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O-Zone: Good feeling

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Robert from Oneonta

Exciting game, cool win. Eighth regular season win in three years. Impressive!

My first thought was perhaps you were being too enthusiastic; the Jaguars, after all, are 4-7 and have more work to do to be consistently competitive. But after some more thought, I must say you're right: The 2022 Jaguars indeed have made very good strides, particularly in the last three weeks – and particularly in a 28-27 victory over a very good Baltimore Ravens team at TIAA Bank Field Sunday. And while I don't expect the Jaguars to win the five or six more games necessary to push for the postseason, I absolutely agree with you that what we have seen so far this season could be the beginning of some building blocks for the future. The Jaguars' offense this season consistently has been productive, with the primary issues coming in the red zone where young offenses often struggle as they gain their footing. And the strides shown by quarterback Trevor Lawrence in recent weeks are some of the most promising signs this franchise has seen at the position in decades, perhaps ever. I would temper your enthusiasm, too, just a bit by reminding you that a few pieces likely must be added defensively because coverage and pass rush remain issues. But overall … yes, there was impressive stuff Sunday. You're correct to be excited. Enjoy.

Cliff from Everywhere with helicopter

Never, ever, ever again call 16 a bust. Just don't do it.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 29 of 37 passes for 321 yards Sunday. It was his third consecutive game with no interceptions and his third consecutive game with a passer rating of more than 100. He has had six such games this season. He threw clutch, big-time passes over and over again in the fourth quarter Sunday. He has 16 touchdowns with six interceptions this season. His improvement and development is obvious to anyone paying attention.

Doug from Jacksonville

What impressed me, among other things, was the touchdown pass with :14 left. Ran up to the line and ran the play. They didn't spike the ball to stop the clock but ran the play. Yeah, everything is looking improved but that play impressed me.

You're referencing a 10-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. Sunday, a play that capped a remarkable 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive Sunday. I, too, liked that the Jaguars went without a clock-stopping spike. I've long believed quarterbacks are too quick to "stop spike" late in halves or games. One, because it gives the defense a chance to reset. Two, it gives away a down and puts you in a bad position if you throw incomplete on the next play. I don't know that Lawrence will be ready to consistently run the offense from the field enough to go to the line and call the play regularly yet, but you would like to see it happen more frequently as time continues.

Dean from Rochester, NY

Twenty-six years ago, I went home for Thanksgiving. I bought a Jags shirt I liked at the mall, and wore it and watched the Jags beat the Ravens in an unexpected thriller. It's the only surviving gear I own from those early days. I wore it Sunday. Guess I can't take it off now.

What's a "mall?"

Richard from Lincoln, RI

If that wasn't the best ending to a game, then I'm not sure what is. This head coach has faith in these players!!!

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson indeed opted to go for two points down 27-26 after Jones' late touchdown. Lawrence then completed a pass to wide receiver Zay Jones to give the Jaguars the lead. Pederson has been working to establish a culture here. He has spent a lot of this season working to establish that this team will be an aggressive team. Going for two in that situation certainly shows that – just as it shows undeniable belief in his players.

Don from Marshall, NC

That was special! What a game. Still in it! Go Jaguars chicken dinner!

Don remains "all in…"

Brad from the Avenues

This is it, John! This is where it all turns around! Week 18, for the division! It's gonna happen!

… and so does Brad.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

Hey, Zone. Does this win feel like a franchise-changing momentum?

It has that feel. Partly because of the guts it took to rally twice in the fourth quarter against a quality franchise. And partly because of how Lawrence played late. But just as a one loss doesn't define a season, neither does one victory a franchise make. Even a victory with as much to like as this one.

Bill from Palm Beach Gardens, FL

What a game! Most important play from TL? The passes he didn't throw. Was happy to see him take sacks and love for another play. Can't be emphasized enough how important those decisions are.


David from The Island

I know it's not nice, but watching the guy with the bad back getting burned every week puts a smile on my face. I like to rewind and watch it multiple times. Does this make a bad person?

One action does not necessarily make you a bad person. It does mean you're not being nice and it's important that we emphasize as much as possible the importance of being nice.

Brad from Yankton, SD

It's great here in the Midwest to relax after a Jag win and then watch the guy with the bad back lose another one!!!

I'm glad you enjoyed your day. Just remember to be nice.

Eric from Jacksonville

Whose decision was it to go for two on the final play? I heard a rumor it was the players decision.

Pederson addressed this in his postgame press conference: "Once we scored that touchdown at the end, they wanted to go for two. It wasn't my decision. The players were like, 'Let's go.' I got a lot of faith and trust in them." He clarified this a bit later and said: "We talked about it as a staff even before the drive, and I had my mind made up I wanted to go for two. But during that drive, even after the score, the offensive guys were like, 'Coach, let's just finish this thing right here.' So I had my mind made up, but obviously, when the players have that much confidence in themselves and in us to go for it like that, you got to believe them, and you've got to trust them. They did a great job."

Ian from Leeds

Let's just sit back and take a minute to acknowledge that we've beaten last year's win total, and still have another six games to play.

Fair point. While there have been ups and downs to this Jaguars season, it has been evident that the improvement of Lawrence and the team have been dramatic. While four victories is not "good enough," the total – along with all losses except one being by a score or less – does indicate significant improvement from what by any measure was a dismal two seasons in 2020-2021.

Jonathan from Greeley CO

What did linebacker Chad Muma show us this week? Will he be starting next week?

I'll rewatch and ask in further detail Monday, but Jaguars rookie Chad Muma at first glance appeared to play fine Sunday. He registered nine tackles, and Jaguars inside linebacker Foye Olukuon appeared perhaps to benefit; Oluokun registered 18 tackles Sunday, including 13 solos. I expect Muma will start next Sunday.

Matt from Jacksonville

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this game for Lawrence is the fact that it felt like we were being dominated on both lines all game. Everything was a struggle and our quarterback put it all on his shoulders and led us to a win. It's been a long time since we've seen that around here.

I didn't have a feeling that the Ravens' defensive line was dominating the Jaguars' offensive line Sunday, though Lawrence being sacked four times wasn't ideal. But yes … Lawrence on Sunday seemed to lift his team to a victory they likely wouldn't have won with a lesser quarterback. That's elite quarterback stuff. He's not "elite" yet, but that's elite stuff.

Nick from Virginia Beach

ESPN said we were 0-175 when trailing by 7+ in the final minute of regulation. Is that the biggest victory since the 2018 game against the Pats?

It in this writer's view, yes. The Jaguars have won some impressive, exciting games since that 31-20 victory over the New England Patriots. But Sunday's victory was over a division-leading team that is fighting for a playoff spot and that entered the game on a four-game winning streak. They also showed resiliency and got a huge performance from Lawrence. Sunday in that sense was huge.

Nick from Palatka, FL

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!!

Winning is cool. People like it.