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O-Zone: All-too familiar

JACKSONVILLE – Well, well, well …

As we said in O-Zone Late Night on Sunday night there is little to analyze from the Jaguars' 38-14 loss Sunday to the San Diego Chargers. The loss was one-sided, disappointing and – as quarterback Blake Bortles put it – "pretty embarrassing."

What else is there to say?

Let's get to it … Bill from Dansville, NY:
All that talk this week about expecting to win??? I don't know what to say.
John: I suppose this as good a place to start as any. That indeed was the pregame theme throughout the week – and that was what left players shocked in Sunday's aftermath. The Jaguars felt like they would play well against San Diego. They felt like they prepared well. They felt like the outcome would be far different. As middle linebacker Paul Posluszny put it, the team truly believed losses such as Sunday's were a thing of the past. The thing about the NFL is there are losses such as this for many teams every season. That's even true of perennially good teams. The Jaguars are not a perennially good team, so losses such as this cast doubt and raise concerns among the fan base. Is this a season-defining game? Is this what this team is? The Jaguars don't think so. Many fans do think so. Who is correct? Stay tuned.
Travis from Boynton Beach, FL:
Absolutely embarrassing performance from the Jags in San Diego. I thought we were past these embarrassing performances.
John: So did many players.
Jeremy from Wise, VA:
Is this game a coach killer? I hope not, but how soon is too soon to ask?
John: It's not soon to ask. An 0-2 start with an ugly Week 2 loss is exactly when outsiders are going to ramp up the volume and frequency of such questions. It was not the sort of loss that inspires confidence. How the Jaguars respond to this experience will tell a lot about this team and this coaching staff. There was confidence in the locker room afterward among players that they will respond well, but locker-room confidence after a game in which the team trailed 35-0 doesn't mean much to fans whose team has been losing for a long time.
Dave from Jacksonville:
Hey John! Great game Sunday! I've been a season-ticket holder since 2008 and have yet to witness a winning season. This year, I was starting to drink the Kool-Aid that Gus, Dave, and the boys have been serving up. I was starting to believe that this team could be a competent, competitive franchise - it was quite confusing! Now, thankfully, everything seems back to normal. Glad to see we will have a season devoid of hope yet again.
John: Ah the post-loss in-box … 'tis a place of anger and sarcasm – sometimes creatively so. One game doesn't mean the season is devoid of hope, but there was little to like about Sunday. There maybe was as little to like as I can remember about a Jaguars game. Perhaps it was a case of a young team having one more lousy clunker on a West Coast trip before figuring things out and beginning to grow. That's not out of the realm of possibility. I'm not going to sit here and guarantee that's the case, but weirder things have happened.
Rick from Folsom, CA:
Oh, poor Johnny O. I can only imagine. Chin up, son.
John: I get many emails like this after Jaguars losses. I got a lot more than usual after Sunday's loss. I appreciate people thinking of my feelings because I am at heart a fragile, weak soul starved for support who must be propped up by all around me lest I slide into an emotional abyss never to return. That's in real life. In this world that is the O-Zone, I need no such emotional support. Pity me not. Mean-spirited, angry emails after losses bother me nary a wit. Jaguars fans want to win. They're tired of losing. They had every reason to expect that losses of Sunday's embarrassing nature were a thing of the past – or at the very least that they would be fewer and farther between. If I were a fan of this team and had heard talk of improvement and of being more competitive I'd be damned angry after a game such as Sunday's, too. So … poor Johnny O? Nah. Poor fans. They deserved better Sunday.
Sebastian from Austin, TX:
All teams have bad games, but nothing makes this game even remotely understandable. Same old issues, same bad Jaguars. … Sad thing is even if I wanted to cheer for another team, I couldn't. Let's just do Look-Ahead Monday morning this week.
John: The Look-Ahead Monday idea is a pretty awesome one. Somehow, though, I think the 500-plus emails sitting in the inbox aren't ready to look ahead just yet.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
Blown out ... please tell us again how much this team has improved.
John: The Jaguars have improved enough to play the Green Bay Packers pretty much even much of the game in Week 1 and to have had a chance to win that game with less than 30 seconds remaining. They have far enough to go that if they play poorly they can be down 35-0 to the San Diego Chargers entering the fourth quarter in Week 2. The Green Bay part was encouraging. The Chargers part was disturbing because many people – including me and, more importantly, including the players – expected a far different result. This is a tough one. This one has the potential to shake the foundation. The week ahead becomes a critical, critical week for this season. I don't pretend to know how it will play out, but it needs to end with something far different than what we saw on Sunday.
Tony from Jacksonville:
Incredibly embarrassing.
John: Yep.
Ben from Jacksonville:
How do we go from holding Green Bay with all their weapons to 27, but can't stop a San Diego team devoid of their two best weapons? Where do we go from here?
John: It's a week-to-week league and what happens one week has nothing to do with the next week. I think somebody very wise said that once – or maybe it was me. But seriously, the Jaguars couldn't stop the Chargers Sunday because the Jaguars' supposed defensive strength – the run defense – was ineffective early and then the defense couldn't stop explosive plays late. That's not a good enough answer, but it's the one I have in the immediate aftermath of this game. Where do we go from here? The Jaguars go home and try to beat a Baltimore team that probably will be very focused in light of what happened in Baltimore last season. This will be a tough game. It's also one the Jaguars have to win.
Steve from Stevensville, MD:
Last week was fun to watch. This week was not.
John: No, it was not.
Jeremy from Jacksonville:
I didn't rexpect this, John.
John: It's hard to figure if you meant you didn't respect this or that you didn't expect it. Either is applicable in this case.
Roger from Jacksonville:
Sadly, I saw absolutely nothing in this game that would suggest the Jaguars are even remotely competitive in this league.
John: That's true of Sunday's game. It wasn't true of the regular-season opener. A look at the roster would tell you the Jaguars are more the Week 1 version of themselves than the Week 2 version, but the Week 2 version is what's fresh in our memories – and it's the Week 2 version that the Jaguars must put behind them very quickly this week.
Terry from Chester, KS:
So much for prove-it time, huh?
John: Prove-it time was the headline to the Sunday O-Zone, and it was in many ways an appropriate pre-game headline. I saw Sunday's game as a real opportunity for this team to prove it was better than recent Jaguars teams – and as a real opportunity for this team to show that it indeed was ready to put a lot of bad memories in the distant past. The Jaguars failed to take advantage of that opportunity – and actually failed pretty miserably. They will have another opportunity Sunday. How important is that game? Well, it's a whole lot more important than Sunday in San Diego and I thought Sunday in San Diego was really, really important.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
You know ... after the game Sunday I wish I had never seen a Jaguars game.
John: Well-played, Logan.
Tim from Jacksonville:
John: No, obviously not.
Shawn from Waverly :
Put your spin on this one, O-man.
John: Not today, Shawn. There is no spin and no way to explain this. What happened Sunday was pretty much a complete egg-laying. I understood and even expected many of those the first three seasons of this regime. I didn't remotely expect Sunday's and honestly believed they would play well and win. Many players thought so, too. Sometimes bad games do happen in the NFL and often teams respond in a big way. The Jaguars haven't done enough in recent years to make people believe that will happen. Do I think it will happen this year? I honestly don't know. I do know there's an urgency to this situation that hasn't been felt the past three seasons, and next week feels really, really important.
Duval Doom from Section 217:
This feels familiar.
John: That it did, Doom. That it did.

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