags are 44 points better than the Titans based on how each team played the Steelers. I think you and I are on the same page as far as that goes, which is: The Jags imposed their will against the Steelers while the Titans could not ... therefore the Jags are going to impose their will on the Titans on the final game of the season. Amirite?
John: That's the hope for the Jaguars, and of course there's a chance the Jaguars could impose their will on the Titans. Of course, seeing that the Titans spent a lot of time imposing their will on the Jaguars in Week 2 it's hardly a guarantee. NFL games aren't always decided by will. Often, game circumstances play a role. For instance, the Jaguars in Week 2 committed a ton of mistakes that kept them from being in a position to impose their will. They were getting in a position where it was going to be tough to impose their will against Pittsburgh before a couple of pick-sixes in the second half gave them a lead and enabled them to do some serious will-imposing. If the Jaguars can get a lead in the regular-season finale, they can impose their will. If the Titans get a lead, they can probably do the same thing.
Shane from Washington, DC:
I thought your answer to the question about wanting to have an elite quarterback versus an elite defense was one of the best answers you've ever given. Congratulations. Try doing it more often.
John: Toward what end?
Baker from New York, NY:
O, two questions. The first: who is your favorite football team? I know you are a writer and have written for different teams but hands down who is your favorite? And second, thinking about where the Jags started and where they are now, is it possible we could make the AFC Championship Game this year?
John: My NFL favorite team growing up and into my 20s was the Washington Redskins. Since I began covering college football, I have ceased to have a favorite college or NFL team. I have passionate interest in the Jaguars because I work for the franchise and would love to see a lot of people I like and admire succeed, so in that sense perhaps the Jaguars are my "favorite team." And yes … the Jaguars absolutely could make the AFC Championship Game this season. Why not?
Verne from DSM, IA:
John, in this so-called passing era, where rule changes have made it almost illegal to hit a quarterback. Passing-game panzies seem to want 500 yards and 50 points a game or they demonize the quarterback. What exactly IS a "franchise quarterback" and how many NFL teams actually have one? Four? Five? Six? Let's just be happy our beloved Jaguars are finally winning and have a dominant defense. I don't think even Tom Brady would be much better with this banged-up line and mostly rookie receivers. Just win, baby!
John: Tom Brady would be better, particularly if he was running the offense he has run pretty much since entering the NFL. Still, you make a valid point. A franchise quarterback is more rare than we who discuss these often indicate in said discussions. The Jaguars are winning with a dominant defense. That doesn't guarantee postseason success, but it sure makes it a possibility.
Matt from Valley Center, KS:
More Marcedes Lewis please!
John: OK.
Christopher from Jacksonville:
Well, I'm glad that the Jags are finally doing well because I am finally in a position to buy season tickets next year. So, here is one for new season-ticket holders and let's have a great finish to the year #GOJAGS
John: "Hey, one fer Christopher!" Lamping said with a smile.

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