CHICAGO – For a long, long time on Sunday it appeared the Jaguars had no chance.
Then came the fourth quarter – and a Jaguars team that struggled offensively for three quarters suddenly scored 17 points and left Soldier Field with a 17-16 victory. Whodathunkit?
Was it pretty? No. Was it a classic? No. But it was a victory that the Jaguars oh-so-needed. It was a season-saver. Maybe it was a perception-changer.
Whatever it was, they'll take it. And we'll discuss it.
Let's get to it …
Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
If A-Rob holds on to that touchdown against Green Bay and the Ravens don't block that kick this team would be 4-1. Team's getting better.
John: This indeed is one way to look at it. Quite honestly in the wake of that game Sunday I don't know exactly how to define where this team stands right now. Are the Jaguars the team that won the fourth quarter Sunday 17-3? Are they the team that looked so bad for three quarters that you wondered if they would score? The reality is the Jaguars are a combination of both. But the biggest reality is they're 2-3 after five games. They won a game they probably should have lost Sunday. They won it on the road. They came from behind to do it. They did it with a big defensive stop. So, is the team getting better? Yes. Does it have to keep getting better? Yes. However you feel about them they're 2-3 and still very much alive – and that's what counts the most through five games.
Jensen from Nacogdoches, TX:
How does this get fixed?
John: The winning part?
Gary from Jacksonville Beach:
I almost didn't care if the Jaguars won that game or not, Zone. That was so bad for so long it really makes me wonder about this team.
John: You know what? This is a fair point. Yes, the Jaguars rallied late Sunday – and yes, they showed impressive life considering how poorly they played for three quarters. They absolutely must get credit for that because it felt for a long time like this was going to be some awfully memorable shutout loss. Why did the Jaguars play so poorly for so long in a game that had the chance to turn their season around? Why did they play like this coming out of the bye? Those are legitimate, bothersome questions – questions that need to get solved this week.
Chris from Jacksonville:
That first interception does not belong to Bortles. That was a good, low, goal-line ball that should have been caught. #BackoffBortles
John: You're right. There was nothing wrong with the first-quarter pass that turned into a Bears interception. Allen Robinson had the ball on his chest and hands and it bounced into the air. It should have been a touchdown and was most definitely not Bortles' fault.
Joe from Boston, MA:
Wow. These penalties/non-calls. Amiright?
John: There were some calls early that could have gone the Jaguars' way and did not. I would not say that was why the Jaguars fell apart after the early would-be touchdown/interception.
Cade from Jacksonville:
I don't want to be the one who complains here, but you are my outlet for this. What an awful first half. Just, plain awful.
Henry from Birmingham, AL:
Jalen Ramsey. Wow.
John: Ramsey showed me more in the second half Sunday than he had shown in the first four games of this season – and he had shown a lot in the first four games. He was beaten early and often by Alshon Jeffery in the first half Sunday when shadowing the Pro Bowl receiver all over the field. He kept shadowing Jeffery in the second half and limited him to one reception for three yards. Ramsey also made the game-clinching breakup on the Bears' last play. Yes: wow.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
Second and goal from the one-foot line and you don't run the ball. You cannot say with a straight face that is failure to execute. That is coaching, John. Only a complete moron would argue otherwise. Do you suck your elbow most of the day?
John: I would have liked to have seen a running play rather than a fade route to Marcedes Lewis on 2nd-and-goal from the 1 in the first quarter Sunday. I also would have liked to have not seen left tackle Kelvin Beachum commit a false-start penalty and Robinson not drop a would-be touchdown pass. But yes: I really would have liked to have seen a running play on second-and-goal. That was particularly true with Chris Ivory in the game. Ivory running worked in the fourth quarter when he scored in a similar situation. In retrospect, I imagine Jaguars coaches would have liked to have seen him running in the second.
Steve from Stevensville, MD:
Not sure how. Not sure why. But I sure as hell know I will take it. Go Jags!