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O-Zone: Cool stuff

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mark from Archer, FL

John, so that is what a complete team victory looks like. It has been a long time since every phase of the team played really well all at the same time. I like it.

I was going to answer this question by offering a dose of NFL reality. I was going to point out that the Jaguars' 24-0 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday was incredibly complete by NFL standards – so complete that it's unlikely to be repeated. I was going to point out that a lot of plays went right for the Jaguars for that victory to feel as complete as it did – and if a few things went differently, it might not have felt quite as complete. I also was going to point out that the Colts were missing a lot of key players and the Jaguars were completely healthy. But then I remembered that it has been a while since the Jaguars had a moment like this, so I decided to not mention any of these things and let Mark enjoy it.

Matt from Tallahassee, FL

Everyone was right. Same Jags, nothing to like here, no signs of improvement. No one should watch.  Unless they want to see an improving team, with a defense that was built to play with a lead. Still expect we will see some inconsistent play this year as the team matures, but if no one saw improvement they were not watching the game.

You're being mean to Jaguars fans who were upset about a 28-22 loss to the Washington Commanders in Week 1. We emphasize being nice in these parts and "being mean" is not "being nice." Besides: It was understandable that fans were upset over the Week 1 loss. Things have been frustrating in these parts for a long time. It was understandable a Week 1 loss felt like, "Here we go again." How else was it supposed to feel? But yes … What we have seen from the Jaguars the first two weeks of the 2022 season undoubtedly shows this team has improved. They were improved in Week 1 and made a few key errors at key times to lose. They were improved in Week 2 and it resulted in a resounding, feel-good victory. I expect the same inconsistency as you, and I can't say I expect a road victory on the West Coast against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday. But I didn't expect what happened at TIAA Bank Field Sunday either, so what the hell do I know?

Matt from Bradford

Was this our best performance in a proper, meaningful game since when? New England in 2018?


Jim from Jagsonville

I couldn't tell from my view, but were they able to fix those "correctable mistakes?

The Jaguars reduced their penalties from 13 for 90 yards in Week 1 to three for 19 yards Sunday. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence reduced the "makeable incompletions" from a few to pretty close to none. The Jaguars' defense also converted sack opportunities and forced turnovers. They converted in the red zone after leaving opportunities on the field in Week 1. Yes, they corrected correctable mistakes.

Jeremy from Jacksonville by way of Miami

I guess they do come in bunches. Huh, who woulda thought?

I assume you're referencing the oft-heard NFL cliché, "Turnovers come in bunches" and yes … the Jaguars have gotten them in bunches and at a remarkable rate so far this season. They have forced three takeaways in each of the first two games, meaning they have six this season after forcing a league-low nine last season. That's a striking difference, and one that bodes well for this team's chances of being competitive moving forward. A thought on the "in-bunches" thing. There's a reason that's true: You usually get turnovers when your opponents are trailing late in games and pressing. The Colts committed two turnovers late in the fourth quarter Sunday when pressing. It's not surprising in that sense the Jaguars didn't get many takeaways last season. It's hard to get them when you trail by double digits more than you lead.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-Man. I misread your Quick Thoughts as Trevor's "19-year NFL career" instead of "19-game career." Wouldn't that be something one day?


Pete from Jacksonville

So, what do the Trevor naysayers think now? TL is a developing gem of a quarterback. He showed what he could be against the Colts (once again). A lights-out "D" helped the cause.

Lawrence was very, very good Sunday. It seemed from this view that Head Coach Doug Pederson, offensive coordinator Press Taylor and the rest of the offensive game-planners did a nice job putting Lawrence in good situations – outside the pocket with some very specific reads – in a lot of situations. It also looked like Lawrence made some really good decisions and quick reads. That means it overall looked like a really good day for Lawrence and the offensive game-planners. That doesn't mean Lawrence has silenced his naysayers anymore than a few incompletions in Week 1 made Lawrence's naysayers right. Lawrence through two games has three touchdown passes and an interception, and he's 1-1. He's in a far better environment than last season and he looks better than he did early last season. He's developing. That's where we are in this.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

When is the last time we were .500?

They were .500 through two games in 2020. The NFL is a weird league.

Scott from the Mid-Atlantic

What are your thoughts on the penalty call against Marvin Jones? That was a brutal and scary hit he took. I for one understand the emotions he had to be feeling which resulted in a penalty. I just don't understand how a taunting call would offset a possibly career-ending penalty. Please elaborate on how this is even fair in the NFL?

You're referencing a play in the first quarter Sunday on which Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin was called for unnecessary roughness on a very questionable hit on Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones – who in turn was penalized for taunting Franklin following the play. The call wasn't fair to Jones. While the call was correct by the letter of the rule, it was absolutely understandable that Jones reacted as he did. The letter of the law doesn't take emotion into account.

Kat from Augusta, GA

The win felt good. The team looked even better. What say you, O-Zone?

The Jaguars looked great Sunday – better than they have looked in about four full seasons. They have shown in the first two games of the season they can move the ball consistently and they have shown they can have long stretches of playing really good defense. They have shown they can create turnovers and they showed Sunday they can stop the NFL's best running back. Lawrence has shown he is better than last season. The Jaguars' task now is to show they can do these things with some level of consistency – i.e., playing well enough to win far more often than not and actually winning more than losing. They appear close to that than they have in a while. Stay tuned.

Marc from Duval

I know it's "always coaching," John, but boy does it feel – like after what many locally and nationally panned as perhaps a sloppy coaching search – that the Jags finally got the right guy to lead this franchise. Not even from a wins and losses measure – which obviously is the end game in the NFL – but from how this team has now functioned and responded situationally in consecutive weeks to open their season. The franchise feels like it's in good hands moving forward.

Pederson is a professional football coach. The players believe in his message. He and his offensive coaches appear to have put their players in very favorable situations the last two weeks, and those players made plays Sunday. This is refreshing.

Rob from San Antonio, TX

Hmm … maybe we shouldn't fire the coaching staff and look for a new quarterback just yet. Were we THAT good, or Indy that bad? How are you viewing this dominant performance?

The Jaguars on Sunday benefitted from Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard's absence. They also benefited from the absence of Colts wide receivers Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce. Here's what the Jaguars did that was impressive: They took advantage of those absences and pulled away steadily for a one-sided victory. That mattered. Who was missing for the Colts didn't matter. As for who was that good and bad … the Jaguars played very well and the Colts played poorly. That doesn't mean those teams will play that way moving forward because the NFL is a week-to-week league. The good news for the Jaguars? They played really well and are .500. They haven't been able to say that in far too long.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL

Now we're talkin Zone! You da man. Thanks and Go Jags!!!

Winning is cool. It's, like, better than losing.