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O-Zone: Be amazing

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

David from Eau Claire, WI

It seems to be a theme to take away Lawrence's first read and quick throw to make the offense stall out. Have defenses found the way to make the Jaguars beat themselves?

This has become this week's Topic of the Week among Jaguars observers. It has become vogue for opposing defenses to say – or at least hint – that the way to beat the Jaguars is to take away quarterback Trevor Lawrence's first read and make him make plays downfield. In other words, "make him play quarterback." This suggests that Lawrence can't read defenses. A couple of thoughts: One is that I don't know that evidence supports the idea that Lawrence can't get through his progressions and reads; he has made plenty of throws throughout his career and this season reading defenses correctly and coming off his first read to make a big play. A second thought is that it's difficult to get to second and third reads if the protection is breaking down too often and too quickly. This seemed a particular issue in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday at EverBank Stadium. Still: It does seem defenses believe this to some degree. If that's the case, then Lawrence and the Jaguars must figure out how to beat the approach because defenses in the NFL tend to do things against young quarterbacks until they prove they can beat those things. Stay tuned.

David from Orlando, FL

Zone - If I were Coach Pederson, I would significantly reduce Trevor Lawrence's availability to the media. Coach Pederson is generally a very level-headed, positive and encouraging coach. I think this is to keep players confident and in the right frame of mind, so they are free to focus on the game plan and getting better. Why put Trevor on the podium and subject him to constant criticism, so he can get called out for every mistake he's ever made? Do you know how often Trevor talks to the media. It seems like it's almost every day.

This isn't Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's decision. Lawrence speaks to the media twice a week on "normal" game weeks – after games and on Wednesdays. This is as required under NFL rules and it's essentially how often every starting NFL quarterback speaks to the media. This takes a total of about 20-to-25 minutes a week. Lawrence is very capable of handling this amount of media time and performing his job. And he is mentally strong enough to handle the same questions posed to every NFL starting quarterback on a weekly basis.

Brandon from Louisville

The reason why Jags fans are still negative is because we don't trust the team. They played a real contender and got destroyed, not just beaten. We don't trust them.


JT from Palm Coast, FL

I understand that there is still a lot of season left, but these next two weeks feel like the most important stretch of the year. I'm in the camp that normally believes a "must-win" only exists when it actually is a "must-win." But... Beating the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans in consecutive weeks feels much more important than it did a few weeks ago.

All games in the NFL matter. When a team is contending after the midway point, games feel like they matter more. When they're in the division, they really matter. And when a team has lost ugly … boy does that next game feel like it matters a lot. The next two are important. They're both in the division. If the Jaguars win Sunday the game against the Texans becomes really important. But neither is a "must-win" game. Not yet.

Don from Marshall NC

When Trevor Lawrence signs his deal, he will be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Go Jaguars!

Don remains "all in."

Brian from Round Rock, TX

There must be a better way to motivate a team than waiting for blowout losses to happen. Shouldn't the coach be able to get the team in the right mindset? I think the atmosphere must be too comfortable under Dougy P.

Pederson doesn't wait for losses to motivate. This is professional football. There are 32 head coaches working to get their teams in the right mindset each week. The Jaguars' mindset was fine Sunday. Their execution fell short. The atmosphere around the Jaguars was good enough to win the AFC South title last season and it is good enough this season to be one of eight teams leading their division. There's nothing wrong on this front.

Doug from Jacksonville, FL

The Kansas City Chiefs failed to score a touchdown and lost to the Denver Broncos. The Houston Texans, who have won the last two games on crazy plays and opponents dropping touchdowns, lost to one-win Carolina. Houston beat the Jags in Jacksonville, but all this talk of the Texans being the team to beat in the division and the Jags dropping off is a reaction to a terrible game. If the Jaguars beat Tennessee this week – a Division and Conference win with a record of 7-3 – all will be right in the world again.

Winning is cool. Fans like it. And a victory one week absolutely makes a loss the previous week – no matter how ugly – seem suddenly far away.

JimShoe St johns

I appreciate your tactful responses that include "the interior of the offensive line must play better," but my comment is Luke Fortner ranks No. 2 of 37 ranked centers per PFF. His inability to prevent pressure up the middle more than anything else is, in my amateur opinion, the most glaring deficiency in our offense. Trevor can seldom step up and throw cleanly over the course of a game and running back Travis Etienne Jr. gets hit more a yard behind the line when running between the tackles than most running backs in pro football. Perhaps it's time to try Shatley at center??

The Jaguars don't see Fortner as a problem, and I get no sense that the Jaguars plan to move Fortner from center to start Tyler Shatley there.

Dan from Munich

Zone, can you please find something else to write, the "NFL is week to week" doesn't really work when you getting blown at home. Also how long do you think it will take for the so-called franchise QB to start playing like one?

I'll stop writing that the NFL is a week-to-week league when it's no longer pertinent that it's a week-to-week league. Lawrence was trending positively much of the season in terms of decision-making, poise and clutch play before last Sunday's loss. He's not elite yet. I don't know when he will reach that level and stay there consistently.

Chance from Tecumseh

Trevor is 17th in passing yards, 12th in passing completion percentage, 22nd in touchdown passes, t-12th in INT's and ninth in sacks. What say you, O?

I say a lot of people concern themselves with statistics more than I do.

James from Socorro, NM

If the Jaguars don't win the next two games, they are not making the playoffs. The Texans have an offense that can actually score points with a rookie quarterback that's playing much better than Lawrence. It's November. Now is not the time to get blown out at home and look completely unprepared against a quality opponent.

The next two games are critical for the Jaguars' season, particularly the road game against the Houston Texans on November 26. I've done this too long and too many storylines change too rapidly to say call November games must-wins. Is there are good time to get blown out at home? I've never thought so.

Jeremy from Jacksonville by way of Sector Miami

The Jaguars are still in the driver's seat to tie the franchise record for most wins in a season. That has to count for something.

The Jaguars must win their final eight games to tie the franchise record for most regular-season victories. That was 14, set in 1999.

_Morgan from Jacksonville        _

I know it's rarely ever one thing exclusively, but what would you say is the biggest reason for the offense underperforming at times? Offensive line, wide receivers, quarterback, play-calling.

I would nod toward the offensive line, particularly the interior. It hasn't been awful all season, contrary to many observers' views, but it has been inconsistent. That has hurt the ability to be consistent running, and it has allowed pressure up the middle. That's an issue, though – as you mention – when units struggle in the NFL it is never one thing. So … all of the above.

Brad (The Barbarian) from The Avenues

We must put the events of last Sunday behind us. This game is more important for two reasons. One, it is a divisional game. Two – and to some, more importantly – we will be facing the much-hated ancient enemy. The bane of our existence for far too long. What is the best in life, John? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their fans.

Work hard, be kind and amazing things can happen.