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O-Zone: Great expectations

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Holger from Zurich, Switzerland

So, the Jaguars are going to London and staying there until after the Bills game? That sounds pretty stressful to me. By the time the Bills game arrives, everyone probably is very eager to go back home. I foresee a challenging game mentally for the players against the Bills.

The Jaguars indeed will remain in London following Sunday's Week 4 game against the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium through their Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Spurs Stadium. It's an unusual week in that no NFL team previously has played back-to-game games in London, but remember: NFL players and coaches are pretty routine-oriented during the regular season, and staying in London next week will allow them to keep to essentially their same routine as they would between two home games in Jacksonville. The difference is they are staying in a hotel rather than their own homes. But their hotel is nice and very convenient. All needs for players and coaches are met with team trainers, doctors, equipment folks and other essential levels of support on site. The stress level on those folks should be manageable.

_Dan from Ormond Beach, FL                          _

Maybe I am old. Maybe I have seen too many seasons play out. I am not concerned at all about not playing well early in the season. I realize this sounds ridiculous, but I would be more worried right now as a Dolphins fan. Every year teams start out on absolute fire and we crown them Super Bowl champs in Week 3. Teams that win it all often struggle early, but come together as the season progresses and play their best football when it matters. We clearly have talent. I would rather have my struggles now and take a little time to figure it out and then peak in January and February. Isn't there a realistic chance it plays out this way?

There's always a chance. Though I haven't watched the Miami Dolphins enough to analyze them beyond the surface, the surface is that they are unbeaten and playing well enough offensively to be sustainable. I would expect them to be in the postseason and at minimum seriously challenge the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East. I agree that there's no reason the Jaguars can't have a very successful season and make the postseason. The elements are in place. They can't wait forever, though. Sunday's not a must-win, but they're 1-2 and that can turn into 1-3 and 1-4 quickly if they're not careful. The offense needs to improve quickly and become the driving force we expected. Sunday is big.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

God had to give us some hope again before returning to the judgement. We were getting too used to being bad that it wasn't hurting as much anymore.


Michael from Port Orange, FL

Why is it the Jags and over half the league run a game plan that a pee wee league coach could call, first down run up the middle, second down run inside or outside tackle or an occasional short out pass or seam route, third down long crossing route or long up along the sideline then punt or line up again with the first down call.

This is not always the Jaguars' game plan. Nor is it other teams' game plan. When plays work, game plans are great. When they don't, they're not. The Jaguars produced 406 yards offense Sunday. They ran effectively in the first half. They didn't have a three-and-out. They stagnated in the red zone, had too many dropped passes and didn't pass protect well enough. When they get that right, my guess is the angst over play-calling will subside.

David from Chuluota, FL

O. It feels the Jaguar offense is designed to protect quarterback Trevor Lawrence from making mistakes. I see a lot of balls being thrown to the sideline and not many in the middle of the field where balls are more likely to be batted down, tipped balls or intercepted. Also, I've been seeing a lot more high-percentage throws, where the receiver turns around catches the ball and is tackled. Where are the crossing patterns, where the receiver is hit in stride with yards after the catch? Where are the deep outs? I expected we'd see receivers run wild on the out-and-up double move. Doug Pederson loves his tight ends…where are they? I have a lot of questions, do you have any answers?

Gotta get 'em blocked.

David from Maplewood, NJ

John, I'm not screaming about the play calling or the going for it on fourth down. I don't know what it is, but I know for sure this team isn't as good as I thought or hoped. You talked about the Jags entering the conversation as one of the elite teams in the AFC, that seems like a thoroughly ridiculous comment now. Lost by 20 at home to team down four of five starting linemen with a rookie quarterback making his third ever NFL start. Yeah, elite teams don't do that.

The NFL is a week-to-week league. The Jaguars aren't elite right now. They're not good. They weren't good at midseason last season and they were good after that. The Jaguars aren't guaranteed of playing better moving forward because they played well late last season. That's not the point. The point is that playing poorly for a week or two in the NFL doesn't have to mean you suck. It doesn't end the season.

Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hi, John. You said, "I expect the Jaguars to win more games than they lose this season – in the 11-to-12-range."From what we've seen so far, you believe the Jaguars are going either 11-3 or 10-4 for the rest of the season? I've seen nothing so far to suggest those kind of results.

I feel one way. You feel differently. Ain't life grand?

Jason from North Pole, AK

Players have spoken a lot in recent days about pressing or trying to do too much. Coach Pederson has said he painted a "pretty vibrant picture for them" in team meetings Monday and had a stern message at halftime on Sunday. I guess I am wondering if lighting a fire under them is the right approach if they are communicating that they are feeling too much pressure? I remember Roy Robertson-Harris saying when we were down 27-0 in the playoffs, "Don't trip, just go play. We got your back. Just go play." Maybe the bar has been raised but it would seem guys just need to relax and let the game come to them?

That's the hope and that's the balance they need to achieve. Sunday is an important game, and the Jaguars are starting to run out of time to get it right. They also need to relax and let the game come to them. It's Pederson's job to achieve that balance. Being a head coach in the NFL is hard. It's why it's hard to find good ones.

Mario from West Kelowna, BC

Juan Zona O, here's the way I see it. It's Week 3. Plenty of games left to fix whatever needs to be fixed. Relax people. Relax.

Yep. But you need to get moving.

Sal from Austin, TX

It seems the message around the building is "'This isn't who we are." when in fact, 1-2 is exactly who the Jaguars are. That's what's great about keeping score. Maybe it's not "pressing" at all. I submit the sooner a real self-assessment happens, the sooner a more effective approach can begin.

It's pressing. It's hard to watch the Jaguars' offense the past two – and maybe three games – and not think that. Teams self-assess on Sundays after games and Mondays. They do this every week. After that, it's time to move forward.

Trevor from Cape Girardeau, MO

Towards the end of last season, we talked about Travon Walker possibly moving inside and rushing the passer that way? Is that something they should look into? It seems him rushing from the outside isn't working still.

Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker wasn't effective Sunday. He wasn't alone. I would expect the Jaguars will continue to look for ways to allow him to be more effective. He played inside at times last season. It wouldn't be surprising if it happens at times this season.

_Brian from Round Rock, TX                                                    _

Did Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson lose his team during the Kansas City Chiefs game? Someone should get to the bottom of this.

One game lost does not constitute losing a team.

Bill from Hammock, FL

Zone, I think Pederson's remark about "reading their press clippings" has merit. It seemed that all three Jaguar units were saying why are these guys trying so hard. Don't they know who we are? How can we get back to that underdog, overachieving attitude?

Fair question. It's hard to be an underdog when expectations are high. I don't think there's a great answer to that question. The Jaguars must learn how to play with expectations. Teams do it. Now, it's their turn.