JACKONVILLE – Late Night O-Zone, or is it, O-Zone Late Night?
Let's get to it …
Dane from Jacksonville:
You can just sense when this team is ready to implode. Every game halfway through the fourth quarter it's a guarantee that this team will find new and creative ways to blow the game.
John: You won't get any argument here, and that was absolutely the theme Sunday. The Jaguars were up 14-10 entering the fourth quarter and in a half-blink it seemed they were down 31-14 and essentially out of the game. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley attributed it to pressing, and when you think of the fourth quarter, that's how it felt. An easy touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins because Davon House bit on a slant and a Pick Six thrown by Bortles and … woosh, what looked like a competitive game was a one-sided Texans victory. I understand the fans' frustration with this one. This is three consecutive games the Jaguars were in position to win and three consecutive losses. That's tough to take – and tough to explain. It's a bunch of different reasons, but in the end it's all the same reason. The Jaguars aren't making plays late in games to win. In the NFL, you have do that.
Adam from St. Johns, FL:
Please, I beg you to put FDS spray on this turd. Tell me how and why Gus should be a head coach. This is flat out awful. No fire, no passion. They don't give a damn.
John: This is not to defend coaching in Sunday's game. I'm writing this at 8:35 p.m., so I haven't had time to re-watch any of the game, but in the fourth quarter I still saw from my view in the press box a team swarming for the ball and playing with passion. Again, I don't know how much that speaks to why Bradley should or shouldn't be the head coach, but it didn't look like a team that had quit.
Scott from London, England:
Allen Robinson is good.
John: Yeah, we're not going to dwell on the high points because there are so many issues on which to dwell from Sunday's loss. But Robinson is good. He also seems to be getting better with a lot of room to grow. All in all, the arrow is up on A-Rob. He's high-pointing the ball well and seems to gain confidence by the week. He had one tough drop Sunday, but overall, he continues to look better. Now, back to those other issues …
Mar from Shoals, IN:
All of my wells of hope are running dry. Every week a different phase of the game seems to regress. Did Blake Bortles seem to regress this week?
John: He didn't play as well as he did last week, but I can't call it a regression. Look, you're going to drive yourself nuts if you try to monitor Bortles as regressing or progressing on a week-to-week basis. Maturing as an NFL quarterback doesn't happen that way. It's a long-term progress that is best measured on a season-to-season basis and ma-a-a-a-a-a-aybe a month-to-month basis. So far this season, Bortles looks better than he did last season. Was he as good in this game Sunday as he was against the Buccaneers? Perhaps not. Was he better than he was against Carolina and Miami? Perhaps. Does he still look like he is going to develop into a long-term starting quarterback? Yes, and that's what you want to be seeing.
Thomas from Madison, WI:
Here we go again... Sigh...
John: This was the coveted First Email of the Game. It took a while, because for a while in the third and fourth quarter the Jaguars got back into this, but overall? Sigh? Yeah. Sigh …
Eric from New York City:
O-Man, please explain the necessity of our players celebrating after every "decent" play. Act like you made a play before. Act like you are getting paid millions of dollars to make these plays. Or is it a cultural issue? Been bad for so long anything is good. Clearly our players can't make good plays on a consistent basis so there is a need to celebrate. Pathetic.
John: I guess this doesn't bother me the way it bother some people because I've bene covering the NFL long enough to know that this is just how it is. I'd prefer a little less mid-game celebrating after an eight-yard reception or gain, but I'm not emotional about it.
Jeremy from Wise, VA:
The Jags have ZERO pass rush. Hard to get the other teams' offenses off the field when their quarterback has all day.
John: Speaking of issues … yes, this absolutely is the biggest one. For all of the things that have hurt the Jaguars en route to their 1-5 start, the lack of ability to pressure with four down linemen has become absolutely glaring. Chris Clemons isn't getting the pressure he did last season, and Andre Branch hasn't created much pressure since his return. Sen'Derrick Marks returned on Sunday, but it wasn't realistic to think he was going to generate big-time pressure in his first game back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Is the answer Ryan Davis? Or Chris Smith? I doubt it, because I think Davis is more of an interior rusher and Smith hasn't shown himself to be an every-down player on the level of Branch or Clemons. The Jaguars selected Dante Fowler Jr. No. 3 overall for a reason: because they knew they needed an edge rusher. Boy, were they right.