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O-Zone: "Expert" analysis

JACKSONVILLE – Victory Monday. Really? Yes, really.

Well, well, well …

Let's get to it …

David from Maplewood, NJ

John, I don't care what anybody says … I like winning ... it's like better than losing!

We're quoting Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh in the O-Zone. So, for the Jaguars – and their fans – 'tis indeed a good day.

Mac from Jacksonville Beach, FL

As it stands today, what do you think the odds are that Gardner Minshew II starts the 2020 season?

This is impossible to answer. We have no idea who will decide this, and the philosophy of the Jaguars' decision-makers will dictate the Minshew Question – and all other Jaguars questions. Still, for the sake of giving it the "old college try" … let's say 3-1 or so. Minshew starting at quarterback next season isn't an extreme long shot, but the guess here is a new set of decision-makers – if there are indeed new decision-makers – would retain Nick Foles and go with the more established, veteran player. Or possibly a first-round draft selection. That's the guess. Cue the hue and cry …

David from Denver, CO

Did Minshew prove anything to this front office or the next?

With one game? Probably not – at least not enough to "lock down" a starting position. But it's a result-based league and Minshew now has five victories in 10 starts. He's at minimum making himself impossible not to notice. Considering what we don't know about the Jaguars moving forward far outweighs what we do know, that's significant.

Mike from Section 122 and Port Orange, FL

Why isn't one of the offensive-line backups not playing in place of Robinson? He continues to be unable to protect the outside. Speed rushers are destroying the game plan both running and throwing. He looks like he is playing on one good leg.

The backups aren't playing ahead of left tackle Cam Robinson because they're not as good as Robinson.

Jeremy from Jacksonville

Mr. O: In the fourth quarter I saw the type of quarterback play and offensive production that I haven't seen in as long as I can remember. Three come-from-behind victories in his first year. Wow. That was the upside we've been missing the last five games. Is it sustainable and will it be there consistently enough? Hope the front office gives me a chance to "tune in" and find out.

Your email makes the very point that makes the Minshew Question so difficult to answer. No, he's not established as the starter. He's tricky to evaluate. He's far from prototypical. And he thus far as a rookie has had as many unproductive stretches as he has productive ones. That's the worrisome part. The enticing part is he has led three come-from-behind victories as a rookie and very nearly led a fourth in Houston. He hasn't beaten many good teams, but he is 5-5 as a starter and inarguably brings an energy, spark and hope at times. Is sustainable? Will it be consistent enough? I haven't the foggiest idea.

Michael from Middleburg, FL

"Fair, but let's be clear: both sides of the Great Minshew Debate are fair. From this writer's view, it appears defenses have figured out how to defend Minshew by defending the edges of the field and keeping him in the pocket. He has looked at times in recent starts like a so-called 'dink-and-dunk' quarterback who is too dependent on scrambling to buy time and creating production out of chaos." That's total bull … see the last five-plus minutes of the Oakland game when the dink-and-dunk coordinator let Minshew loose.

So, one fer Minshew and not fer O-Zone!

Brian from Round Rock, TX

You don't know much about quarterbacks, do you?

I do OK. Sometimes.

Mark from Crescent Beach, FL

A good college team could definitely play with us … we have players who couldn't start for LSU!

There are probably one or two players on the Jaguars who wouldn't start for LSU. A good college team

couldn't play with the Jaguars or any NFL team.

Matt from Bradford

I know it's easy to criticize when plays lose yards, but watching Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette run sideways does my head in. He's a power back. RUN DOWNHILL.

It can be tough to run downhill when the offensive line struggles to create holes, but fair.

Tom from Section 141 (one last time) and the Mean Streets of Nocatee, FL

Is there any chance that they play Josh Dobbs in the last two games?

Barring injury, no, I do not expect the Jaguars to play reserve quarterback Josh Dobbs in either of the final two games. I expect Minshew to continue to start. If he is injured, I would expect Foles to play.

Scott from Rehoboth Beach, DE

Well, O-Man: The Jags finally getting a "W" sure feels good! But the reality is bittersweet at 5-9. Can we finish out at 7-9? Let's keep the holidays happy. Go Jags!!

Fans like winning. It's like better than losing.

Red from the O-Zone Comments Section

Have the Jags found their middle linebacker of the future in Donald Payne? He sure is making a lot of tackles.

At this point? Doubtful. Payne indeed is making a lot of tackles, but given his size and experience level it's tough to see him as the long-term starter in the middle.

Jason from Jacksonville

John, Kudos are deserved when they're deserved, especially when they are earned. This win doesn't change the season, but winning feels good. Only congrats are in order today. Jags win!


Joe from 203

Is today the day Shad for fire somebody? Starting with defensive coordinator Todd Wash?

I don't expect Jaguars Owner Shad Khan to fire anyone before the end of the regular season, and I don't expect coaching changes before the end of the regular season, either.

Ryan from Reality

John, we've had a Top 10 draft pick in 11 out of the last 12 years, including six consecutive Top 5 picks. Only one of those picks has ever made a Pro Bowl and he now plays for the Rams. Why does this roster have so little top talent?

They missed on first-round selections. Way too often.

Don from Marshall, NC

A running quarterback is like a walk in baseball. You just do not have a defense to stop it especially if that quarterback runs a 4.3. Fans love it because it is fun to watch. As a coach do you roll the dice knowing one of these days the quarterback is not getting up. I do not remember a running quarterback winning the Super Bowl. They are going to get hit and if you lose your quarterback, it is over. It seems to be working at the moment. I do know that the game has changed.

You summed up the issue with running quarterbacks well. Their windows of success historically generally have been shorter than pocket passers' windows. I suspect the current success of such quarterbacks will change how many teams approach the position. I also expect the peak years for a player such as Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will be shorter than a more "traditional" pocket player. At the same time, if you get a championship or two during that briefer peak period … yeah, franchise will take that. It will make for a different game. Not better or worse, necessarily. But definitely different.

Rob from Stone Mountain, GA

Hey Zone, it seems rational that to get the most out of defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Josh Allen they would both have to on the field at the same time. I really hope the new defensive staff runs more of a 3-4 or two rush ends featuring these two players. They're our best weapons on defense. We should build around then, just like when we had paired Jalen and A J. What do you think?

I expect whoever is making decisions for the Jaguars next offseason will prioritize extending Ngakoue's contract, and I expect it to be an intriguing negotiation. I also expect he will play for the Jaguars next season with a new contract or under the franchise tag. If so, I do expect he and Allen to be on the field at the same time often. Finding the right role for Ngakoue is tricky because he is so much better as a pass rusher than a run defender, but yes … he and Allen need to be on the field together more after this season.

James from Phoenix, AZ

Two words. Pay Yannick!!

This isn't this simple, but yes … the Jaguars must figure out some way to keep – and pay – Ngakoue.

Paul from St. Johns, FL

Well, none of the nine experts on picked the jags to win this one. I can't imagine anybody in America picked the Jags to win either. However, I guess parity does exist in the NFL, because the Jags did in fact win this one. Let's end the season on a high note these last few games!

So-called experts. /Fixed.