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O-Zone: Hollow feeling

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jake from Cary, NC

Are you seeing progress? We don't seem to be improving as the season progresses. At least not at the rate other teams in the league are improving.

This is an interesting question, and a pertinent one in the wake of the Jaguars' 23-17 loss to the New York Giants at TIAA Bank Field Sunday. The Jaguars absolutely have progressed since last season. They have led in every game, won two in one-sided fashion and lost five in the final minutes. They lost 10 games by double digits last season, so the improvement from 2021 is undeniable and significant. Whether they have progressed since early this season is a different question, and the reality is the Jaguars pretty much have been the same team in a lot of games since Week 1. They have been a very productive offensive team that hasn't always scored as well as they have moved. They consistently have run well in many situations but haven't been a great running team in must-run situations. They were a very good takeaway team defensively early in the season and haven't forced a turnover in the last three games. They haven't really been a great pass-rushing team all season and haven't improved much in that area. They haven't been great in clutch moments offensively or defensively late in games, and mistakes have hurt throughout the season. None of this means the Jaguars can't do these things. They are maddeningly close to doing a lot of these things. But they consistently haven't done them yet.

Tom from Nocatee

Just kick the damn field goal!!!!!

This was a common theme in the inbox Sunday, understandably so. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson opted to go for a first down on fourth-and-1 from the Giants 20 with 11:25 remaining. A field goal would have given the Jaguars a 20-13 lead. Pederson's reasoning was that the Jaguars had been running well the entire game and a touchdown would have given Jaguars a double-digit lead and probably come close to ending the game. Part of the logic here, too, is that the Giants already needed a touchdown to take the lead and a field goal would have kept it a one-score game. A touchdown would have changed the end-of-game dynamics far more than a field goal. What would I have done? I'm old school and would have taken the points. But this is a different NFL era and head coaches in this era go for it there as often as not. If the team makes it and scores a touchdown, the head coach is a hero. If it fails, he's a bum. It's the nature of the position.

Joe from Caton, NY

The streak is at four now with no end in sight! I've never seen a team damage themselves more than this team. I'm not sure I can watch anymore depression is setting in.

Chin up, little buckaroo.

Sean from Jacksonville

Does the term "Oof" finally apply? I'm sticking with it.

I don't know that "oof" applies to Sunday's Jaguars loss. I've always felt "oof" was when a team gets blown out and embarrassed with no chance of winning. Sunday wasn't that for the Jaguars just as no loss this season has been that for the Jaguars. They have been close in all five games, maddeningly and frustrating close. That's not as much "oof" as "oh, no, not again." Either way, the Jaguars have lost four consecutive games and are 2-5 through seven games. Maybe that's your "oof."

Frank from St Augustine, FL

Has any NFL team ever had the No. 1 overall pick in three consecutive years?


Brian from Section 238

Is anyone going to talk about Trevor's overthrows? Concerns have become a reality which no one wants to accept. Please discuss.

Lawrence does overthrow passes at times. This has been discussed often in this and other Jaguars forums.

Jami from Wye Mills, MD

Wasn't the defense supposed to be a strength for this team?


Wade from Westside

This season is starting to feel like the many that preceded it. I was hoping that Doug could fix the mistakes and turn this franchise around. Is it just a lack of talent? Too much youth? A mediocre core of players? Maybe this is just a bad franchise.

Losing sucks. Because it sucks, all losses feel the same in the immediate aftermath because they all count the same in the standings. Youth is a factor in this Jaguars season, and I expect the Jaguars to be more talented in coming seasons as this regime drafts and develops to Head Coach Doug Pederson's system. As far as Pederson eliminating mistakes and turning this franchise around, that sort of turnaround usually doesn't happen in a week or two. Or a month or two. I can't promise it will happen. I can say it feels as if there's a better chance it will happen than it has in a while.

Boxcutter Bill from Worcester

We're better than last year, but we ain't good yet. What a meltdown. I guess it was fun to be in the game until late, I just wish maybe once we could squeak one out.


Dan from Munich, Germany

Wow, the pass rush is dead. Even with the Giants losing two starting linemen early in the game they still managed a donuts.

The Jaguars have 11 sacks this season, with five in Week 2 against the Colts. Rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker had one Sunday, but you're right: The Jaguars are not generating enough meaningful, disruptive pressure. Defense in the NFL these days is about disruption and getting off the field in the biggest moments. That often means big-moment pass rush. The Jaguars haven't produced those moments enough this season.

Travis from Athens, GA

This team is worse than previous years. Sure, they are better on paper, better players, but that sets a higher expectation. I expected crap the last decade, the fact that we can expect better now but not get it makes them worse.


Ronnie from St. Pete

At this point, there's more of a likely chance of me marrying Joey Votto than there is a chance the Jaguars would ever win more this season or even the next. Just saying.

The Jaguars have won twice this season have been close to winning in all five losses. They were within a yard of winning Sunday. Logic says they are close. Logic also says that good teams in the NFL win close games. It's up to the Jaguars to prove you and your admittedly lofty marital goals incorrect.

Alan from Saint Johns, FL

Yeah, it's the fans again. You can be his cheerleader because he's writing your checks, but the bottom line is, Jaguars owner Shad Khan doesn't care and this will always be a losing franchise if he's in charge. I know, it's everyone else's fault, but you continue to say oh he's great. He's a terrible owner. As much as you love to make me look bad, keep spinning pen head. The whole organization is crap. Obviously they care more about wrestling and soccer than they do the Jags.

I laughed at "pen head." Thanks for that.

Austin from Jacksonville

Can they turn it around? They were so dominant in the two wins. I want it to be 1996 where we win the last 7 or 8 to go to the postseason, but I don't know.

There are similarities between this season and the first part of the Jaguars' memorable 1996 season, manly that both seasons featured multiple maddening losses that the Jaguars could have – and perhaps should have – won. But everything came together late in 1996 for the Jaguars to win their final five regular-season games and two postseason games. You can't predict that, and it's rarely duplicated.

Stan from Jacksonville

I really hate to say it, but I'm beginning to get tired of watching this - again. I see "improvement," but it's becoming disheartening to watch the same thing week after week. FIX THE MENTAL ERRORS!!!


Jagsman252 from Deland, FL

Another heartbreaking loss. I'm losing hope. Another defensive collapse. What's next "O"? We are getting better, but it doesn't matter if you keep losing.

Hope is interesting when it comes to this Jaguars team. If you're talking about the 2022 season … yeah, at 2-5 in mid-October, hope for the postseason is fading – though not impossible. If what you want from this season is growth and hope for the future, then there are still some decent things in the form of competitiveness in each game, etc. That sort of hope can feel hollow on a late Sunday afternoon in the wake of a fourth consecutive frustrating loss. What's next? The Jaguars play the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday. Ten games remain. The Jaguars need to win some close games during those two and a half months to feel better about this season and they need to play smarter with fewer mistakes to do that. Stay tuned.