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O-Zone: Balancing act

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Yoav from St. Johns, FL

Is it a fair question to ask how good the Jaguars really are if they beat a rebuilding New York Giants, the “September” New England Patriots and the rookie quarterback-led New York Jets while losing to the hobbled Tennessee Titans?

Sure, it’s fair to question what the Jaguars have done through four games. There’s nothing unfair about asking questions. But is it also fair to point out that the “hobbled” Titans who everyone discounted before and after they beat the Jaguars are 3-1 – and beat the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles Sunday? Is it fair to point out that the Jaguars are also 3-1? Is it fair to point out that the Jaguars beat the defending AFC Champion Patriots, who beat previously unbeaten Miami Sunday? Is it fair to point out that the Jaguars have had two of their victories clinched before the final minutes? You can question anything, but remember: The NFL isn’t a comparative-scores league – not ever, but particularly early in the season. Focus on the record. The Jaguars are good. They need to get better, but there’s no questioning that they’re good.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

Listening to Jeff Fisher for a whole game was absolutely horrible. You have to be in a minority of one in liking him. He is the worst.

Not everybody likes the same thing. I like burlap underwear and making fun of my dog because she can’t defend herself. To each his own, I suppose.

Bryan from Portland, OR

Listening to Jeff Fisher call the game was like watching Rocky IV if Ivan Drago was narrating. Interesting – in a stab-me-in-the-eye-with-an-ice-pick kind of way. That is all.

So, one not fer – apparently.

Travis Winter Garden, FL

O, during the broadcast Sunday, Jeff Fisher stated that the Jets defense played well enough to win the game and that is why they were frustrated when going after Dede Westbrook late in the game. Were we watching a different game or am I missing something?

Not every broadcaster is dead on with every in-game comment. Fisher missed on that one. It happens.

Huh from Duval

So, Cole isn't a No. 1 receiver after all?

Perhaps not, though I’m not sure how that’s the conclusion someone draws from the Jaguars’ victory over the Jets Sunday. I’ve said since last offseason I doubted the Jaguars had a “true No. 1 receiver.” I also have said I think they might have two or three really good players who could lead the Jaguars in receiving in a given week and catch five-to-seven touchdowns for 700-to-800 yards. I think Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief all look like those sorts of receivers.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

I got a kick out of seeing Jalen Ramsey grinning after his counterparts on the defense get the safety. Calais Campbell flexing for the crowd, too. Makes me happy for the fans. There was a time where it didn’t seem like the Jaguars had ever been – or were ever gonna be – anything but awful. One time for a moment spent in the lighter side of life, you know? Good stuff.

This team is fun. They’re easy to like if you’re a fan of them – and they’re perhaps easy to hate if you’re not a fan. That’s OK. This team doesn’t seem to need too many people to like them.

Nick from Palatka, FL

"I just work here." Then smile and quickly exit stage right. Priceless!

Refer to previous answer.

Duval Boyz from J-Ville

NOT. GOOD. ENOUGH!

What’s not good enough? The Jaguars’ No. 1-ranked defense? The 3-1 record? The 503-178 total-yardage advantage against the Jets Sunday? I’m sorry to ask so many questions. It’s just a little baffling.

Chuck from Goose Creek, SC

Blake Bortles played a good game Sunday. National media is starting to give him some respect. But his own canvases continue to bash him. I know, I know, fans gonna fan. But, come on man …

Yeah …

Ron from Callahan, FL

Good game. Going forward, I think this team needs depth at the running back position and they need to use that depth when Fournette is healthy. Both injuries, he’s had more than a dozen touches halfway into the second quarter. I want my best player at the position getting the ball, too, but the human body can only take so much. Maybe a Brandon Bolden-type free agent to take a few carries and T.J. Yeldon getting 8-10 carries with Corey Grant getting paired on the field with those guys would give us the mix to keep them coming in waves and everyone fresh.

OK.

Red from Jacksonville

John, are the Jets THAT bad or are the Titans THAT good?

Stop trying to analyze the NFL on a game-to-game basis. You’ll drive yourself crazy and accomplish next to nothing. The NFL is a week-to-week league. A play or two can make a huge difference. The Jaguars are 3-1. So are the Titans. Both teams are good.

Jordan from Jacksonville

The second half was sloppy Sunday. The defense looked apathetic at times and the offense didn't do much. That sure as heck wasn't good enough football to hoist the Lombardi.

The Jaguars outgained the New York Jets, 503-178, and won 31-12. The apathetic defense allowed 178 yards and a five-yard touchdown drive. I sometimes wonder if I watch the same game as some of the readers.

Fred from Naples, FL

It is very unfortunate that Fournette is going through this hamstring injury. As well as Yeldon played in his absence, they should shut down Leonard until after the bye week.

I’m quite sure the doctors will recommend that if necessary. I’m quite sure they won’t recommend that if it’s not necessary. They’ll probably refer to their years of medical training and experience in either case. Doctors are “nutty” that way.

David from Broward County, FL

O-Man, I think the front office made a big mistake going with three running backs on our roster. Fournette is an elite-level three-down power back. Yeldon is a serviceable third-down back who can do well when pressed into a three-down role. Grant is a gimmick, special-situation back who can’t shoulder the load for three downs.

The Jaguars also have Brandon Wilds on the roster – and while calling Grant a gimmick back is too extreme, I agree that he’s not a between-the-tackles, every-down runner. I agree that the Jaguars could use a fourth back in the rotation and active – whether that’s Wilds or someone else. This hasn’t been their approach to date.

Eduardo from Ponte Vedra, FL

John: The final score of the Jets game should have been 55-3. Batted passes, three turnovers, stupid penalties (taunting? seriously, Tashaun Gipson?), unforced errors, dropped interceptions ... these are not the actions of a championship team. I'm sure the coaching staff talks about these things until they are blue in the face, but my question is: can these mistakes be eliminated through coaching? Through internal team leadership? If they don't become a more professional team, they are not going where they want to go.

Let’s not lump “dropped interceptions” in with other mistakes. While interceptions are great – and while the Jaguars’ secondary was kicking itself for missing a couple of opportunities Sunday – these are not mental errors, and defenders are going to have some dropped interceptions through the course of the season. To answer your question … yes, those areas can improve. I expect they will. But let’s remember, too: The Jaguars are 3-1 and leading the league in total defense. They have had two one-sided victories. Yes, the Jaguars have areas they need to improve, but to paint them as a complete mess is to paint an inaccurate picture.

Steve from Wallingford              

For being such a new team to the league, I think the Jags may have one of the scariest all-time teams in existence. Can you imagine Tony Brackens, Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Calais Campbell? How about Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Rashean Mathis, Fernando Bryant, Donovan Darius? Man, I hope Greg Jones gets into the HoF. Not many fullbacks do, but he was surely a beast. What do you think? Any chance of that happening?

The Jaguars have had some big-time players in their history, though this era certainly seems as formidable as any in terms of elite-level talent – particularly defensively. As for Jones, he absolutely was a tremendous fullback. That won’t be enough for the Hall of Fame at a low-profile position, but it doesn’t diminish Jones’ career – or his status as an all-time great for this franchise.

Freddy from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

John, Bravo Zulu to our Jaguars against the Jets. Is it possible that the play calling has a big effect on how our players perform overall? Shouldn't they be more aggressive in passing or at least balance with the run?

Yes, and it would be equally possible that how players perform overall has a big effect on the play calling – except that it’s always coaching in the NFL. The Jaguars passed 40 times Sunday and ran 34, by the way. That’s pretty balanced.

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