JACKSONVILLE – Sigh …
This wasn't the start the Jaguars wanted, and there was a lot of disappointment among Jaguars players and coaches after a 20-9 loss to Carolina at EverBank Field Sunday.
O-Zone Late Night by its nature takes the pulse of the fans – sometimes disturbingly so – because it responds to emails sent during and immediately following the game. That means a lot of highs after victories and a lot of lows after losses. That makes this a rather downtrodden, disappointed, disillusioned edition of the O-Zone Late Night. Expectedly so. Understandably so. Oh, well …
Let's get to it …
Adam from St. Johns, FL:
We're built huh? Well, we need to start over … again. Same ol' Jags.
John: This wasn't the start the Jaguars wanted. No one will say it is, but time to start over? After one game? I can't say we're there yet.
Josh from Eyota:
There will be talk about some of the good things this team did Sunday. The story really is the offense put up nine points, the defense kept them in the game until it really needed a stop. I think most people don't expect a huge season this year, but this team is still bad.
John: We'll see.
Dane from Jacksonville:
I suppose there are a few good things to take away, but wow, what a hideous display overall. What happened to Bortles between preseason and now? Simply pathetic and utterly disappointing.
John: What happened to Bortles was the regular season happened. It's a more difficult beast than the preseason, which is why I wrote a lot during the preseason that the preseason is … a different beast than the regular season. It was unrealistic to think that Bortles was going to be perfect in the regular season. He looked improved Sunday. He was hurt by three drops that could have been about 60 more yards. His biography wasn't going to be written after three preseason games and it won't be written by one regular-season game, either.
Cade from Orlando, FL:
Three and out, John. You better start running!
John: This was the much-anticipated first email of the game. I figured it would get better. I was wrong.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
Wow … six plays, offense looks amazing … NOT!
John: Second email …
Jeremy from Wise, VA:
Once the story of this season is written, Chapter 1 should be titled "SHOT THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT."
John: This email came early, too, but it certainly held as a theme. As much angst as there has been in the inbox – and it indeed was an angst-ridden place on Sunday night – the bulk of the Jaguars' issues on Sunday were decidedly self-inflicted. This is an improved team in a lot of areas, but it's not a team that can withstand dropped passes, fumbles and missed extra points and field goals. No team can do that and expect to win, particularly not a team that's still young offensively.
Seth from Jacksonville:
New Year. Same team.
Eric from St. Augustine, FL:
What happened to the tight ends in the passing game? Seemed like a real strength in the preseason, but I don't remember them even targeting a tight end in the entire game.
John: The Jaguars did target the tight end, but not nearly as much as I thought. This was a topic after the game. There wasn't a whole lot in the way of a definitive answer.
David from Maplewood, NJ:
John, hmmm … two picks, including a pick six. It has a ring of familiarity. I guess the regular season is different than the preseason. I'll admit: I was fooled. So tiresome to root for a team that sucks this bad for this long. Ok, proceed with why I am overreacting, you have the floor.
John: I wouldn't say you were overreacting; in fact, I wouldn't say any Jaguars fan disappointed with what happened Sunday was overreacting. Fans absolutely should be disappointed with that loss. I wouldn't say that Bortles' game Sunday had the feel of last season, though. Yes, the Pick Six was a bad play. It was a costly play that you can't make and expect to win, but overall he looked like a quarterback in control a whole lot more than was the case last season. I thought throughout the preseason this was a team that could be improved. I still believe it will be improved. We'll see.
Adam from Saint Johns, FL:
So, this is more huh? Boy, they sure know how to market. The fans show up. We're the stupid ones to ever think anything will be different. Tell me I'm irrational, or tell me I'm wasting my time. Be honest for once.
John: Maybe we should talk in a day or two.