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O-Zone: Fun times

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jason from Extreme SW Duval (aka Tampa)

Mighty O, the NFL still doesn't count style points or margin of victory, right? The Jags still lead the AFC South and rank among the conference elite, yes? And, unless I'm mistaken, we've already matched last year's regular season win total, correct? Winning ugly remains cool. We fans like it.

The Jaguars (8-3) beat the Houston Texans, 24-21, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday. The victory moved them two games ahead of the Texans (6-5) and the Indianapolis Colts (6-5) in the AFC South with six regular-season games remaining. They are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins for fewest losses in the AFC. The Jaguars outgained the Texans 445-352 and trailed for only 3:41 Sunday. The Texans took one lead – in the third quarter – and the Jaguars immediately drove and retook the lead by seven points. Yes, they could have won by more. Yes, it could have been more comfortable. Yes, they needed a missed 58-yard field goal by Texans kicker Matt Ammendola in the final minute to win. But the Jaguars have won seven of eight games and have trailed for less than a quarter in those seven victories. Ugly? If you're the Jaguars and their fans, how could this not be beautiful?

Bo from Linwood, NC

Very happy with the outcome Sunday. I know the NFL is tough, but we left a lot out there on offense against the Texans. The drop by wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the end zone, the failed goal-line attempt by running back Travis Etienne Jr., the rushed fastball to tight end Evan Engram in the end zone, etc. It seems like this offense makes it tougher than it has to be at times but "what are ya gunna do?"

The Jaguars could have scored more Sunday and they could have made Sunday's victory more comfortable. Late-season road division victories with first place in the division at stake usually aren't easy. They have a way of coming down to one or two key plays. It's the NFL. That's just how it is.

Boxcutter Bill from Mass

Real question here. I'm not being sarcastic. How hard is it to run a quarterback sneak? Do the Jaguars practice that? It must be something you work on right?

Quarterback sneaks are hard when you're not particularly strong on the interior of the offensive line.

Jeff from Hilton Head Island

Up by six at the one at the end of the first half. Take the field goal and go up by two scores. What am I missing? Oh by the way we get the ball to start the second half.

You're referencing the Jaguars going for a touchdown on first-and-goal from the one with :01 remaining in the first half. A run by Etienne failed. You're missing that Head Coach Doug Pederson is pretty much always going to err on the side of aggression in such a situation. His belief is the benefits short- and long-term of succeeding in those types of situations outweigh the short-term negatives. I wrote and said Sunday I would have kicked the field goal. I'm old school that way, but Pederson's not going to change. The Jaguars are 16-6 in their last 22 games. He seems to be right a lot.

Drew from Buford, Ga

I am so tired of the Jags passing up field goals when they have a chance.

Are you tired of winning and being in first place?

Tucker from Nashville

Hey John, great win. Our pass rushers have to stay in their lanes. I know it's tough but you gotta keep Stroud in the pocket. Thoughts?

The Jaguars' pass rush from this view played well Sunday. The Jaguars had four sacks and seven hurries. It also seemed officials missed a few potential holding penalties. Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud is good at running around and "buying time." I thought the Jaguars clearly had a pass-rushing plan to contain Stroud and I thought that plan worked more often than not.

Nick from Annapolis, MD

I never want to hear another person talk about this staff not being willing to commit to the run ever again.


Cliff from Everywhere with helicopter

We know winning in the NFL is hard. Apparently officiating is, too.

It's absolutely hard. It's why officials occasionally miss calls. They're not alone. Players and coaches make a ton of mistakes in every game, too.

Bank of America from Hawthorne, NJ

Now that outside linebacker Josh Allen is having a contract year, will we be able to compete with the market to re-sign him?


Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hi John, with Allen doing what he's doing, is General Manager Trent Baalke's salary cap calculator working overtime?

Pretty much.


So heading into the Texans game we were ranked 29th against the pass and fourth against the run. No wonder we are so bad against the pass when we cannot get constant pressure on the opposing quarterback. I love the Jags, but this will be our downfall this season. This is a glaring weakness. I hope they can get this fixed quick or the Jags will be in serious trouble against playoff teams.

The Jaguars for the most part got good pressure on Stroud Sunday. They played coverage and rushed three defenders on Stroud's seven-yard touchdown pass to Tank Dell late in the first half and they did not get good pressure on that play. They finished with four sacks and seven hurries.

Mac from Under a palm tree in Jax Beach

I can only imagine the angst of the emails after this WIN which drives me nuts. It's a huge win, enjoy it people please. As a season ticket holder since day one I thought I had seen it all, but I see something different in this team. I compared last year's team to 1996 but I can't compare this team to anything. I feel like the guy looking at his wife of 28 years and still seeing the young girl he fell in love with. Thank you Jags!

Winning is cool. Fans like it.

Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach

Casinos must be lining up to offer coach Peterson free trips. Don't good teams "take the points when there" and play field position rather than kick low percentage field goals. Also, dont 1 yard QB seaks have a higher percentage success rate than most anything else?

Good teams win. The Jaguars are 16-6 in their last 22 games and have won seven of their last eight games.

Roger from Houston via Jacksonville

Glad we finally put that "Battle Red" nonsense to rest.

I've covered 19 Houston Texans home games since the franchise began in 2002. A bunch of those have been so-called "Battle Red" games. I don't spend much time thinking about that sort of thing, so it's whatever I guess. Or something.

Jeremy from Gilbert, AZ

Is Trevor ever going to take the next step where he protects the football and doesn't put it in harm's way? There were so many throws today that could have been intercepted. Late decisions, late throws and throws not leading the receiver. I guess it's better to be lucky than good sometimes?

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 23 of 38 passes for 364 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He also ran for a touchdown. The Jaguars are 8-3, which is tied for the fewest losses in the AFC this season.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

I'm noticing a common trend in a lot of NFL games this year and not just from Jags games. The officiating has been regularly atrocious week in, week out. I know this feels like a yearly exercise from fans, but the NFL really must do something about the officials. A multibillion enterprise should be officiated much better than it currently is. Perhaps making officiating a year-long job? Do you honestly see anything that can be done about it?

I received many emails such as this Sunday, and I agree there were some marginal calls Sunday. I thought officials missed an interference on a Texans defender on Lawrence's lone interception. I also wondered about at least one call that went the Jaguars' way and against Texans safety Tavierre Thomas. But I'm not one that believes NFL officiating is "horrendous." Not even close. I do believe it's a very difficult job that officials overall do quite well. If I'm in the minority on that it won't be the first time I've been correct about something when most others disagree. I absolutely don't see how having officiating being a full-time would help. Officials know the rules. They work at it. It's a fast game with 22 players moving at high speeds on every play. That makes it tough, but having officials work year-round wouldn't change that dynamic.

Chris from The Northside

That was a lot of fun.

Winning is cool. Fans like it.