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O-Zone: Almost here

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, Wizard do you see this as a high-scoring, up-and-down-the-field battle? Perhaps it comes down to a defensive battle of turnovers? If both sides perform to their full capabilities, have the Jaguars of today surpassed the Chiefs of last year? Does it all depend on one person that I shall not name?

I don't know who you're not naming, but I don't expect one player to completely change the outcome when the Jaguars play the Kansas City Chiefs at EverBank Stadium Sunday. I expect it to be a high-scoring game. That's how both teams are built, and I expect a late takeaway or two to factor heavily in the outcome. Have the Jaguars passed the Chiefs, who won the Super Bowl following last season? We'll see. I expect a more even game than the teams played last season. I expect the Jaguars to feel as if they have a very good chance to win throughout the entire game, a feeling I never had in two Chiefs victories over the Jaguars last season. I expect it to be tight late. It could go either way. We'll see.

David from Oviedo, FL

O - The Chiefs are usually one of those teams that have shifty and quick wide receivers and running backs. We're going to match up against that speed. What is the status of cornerbacks Chris Claybrooks and Gregory Junior? Any chance either of them plays?

Claybrooks is on the NFL's Commissioner Exempt list. Junior was ruled out by the Jaguars with a hamstring injury Friday. Neither will play Sunday.

Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124

I chuckled a bit when I read that someone feels "disrespected" by the Jags being three-point underdogs at home. There are few more dispassionate observers than those who set the line on games. They don't really care who wins (or who feels "disrespected"). They only care about balancing public sentiment in the betting community.


Lawrence from Blair, NE

Don't you think it's rather ridiculous when people try to "take statistics away?" Outside linebacker Josh Allen got three sacks in Week 1, period. Forcing the quarterback out of bounds is a sack for good reason, they are coached not to take a hit and if they stayed inbounds they would be levelled. I also was at the Chiefs game in 2018. The expectations I went in with and the experience of the game was so brutal. Finally, I think it would be smart to wait at least a couple more years before putting former Jaguars Head Coach/Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin in the Pride, I think you also cannot discount what he was responsible for post 2017, making the employment sound toxic by the feedback of players that left. Would be nice to have some sustained success to no longer care about what happened then before letting him in. Unless somehow you can do it as only a coach.

A few thoughts on your thoughts. I don't worry much about taking away or adding statistics. Football is not quite as statistics-oriented or statistics-friendly as, say, baseball, so numbers are best used as a supplementary tool rather than an end-all measure of a player. Still, you're right: The numbers are the numbers and Allen played well Sunday in a Week 1 victory over the Indianapolis Colts; whether he had a "three-sack" game is secondary to him setting the tone and making multiple impact plays that affected the game. Regarding Coughlin … no, I don't agree that the team should wait to put him in the Pride of the Jaguars. Situations go sideways in sports and life all the time. Coughlin's first and second tenures in Jacksonville both ended poorly. But Coughlin's first tenure as the Jaguars' head coach, 1993-2002, was the franchise's most sustained period of success to date. He was the face and spine of the franchise from before what is now EverBank Stadium was built through four postseason appearances. He was in the walls and in a very real sense defined the franchise like no one would for a long time. For all that went wrong at various times since, he was that. The Pride of the Jaguars is incomplete without him.

John from Jacksonville

Hi, KOAGF - On the topic of statistics not telling the whole story, there are lots of examples. Some include a quarterback touchdown pass skillfully done such as quarterback Trevor Lawrence to wide receiver Zay Jones versus a simple pass by Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson a few yards with the receiver making the long tough run for a touchdown. Another is when defenders tackle running backs for losses but only getting glory and stats credit when getting a quarterback for a loss. Also: The total yards that dictates team offense and defense rankings is very misleading. That's all for now. Have a nice day.


Drew from Oregon

Almighty O, The West Coast is starting to finally see what we have seen for the past couple years with Trevor Lawrence. Do you think he's got a serious shot at MVP?

Lawrence, the Jaguars' third-year quarterback, absolutely has a chance to be the NFL's Most Valuable Player. He's a high-profile quarterback who plays in a dynamic, talented offense. High-profile matchups such as Sunday's against the Chiefs are a chance for him to be in that conversation, and the Jaguars – providing they are contending – will play in multiple such games. This is not to say Lawrence will win MVP. I doubt it's a major priority. But he absolutely has a chance.

Brian from Wheeling

KC's gonna be 0-2 after this Sunday. This is our year.

Brian is ready for some football.

Big on Blake from Phill

Zone, is this week's matchup of our edge players versus our old right tackle being disregarded? Is there a significant advantage one way or the other between players who practiced against each other regularly on either side of the line? I'm excited for this week's game. I think the Jags have a real chance for a win. Wonder if this is an area where a small advantage can be taken.

Chiefs offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor faced Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker often in 2022 and Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen often in 2019-2021 when Taylor played for the Jaguars. The experience of those matchups figures to benefit each player equally. The Jaguars absolutely should have a real chance to win, but I doubt Taylor having been with the Jaguars for four seasons pushes the advantage to one side or the other.

Dan from Jax

More of a comment than a question. After reading your blog for years, I see it to be a lot like that SNL skit "Alexa Silver" (on youtube). You are the Alexa unit dealing with some rather interesting questions from your readers.

So you say.

Jz from j-ville -> huntsville

Not naming names or anything, but after the Thursday Night Football game, I am reminded how much I love the locker room of this team. From our outside limited fan view at least, it seems like our guys are always next guy up mentality and just want to win. It doesn't mean they don't want individual success, but it's a means to the winning end for them. Like Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk this past week, no hissy fit on the sidelines, just maturity.

The Jaguars have a good locker room that seems focused on winning and team more than individual – at least as much as is possible in the NFL.

Josh from Yulee, FL

If the weather is bad Sunday, Duval still needs to show up in full force. It's football. Bad weather games happen and the team still needs their fans. Come on Duval!!


Zac from Austin, Tejas

Just because there is a loose connection between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs this week- how many years would quarterback Patrick Mahomes have to maintain this level of dominance to be in the conversation with Tom Brady as greatest quarterback of all time?

I would have more quarterbacks in the conversation than Brady because I don't consider Super Bowl titles the absolute end-all gauge to greatness at the position. My group would include players such as Dan Marino, John Elway, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, John Unitas, Otto Graham, Sammy Baugh and perhaps Aaron Rodgers. This is because I lean a little more toward players who defined eras and advanced the game than simply postseason success. But I digress. Mahomes has two Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards and two NFL MVP awards. If he wins another MVP and maintains his level for a few years, he has to be in the conversation. He's getting there quickly.

Don from Marshall NC

When KC loses it's usually not by much. All that is going to change Sunday. I think the Jaguars are ready to take flight and it's not going to matter who that team is. Go Jaguars!

When it comes to the Jaguars' chances Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champions, Don remains "all in."