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O-Zone: Just maybe

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dan from Greenville, SC

Why not us, John?

This question gets fairer and fairer as the 2022 Jaguars season continues. The Jaguars will play a tougher opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC Divisional Playoff Saturday than they did this past week when they beat the Los Angeles Chargers in a Wild Card Playoff – a trend that will continue each week if they continue to win. But remember: The Jaguars are 4-3 this season against 2022 postseason teams. Yes, they have needed remarkable comebacks to beat the last three playoff opponents – Baltimore (28-27), Dallas (40-34) and the Chargers (31-30). Yes, those games were at home and the Jaguars must now win on the road. But this team lost to Kansas City 27-17 in November in a game in which they failed to score on four of their possessions past midfield. They weren't a team then that took advantage of opportunities. They hadn't yet shown themselves they were good. They won't be favored Saturday and they will need big plays in critical moments. They likely will need takeaways. They will need to take advantage of opportunities better than they did when they won turnover margin 3-0 against the Chiefs in November. But … why not the Jaguars? Considering what this team has done in the last month and a half … yeah, why not?

Triston from Yulee/Fernandina

Was I wrong for asking if Trevor has enough "let's go" in him? So cool and collected. Now I know, he wants it.

This always has been the oddest question I get about Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. I suppose it stems from him indeed not always yelling at teammates or throwing his helmet after bad plays. The best athletes maintain poise and control in adversity. Doing so does not mean lacking desire.

Brad from The Avenues

Memo to all NFL franchises: Don't let off the throttle for a moment, because we don't quit!

Brad remains "all in."

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

Has this been your favorite team to cover?

I've covered 28 NFL seasons – and have covered 15 playoff teams, 11 division-title-winning teams, six teams that made the AFC Championship Game, two teams that made the Super Bowl and one that won the Super Bowl. Not all winning teams are equally enjoyable to cover, and how far a team ultimately goes in the playoffs isn't the ultimate gauge on what makes a team enjoyable. But considering where this team was at midseason, how it got to where it is now and the apparent quality of people in the locker room … yeah, this may wind up being the favorite. It's certainly way up there.

Josh from Section 106

If being the head coach of the only team in history to go from worst in the league to winning a playoff game doesn't get you coach of the year honors, I don't know what will.

Fair.

Armand from Jacksonville

With the way the playoffs have been officiated do you see the NFL going to full time refs.

I don't. Full-time officials would mean employing officials 365 days a year to officiate 20-to-25 games. Officials know the rules. They understand the game. There's just simply not enough training involved or practice necessary to merit year-round officials – and there's also no evidence that year-round employment would improve officiating.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

How much fun are you having covering this team?

Loads.

Richard from Orange Park, FL

Well, Zone. The Jags have garnered national and international recognition. You can't go to any news site and NOT find an article about the Jags.

Jaguars fans long have complained about a lack of respect and love from national media. This franchise's record on the field for much of the last decade merited neither love nor respect. The Jaguars' performance over the last five weeks, particularly in the last two, merits both. That's how these things work.

Brian from Atlantic Beach, FL

There's clearly a homefield advantage in Jax. Are we contracted to play a London game or can we add an extra "real" home game?

The Jaguars will play a home game per season in London through at least 2024.

James from Jacksonville

When is the last time we won this many games in a row? The turnaround that this team has made this year is remarkable. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson deserves Coach of the Year in my opinion, what do you think?

The last time the Jaguars won six consecutive games was 1999, when they won 11 consecutive regular-season games. They also won seven consecutive games to end the regular season and start the postseason in 1996. The turnaround this season is remarkable. I also think Pederson deserves to be Coach of the Year.

Harsha from Ocala, FL

I didn't want the game to go this way, but we rallied for the ages! We had a good quarterback, now we have a quarterback that other teams are going to fear!

Yep.

Bill from Hammock, FL

Zone, I remember so many details of our 1996 improbable run in the playoffs. I imagine there are a lot of new and younger fans who will remember details twenty years from now on the 2022 season and particularly last night's game. Go Jags.

Yep.

Jeff from Troutman, NC

Our comeback against LA was one for the ages. I feel it was even sweeter beating the refs very one-sided-called game. I wrote in the O-Zone a few years back about refs influencing the game, and said good teams can overcome bad officiating. It wasn't easy but our Jags are well coached, and believe. Here's to hoping we play a full game, and refs call an even game against KC next week. Go Jags!!!

Saturday's game is one reason I lean from discussing officiating in the O-Zone often. There were certainly more than a few calls that went against the Jaguars, calls that I thought officials probably missed. But if you listen to Chargers fans, they're complaining just as loudly about officiating costing them the game – and there were some huge calls that went the Jaguars' way that helped them maintain momentum as they rallied in the second half. This answer won't satisfy anyone. It's just why I don't discuss the topic as much as many might like.

Randy from Shippensburg, PA

_John, I remember early in the season we all kept wondering if Trevor Lawrence could engineer a winning drive when the game is on the line. Now, we are coming to expect that if he has the ball and game on the line he'll make the plays to win the game. Man, this feels like it could be a winning feeling here for a long time to come. _

Yes, it does.

Joe from Jacksonville

I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come! I know we're 8.5 point underdogs but KOAF what's your thoughts and prediction for this Saturday?

I think the Jaguars will play better than they did in a 27-17 loss at Kansas City in Week 10. I think they will fare better with their opportunities than they did that day, when they failed to score on four of seven possessions in Kansas City territory. I think they will struggle to stop the Chiefs' offense because most teams struggle to stop the Chiefs' offense and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. I think they will play impressively and have a chance to win. I don't think they will win because I think the Chiefs are a playoff-hardened team with an elite quarterback playing at home. They're used to being here, used to having the No. 1 seed and used to the pressure involved. It's hard to pick against them in the postseason.

Nick from Annapolis, MD

If the Jaguars defense plays as well as they did the last time we played in Kansas City, the Jaguars will have the ball with a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter. True or false?

True.

Mike from Porto Martins, Azores

Please let the Jags wide receivers know this is playoff football. They need to get more physical and fight off the playoff accepted grabbing and holding! It goes both ways in the NFL playoffs! They need to expect it and take advantage of it on both sides of the ball! GO JAGS!!

I take pleasure from many things in life. Among those is people who write me requesting to pass on "tips" to people at the top of their profession.

Colin from Orlando, FL

Hey John, based on the way teams seem to be scared of him, I'm starting to think Jamal Agnew is very, very good.

NFL coaches, like all football coaches, fear speed. Jaguars wide receiver returner Jamal Agnew is a special kind of fast.

Mike from St. Augustine

I was at the game. I lost my voice, and when we won, I lost my mind! We're playing with house money now, so why can't we just go win the whole dadgum thing?

Maybe they can.

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