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O-Zone: High and dry

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

Chad Henne probably has a solid understanding of our offense. How much do you think that could help the Chiefs' defense: 10 percent? One percent? 0.0001 percent?

Somewhere between 10 percent and one percent, and I would lean toward one percent. This is something analysts love to discuss, but teams scheme for opponents largely based on video that's available to all 32 teams – and based on their own strengths and weaknesses. Remember, too: The Jaguars' offense is a relatively young group whose strengths are changing pretty rapidly. So, while Henne – the Jaguars' backup quarterback from 2014-2017 – may have had intimate knowledge of what this receiving corps could do last season, those players are different now than last season. And the Jaguars won't use the same line calls, audibles, etc. I imagine the Chiefs' coaching staff has bounced some things off Henne this week for confirmation, but I would be surprised if it's a major factor.

Phil from Jacksonville

John, how do see the matchup between the Jags' and Chiefs' offensive and defensive lines?


Chris from Nashville, TN

Why do you always reference last year's accomplishments when answering questions pertaining to this year? You always seem to mention game to game variability ... wouldn't that variability be exacerbated year to year? My point being, just because our offense was a Top 10 last year does not necessarily mean they will be or are good this year. Defense on the other hand …

Your question: "Why do you always reference last year's accomplishments when answering questions pertaining to this year?" One, because I feel like it. Two, because I can. Three, because it irritates people. But mostly I mostly reference last year's offense when answering questions that infer the Jaguars are bad offensively this season because people thought the Jaguars' offense was bad last season – and they were definitively wrong. People think similarly this season; evidence from the first four games is they are just as definitely wrong. The Jaguars have scored 31 points twice in four games. They are 15th in the in total offense. They're not consistent offensively. They're not great. But they're certainly not bad.

Nick from Palatka, FL

Now let's see ... Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes with 14 touchdowns and no interceptions. Jaguars No. 1 in defense in the NFL with one interception. Jaguars Game 5 2017 ... hmmm ... whatcha thinking, Zone?


Josh from Savannah, GA

Whose responsibility is it to put film together? I assume Head Coach Doug Marrone requests what he wants, but do they run through entire games of opponents in the film room?

All NFL teams have video departments. The Jaguars' group is one of the best – working tirelessly and with little want of thanks or recognition or extra pay to ensure coaches, players and management have whatever video they need. They're truly the unsung heroes of the organization.

Tom from St. Johns, FL

John, I have been avowed and publicly "out" in my belief on BB5 – even in his worst year two years ago. Now, as he matures and leads – with arm and head – I just want to point out what an upfront leader he is. Yep: "I just work here." Thousands of Jag fans are damned glad he does.

One fer…

Roger from London, UK

Hey, Mr O. We have a saying in the UK about "not peaking too soon." So, I wish the Jags hadn't lost to the Titans: it hurts, especially in terms of AFC South results. But it's good that a quarter way through the season Jags are 3-1 AND are self-critical about performances. Seems to me that if the Jaguars improve turnovers and penalties they will be peaking at just the right time in the second half of the season. And who knows from there? Tough games ahead. Reckon we can go 3-1 in the second quarter?

We have a similar saying in the United States about "not peaking too soon." We say, "Teams shouldn't peak too soon." As for going 3-1 in the second half of the season … yes, the Jaguars can do that.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O'/King of Funk, I guess Sunday we get to find out what happens when the unstoppable force of the Chiefs' offense hits the immovable object that is the Jaguars' defense. Guess there will be one less paradox in the world to worry about.

They'll come up with another. The world is sneaky that way.

Paul from Jacksonville

It seems to me that Blake is turning into the type of quarterback that is at his best when it matters most. With the exception of the Titans games (still with Biff, btw...) when the stakes are high, he makes the plays. I think we're going to see that again this Sunday.

I think so, too.

Kyle from New York City

If memory serves me right both Yeldon and Grant are free agents after this season. With Fournette's large salary, I find it hard to believe we sign both – or either. Do you think if their play continues as well as it has that they become too expensive to resign? I'm sure we would like to have them both back next year.

I would be surprised if the Jaguars re-sign T.J. Yeldon. Backup running back typically is a "first-contract" position – partly because running back is a young man's position. Corey Grant's situation is a little different because he's a unique player in that the Jaguars know how to use him and have packages designed for his skill set. He might not be in as much demand on the open market as he would be in Jacksonville. We'll see.

Mork from Ork

The Jaguars need to get better at using the seam route to the tight end. It's the best medicine for a defense taking away the crossing routes, nanu-nanu.

I agree and I expect the Jaguars to be more effective with this route once they get the running game more established.

Dana from Jacksonville

Blake has shown tremendous growth since the end of last season through this season. I've noticed how comfortable he looks in the pocket, constantly feeling the pressure and moving up to avoid it all while keeping his eyes downfield. What do you think his biggest jump has been and what area do you feel he still need the most work on?

Biggest jump: pocket presence, leadership. Biggest area needs to improve: Consistency and accuracy.

TJ from Orlando, FL

The trash talk with Chiefs fans is already getting pretty deep on the interwebs. We can't handle their speed, we can't stop Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill is gonna torch Jalen Ramsey. we haven't played an offense like this this season, etc. When we correct these misconceptions, we're just being cocky. I'm not sweating this game, because I would take our defense any day. Now we just need the B.O.A.T. to show up, some receivers to catch some balls and I can lord this over KC fans for the next week. #DTWD

My expectation is that you will be able to lord this week. I like the Jaguars to force a turnover or two early and get the advantage. After that, I think Bortles and the offense will be able to maintain pace with the Chiefs and keep Kansas City's high-powered offense in the rear view. We'll see.

Steve from Sunroom Couch

Dear John, If the Jaguars offense struggles in Kansas City can we expect to see Cody Kessler late in the game?

There's certainly a level of struggle for any NFL offense that would prompt a head coach to replace a starting quarterback. There's no greater chance of this happening for the Jaguars than for any other team. If you're waiting for this to happen, you're going to get very frustrated.

Dave from Duuuuvaal

Johnny O, it looks like the weather is going to be nasty on Sunday in Kansas City: 80 percent chance of thunderstorms with heavy rain at game time. Also, it looks like it will have been raining there for three days nonstop come game time. I sure hope our amped-up defense doesn't get stuck in a cramped dingy visitors' locker room during a prolonged weathered delay with the lights out. Any contingency plans? I guess what I'm asking is are you bringing your slickers and a flashlight?

The Jaguars' defense will be amped up whatever their circumstances, and I believe they'll play well whatever the circumstances. I'm curious to see which offense will struggle more given the conditions. While Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone referred to himself as a mudder on Friday, I don't have a real feel for how Bortles and the offense will perform in sloppy conditions. As for me … no, I have no contingency plans. I will be in the press box during the game and well-covered most of Sunday. That's not true of many of my colleagues here at Oh well.

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