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O-Zone: Hanging tough ten

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dan from Jacksonville

I was under the impression that the schedule-makers granted teams that played across the pond a bye for their next game upon their return. Guess not. Soooo, with the "stache" returning this Sunday with a Colts team that has played tough football against some pretty big teams, do you see jetlag or just relearning our version of English playing any part in the Jags preparing? I'm thinking this will not be the same Colts they saw in week 1.

The Jaguars had the option to have a bye this week following the London games. They opted against it because Head Coach Doug Pederson likes the bye later in the season. I think this will be essentially the same Colts team the Jaguars saw in Week 1 in the sense that the Colts are a good team that can play with pretty much any NFL team when they're playing well. That Colts team led the Jaguars 21-17 in the fourth quarter of a 31-21 Jaguars victory. I think the Colts will be a different team in Week 6 than in Week 1 in a couple of important senses. One is that backup quarterback and former Jaguars starter Gardner Minshew II will be the quarterback with rookie Anthony Richardson out with an AC joint sprain. Minshew is a capable backup, but the Colts will miss Richardson's running ability and ability to make plays downfield with his arm. The other is that All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor will play after missing Weeks 1-4 on the Physically Unable to Perform list with an ankle issue. Taylor didn't appear to be 100 percent in the Colts' victory over the Tennessee Titans this past week. The more he plays, the closer he should get to full strength. Taylor at full strength is dangerous.

Gary from SUFFOLK, VA

Good morning, KOAF! We must now shift focus to a scrappy Colts team that will indeed not be a walk in the park. With their starting quarterback out and their All-Pro running back back, how do you feel they will try to attack our defense? Does our knowledge of their backup quarterback give us any advantage in your opinion?

The Colts likely won't be anything close to a walk in the park for the Jaguars Sunday. They're tied for first place in the AFC South and have won three of four games since losing to the Jaguars in Week 1. The Colts easily could have won that game, so they are deservedly confident entering Sunday. I expect the Colts to emphasize the run. That's what they are, with or without Taylor. Because they will be with him this week, they must be considered particularly potent offensively. While Minshew indeed will start for Indianapolis Sunday, and while he indeed played in Jacksonville from 2019-2020, there's no advantage for the Jaguars there. Jaguars fans may know Minshew well, but he didn't play for this coaching staff. Players such as linebacker Josh Allen played against him. But there's no real knowledge edge for the Jaguars on that front.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Another big game coming this Sunday for the outright AFC South lead. The Colts look like they are legit with a running game that is near unstoppable?

To review, a question mark placed on the end of a question without forethought does not a question make.

Don from Marshall, NC

Kyle Brandt thinks he is so smart with his little cheap shots at Jacksonville every chance he gets. He thinks no one notices. What a little weasel he is. He was I am certain a spoiled child and it appears to me he still is. You have to watch your back if you work with people like that. He really loves to hear himself talk. When it comes to the Jaguars, he is no fan of the Jaguars. Go Jaguars!

When it comes to a certain analyst on the NFL Network's popular Good Morning Football vehicle, Don is very definitely not "all in."

Nicholas from Fort Cavazos, Texas

Minshew Magic time!!! Will the Colts be long term contenders with a QB who is prone to injury?

Richardson has sustained three injuries trough Week 5 of his rookie season. That's enough that your question is legitimate. Stay tuned.

Bullet Bob from Springfield

O'man, you always say "fans are gonna fan," yet I still can't understand fans who still complain after a victory. We just beat a Super Bowl contender and are tied for second best record in the AFC. After all of the down years, I'm excited for where this team is at, and even more excited to see them continue to improve and compete with the best. When was the last time the team was 3-2 after five games?

The Jaguars were last 3-2 after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5 of the 2018 season.

Alex from Duval

Why isn't Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker productive? Is he being utilized correctly? Early indicators based on production show that Detroit Lions defensive end Aiden Hutchinson is the better of the two and it's not even close. I'm beginning to become concerned this may be the biggest miss of the Baalke era.

Travon Walker is not a "miss," big or otherwise. He has not been a big sack guy. Not being a sack guy doesn't make you a "miss." Walker has impacted the pocket in the passing game. He's very good against the run. Opposing offenses must account for him with help as much as – if not more – than they account for other members of the Jaguars' front seven. I don't know if he's "better" overall than Hutchinson. I know Hutchinson is the better sacks guy. I know Walker is a reason the Jaguars are playing defense at a high level right now. I also know fans and observers will continue to criticize Walker if he doesn't register huge sacks numbers. That's fine. But that criticism doesn't mean he's a bad player. He's just not.

Jay from So-Cal

I would like to see the seventh-round pick Derek Parrish get out there as defensive end. He played defensive end/outside linebacker in college and now they have tried him at fullback and now tight end. I understand he is undersized but that guy looks like a beast and put up records for his school in sacks. Give him a shot! We all know he is more productive than K'Lavon!

Stop it.

Deane from Daytona Beach, FL

Yo, O-Zone! Being that there will be the element of jetlag and time zone differences for the Jags. By playing a team that we have already faced this year, will it afford the ability to have a little bit more rest than a normal week than say if we were playing a team we have yet to face?

Not really. Playing a team with which you are familiar makes game-planning a touch easier because players and coaches spend less time identifying strengths and tendencies of opposing players, but you wouldn't spend less time on the practice field because of that. Pederson does seem to be shortening practice a bit this week to allow players more rest, but I imagine he would have done that no matter the opponent considering the time change.

Fred from Naples, FL

It looks like Walker Little will not be returning until after the bye week. In the meantime, what do you perceive as being our starting five offensive linemen? Tyler Shatley really struggled against the Bills and did not really play well against the Falcons either.

Pederson on Wednesday said left guard Walker Little will be day-to-day this week. I have seen nothing credible indicating that he will be out until the Jaguars' November 6 bye. If Walker is out Sunday, I would expect the starting offensive line to be left tackle Cam Robinson, Shatley at left guard, center Luke Fortner, right guard Brandon Scherff and right tackle Anton Harrison.

Mike from Azores

Hey, John. I guess I'm not alone in my opinion. Watch Mondays Happy Hour show, and both Jaguars analysts Tony Boselli and CBS Sports Analysts Pete Prisco both feel the same way! If the Jags want to win it all, they need to add a proven pass rusher to take some of the load off outside linebacker Josh Allen. Look what the best team and Super Bowl favorite San Francisco 49ers did, who have a superior defensive line compared to the Jags! Haven't you said before, you never have enough pass rushers?


Jim from Jagsonville

Is it true former Jaguars starting quarterback Gardner Minshew will be coming back to grace us with his magnificent mustache once again?!

Minshew will start at quarterback for the Colts Sunday. The last I saw he still had a mustache. I'm not privy to information on his plans for the rest of the week.

Bob from Sumter, SC

A big part of this team's identity since last year's playoff run is they never quit. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has got the surfer dude vibe, but he is tough.

Good eye.