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O-Zone: Doing what I do

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Steve from Wallingford

From recent memory, the Jags have never looked like a good team dinking and dunking down the field trying to protect a small lead. When they play aggressive offense, they look like Super Bowl contenders. My question is, what is the Jags’ record in games where they score under 15-18 points? It feels like it would be more Ls than Ws.

The Jaguars are 1-4 under Head Coach Doug Marrone when scoring fewer than 20 points. That perhaps has something to do with offensive aggressiveness. It also has something to do with the fact that when this defense gets a lead, it tends to create turnovers. And when the Jaguars create turnovers, they tend to get points off those turnovers. When that happens, games tend to get one-sided and the offense tends to score a lot of points.

Michael from Elberton, GA

Tell me I'm beautiful, John.

DTWD

Ryan from Detroit, MI

Will the fact that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan now owns Wembley Stadium affect how much profit the Jaguars make when we play there? Or is this solely a financial/real-estate move to benefit Shad? For the record – I’m not complaining about it. He's living the American dream. Just curious.

Yes, Khan owning Wembley Stadium absolutely will mean the Jaguars making more money when they play there. That and the ability to ensure the Jaguars will play there each year were two of the major benefits for Khan and the Jaguars in pursuing the purchase.

Damon from America’s Finest City

With all these rule changes, why doesn't the NFL change the most glaring one of all: a play being called dead due to a premature whistle. They have instant replay to overturn calls and to correct human error, but why can't the whistle be overturned? That is human error, too. Or is it? How many times have we seen a whistle being blown way too early (Myles Jack wasn't down) and that whistle ends up costing a team a big play that could have legitimately changed the outcome of a game? It happens frequently. So why is this particular rule so steadfast?

The NFL did address this a while back, changing the rule that blew plays absolutely dead at the whistle to allow a team recovering a fumble on a play that was whistled dead to retain possession if it was absolutely clear that the recovering team would have taken possession. I don’t anticipate further change to this rule soon. The reason: Players stop when they hear the whistle. To allow the results of a play that continues after a whistle is to allow a play that wouldn’t have happened had the whistle not been blown. That would be far worse than what happens under the current rule.

Chris from Norfolk, VA

I was never sold on Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson. Knowing we have a one-year window with our defense, can you give us a realistic idea to help the offensive line? Are we rolling with what we got? I’d give a third-round pick to get an upgrade. Like you, I’m never one to give up picks for one-year band aids but O, we are in the one situation where it makes sense.

Robinson isn’t playing the rest of the season; he’s on injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Josh Wells has played in his place for nearly two full games and has played fine. It’s a situation worth monitoring. It’s not a situation that requires a move immediately.

Alex from Los Angeles, CA

An adventure time reference, Johnny-O. Your vast knowledge and ability to relate to the people consistently amazes and astounds.

It’s great to be me.

Jimbo from Le Bimbo

You said, "It’s an unavoidable part of having humans officiate games. It’s not an anti-Jaguars thing." Well, why can't it be both? Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles certainly doesn't get the same roughing calls that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers gets.

I never said Bortles gets the same roughing calls as Rodgers. I did say it’s not an anti-Jaguars thing. That’s more of a quarterback-reputation thing. That’s not fair, but neither is it exclusive to Bortles and the Jaguars.

Khan from Section 104

John, like pretty much everyone else who writes in, I've never played professional football. I have, however, served as a Marine Corps infantryman in four combat expeditions. The relevance is that no matter how good your team is a plan doesn't always work the way you expect it to. No team has been perfect since the '72 Dolphins, and no team will be that way for a long while. The point is that these Jags still look like a 11-5 or 12-4 team and a playoff team in the waiting. The issue isn't the coaching, what color pants the team is wearing, or if Blake Bortles looks like he isn't the second coming of Joe Montana. The issue is that sometimes one day may not be your day. As a Jags fan, I hope others realize how good things are now as opposed to how things were and keep our good fortunes in perspective.

Well said.

Jorge from Edmonton, AK

The game is changing at the quarterback position. With the emphasis teams put on rushing the quarterback, I don’t think a pure pocket passer and winning from the pocket is viable. The new breed of successful quarterbacks don’t have to run for yards, but they have to get out of the pocket and be able to throw on the run. Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen. Thoughts?

New England Patriots Tom Brady has won a lot of games as a pure pocket passer and he’s still very successful. Ditto Matt Ryan. Ditto a lot of quarterbacks. While the quarterbacks you cite are recent early draft selections who appear to have potential to change the game in the direction you cite, I still believe you still need to be able to win from the pocket if you’re going to have a long, elite career. It’s fine to be mobile, but the violent nature of this league tends to rob quarterbacks of their mobility. Eventually a quarterback must learn to win from the pocket.

Clayton from Jacksonville

We can’t dwell on this one. The Jags need to make sure this loss doesn’t turn into two. Two teams with disappointing losses face each other on Sunday. What do the Jags need to do bounce back?

Play better. On offense, that means getting running backs involved enough to make defenses respect the run and short passing game, which in turn should help the passing game be more effective. On defense, it means stopping the run better when you know opponents are trying to run.

Steven from Upper Tract

I saw where the University of Kentucky was fined $100,000 because the fans stormed the field after their upset victory against Mississippi State. I have two questions about that. What happens to UK if it doesn’t pay the fine? And where does the money go if they do pay the fine? Oh, and another question is how does this prevent the fans from doing the same thing again?

I once covered a football game at the University of Kentucky. I had an awesome dinner at a cool restaurant the night before and watched Danny Wuerffel throw a legendary touchdown pass to Chris Doering the following night. I also once covered an SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena. Those events took place in 1993. My UK sources have dried up a smidge in the time since.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

The NFL hosing linebacker Clay Matthews and the Packers is one of the only blatant examples of someone else getting, game-changing, terrible calls as bad as the Jaguars have. But I can’t say anyone has had it quite as frequently as the Jaguars seem to have had go against them. I acknowledge there’s no getting away from that being a “homer” attitude, but even if it isn’t something the NFL is “actively exacting” against the Jags can you really say you have seen any team in the past couple seasons have that go on to the extent that we have?

First, after receiving numerous emails about this I reviewed the two controversial hits by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. I understand why the first was called a penalty, because it appears Matthews could have done at least something to drive Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins less forcefully into the ground on the play. Regarding the play against the Washington Redskins, I don’t see where Matthews could have done much differently when he sacked quarterback Alex Smith. The NFL needs to figure out a way to officiate this better. There is merit to ensuring that defenders can’t drive a defenseless player into the ground, but it can’t penalize a player for making a textbook hit. As for whether the Jaguars have more calls go against them than other teams, I don’t sense that in the least. I could be wrong. I cover the Jaguars. I don’t cover 32 teams. Or Kentucky.

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