JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Trevor from Jacksonville
O'z, if you were a fan, would you rather your team make the playoffs for ten years straight (two Super Bowl appearances but no wins), or miss the playoffs nine out of ten years (twice finishing last in the league), but you win one Super Bowl? Also, same question but fifteen years?
This makes for intriguing conversation, though there's no "right answer." That's because being a fan isn't about logical or long-term thoughts. It's about how you feel in the moment. In the year the team won the Super Bowl in your scenario, you absolutely would take that year – and you would take it in the offseason following. In every other year, you would take the making-the-playoffs scenario because it would mean 10 consecutive seasons stuffed with meaningful moments and memories. You would be angry a lot and happy some. If I had to make a choice, I probably would take making the playoffs 10 consecutive seasons because I would be a lot happier more often. But come to think of it, I'm not usually all that happy. So maybe I'm the wrong person to ask.
Mike from New Milford, NJ
I have no issues with your list of top five plays in 2022. Appropriate picks with so many plays and moments to choose from. However, there's one play and moment not mentioned that 10 years from now I might recall more than any. That's linebacker Shaquille Quarterman's hit on Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry resulting in a Jaguars fumble recovery. The Titans were 7-5. The Jaguars were 4-8. The Titans led 14-13. Henry had just eclipsed 100 rushing yards on the play before the first-half's two-minute warning. He's rolling and the Titans were in control of the game. Henry then catches a pass going for a big gain deep into Jags territory on the first-down play following the stoppage, but is blindsided and popped by Quarterman. A switch was flicked. The turnover not only completely flipped momentum for the game and the season but for two rival franchise's trajectories. Without that moment it's quite possible none of the thrilling and enjoyable ones over the following five weeks would be possible or as meaningful. One fer' Shaquille Quarterman!
Thank goodness you have no issues with my list. I will sleep well this evening. I might suggest patience here. I have written two stories in recent days about the Jaguars' top plays from 2022. One was on quarterbacks and another was on running backs. The astute reader will notice that this is a series and I have not written about defense yet.
Princefigs from Jax ... Not Duval
I remember that at one point last year there were fans openly questioning if we made the wrong pick at No. 1 when you picked T-Law over Wilson. Fans always be fanning don't they, O?
Yes. Why wouldn't they? It's what they do.
Bill from Middleburg, FL
Seems to be a major anomaly for a team to be near the top in the league in pressures and hurries but near the bottom in sacks. What exactly is a pressure and a hurry?
A pressure or a hurry is a subjective statistic, and it indeed can vary based on the eye of the beholder. It's essentially when a player is judged to have pressured or hurried the quarterback when trying to pass. But while it might seem odd that a team could be near the top of the league in pressures and near the bottom in sacks, in the Jaguars' case this past season it likely had to do with the back seven's struggles at times – particularly early in the season – in coverage. The Jaguars at times were pressuring the passer, but quarterbacks were able to get the ball out and avoid the sack.
Brian from Round Rock, TX
I think I'll stop listening until there is something to talk about. Sports radio is desperate for content and pushing for wild spending on free-agent receivers. I feel for those guys that need to fill the air. Here's hoping they do the boring thing and sign our own for a change. How about one for re-signing our best lineman?
I don't listen to all that much sports-talk radio. I would be surprised if the Jaguars spent big on free-agent wide receivers this offseason, particularly considering the likely addition of wide receiver Calvin Ridley. I do think this offseason will be a bit more "boring" than many recent Jaguars offseasons for the reason you cite – that they will focus on re-signing their own players more than free agents from other teams. And yes … one fer re-signing right tackle Jawaan Taylor. The Jaguars would like to do it. It's not guaranteed. Stay tuned.
Keith from Saint Augustine, FL
I was there for our comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers. I didn't want to quit cheering or having hope. I wanted to believe. And now, I just want the Jaguars to love us the way we love them.
Who says they don't?
Greg from Boise, ID
Do you see someday a salary cap where there is a cap on how much players can be or will we continue to see megadeals keep climbing and a quarterback is paid a salary like a billion dollars?
I expect the cap will continue to rise as long as league revenues rise because that's the spirit of the cap. And I expect the best quarterbacks always will be paid as much as the system allows because of the importance of elite quarterbacks to their franchises. I don't expect a "cap" on individual player salaries within the overall system.
Richard from St Augie
No matter what happens with all Jags free agents in the NFL it is always about the money. Fans can't begrudge players for wanting to maximize their earnings for their families. Teams have to be responsible for their current and future caps. At best Jags fans can hope for is both sides may give a small amount and then both sides have to make a decision about signing/offering a contract. While I hope Jags are able to sign the key contributors most likely it will not happen. Jags fans should not be critical afterwards because it is what it is. What say you KOAF? Go jags! Jags have their core!
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville
OK, so perhaps you are right there is not an active conspiracy to influence games. Could be the long periods of sucking are just not fixable by any means of officials influencing the game. Explains why teams like NY, Chicago and Dallas haven't found monumental success. But answer this: Isn't it very disconcerting that officiating is so uneven and inconsistent? A few years ago, I remember a playoff game against the New England Patriots where they committed NO penalties the entire game. It was a farce, more like nothing was called because it was Tom Brady. I suppose that is my biggest gripe, I wish the officials would call these games ALL the same against EVERY team. Brady, Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow... shouldn't matter the quarterback, team whatever. If the audience in living rooms and the stadiums can see an obvious hold that doesn't get called, you can bet the refs are. And I get the refs missing a call every once in a while, but going entire games with no flags thrown? No team is that good. Sorry. My solution? Redundancy refs, two sets of eyes on each area of play. Two for each Line, secondary etc. If one misses it, the other can catch it. If one calls it and they disagree, review it and let New York make the final call. Human error will never be removable, but the inconsistency needs to be addressed eventually.
The NFL strives to call games the same. The rules are in place to push as far in this direction as possible, but the reality remains that football involves 22 big and fast players moving and colliding on every play with eight officials trying call the games as fairly as possible. The reality is there isn't a system that will satisfy everyone because countless fans watch every game and interpret every call differently. As for your idea – that every play in every game be called by two different sets of officials? And if there's a disagreement anywhere on any play, call in to the league office to settle the dispute? This will never happen, nor should it. It would cause so many delays as to make the game unwatchable.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
I am looking forward to the off-season to see how the organization addresses our most glaring weakness – pass defense. While the defense overall had some great moments, the statistics don't lie – 28th in pass defense isn't good. No doubt that Trent Baalke, Doug Pederson, and the entire staff are already hard at work on this, but what specific positions should be targeted for upgrades?
I expect the Jaguars to focus heavily on cornerback in the offseason and I expect them to continue to work to improve the pass rush.