JACKSONVILLE – Don't get lost in the details on this one.
The Jaguars beat the New York Jets, 29-15, at TIAA Bank Field Sunday. The victory moved them to .500 after eight games and left them very much in the playoff conversation.
That's it. That's what matters.
There will be talk in the coming days among Jaguars observers – not to mention among players and coaches – of red-zone difficulties and penalties. There may even be some observers irritated with the Jaguars playing "soft" defense at times and allowing a couple of too-easy touchdown drives to a struggling offensive team. I received emails on all above topics throughout the game Sunday.
All of those were issues at times Sunday, and the Jaguars probably could have run better at times. They probably could have played smarter at times. As Head Coach Doug Marrone said afterward, there is much to fix.
But the big picture is the Jaguars have won two consecutive games. They're 4-4 and can turn this season into something good by playing well in the second half of the season. They're in contention in a season in which a lot of things already have happened that could have ended the season.
Focus on the in-contention part. Enjoy it. There's time to worry later.
Let's get to it …
Gamble from Jacksonville
If he wins next week making plays like he did today, I'd have a really hard time taking this kid off the field.
This has been a big topic for a month in these parts, and Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II absolutely did his part Sunday to make it bigger topic moving forward. I have been sure for the last week that the Jaguars would return to quarterback Nick Foles when Foles returns from a broken clavicle in mid-November. I was sure of that because Minshew had shown some shakiness in the pocket and in decision-making the last two weeks. I thought it appeared that defenses were figuring Minshew out a bit, and that there were some things the offense couldn't do with Minshew that they probably could do with Foles. I thought coaches would think that Foles' knowledge of the offense, experience and poise would be enough to start him over Minshew. I still believe Foles will start when he returns in mid-November, but Sunday was a big game for Minshew. He was poised, creative and responded well to two difficult weeks. Bottom line: He's making it a lot harder to return to Foles than anyone ever imagined possible, and I'm not certain anyone – including Head Coach Doug Marrone – knows yet how this will play out.
Clayton from Gambier, OH
With the way Gardner Minshew operated on third down today, are we sure Nick Foles should return to the lineup?
Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124)
As long as the Jags insist on using double-tight-end "jumbo" sets and running straight up the middle, running back Leonard Fournette (or anyone else that we line up at tailback) will continue struggling to score touchdowns.
I guess they probably better rule out pitching wide, too.
Sascha from Cologne
OK, O: Such a crucial game and this is our best option at linebacker? Besides that, maybe these penalties are somehow related to coaching?? Maybe somehow?
Yes, the players the Jaguars had playing linebacker Sunday were the best option because the better options – Quincy Williams, Leon Jacobs and Najee Goode – were injured and unavailable. And yes, the Jaguars' penalties Sunday were the fault of coaching, because it's always coaching in the NFL – and in America. Always.
Jimsure from Daytona Beach Shores
When are they going to get the PENALTIES under control?
I don't know. What do you think?
George from Cowford
Jags plus red zone equals three.
Except in the first quarter Sunday against the Jets when Jaguars plus red zone equaled seven. And except in the fourth quarter when Jaguars plus red zone also equaled seven. Or did you tune in late and tune our early? No big deal, either way. Just wanted to make sure you were OK.
Rob from Jacksonville
Run up the middle, run up the middle, convert a third and long. Nice.
Play calling – and coaching in general – is so much better when teams win … always …
Richard from Jacksonville
First-and-20 and play call is running back Leonard Fournette up the middle … second-and-19 and play call is Fournette up the middle. Is offensive coordinator John DeFilippo trying to run time off the clock or what?? I just don't understand the lack of offensive creativity just occasionally.
…. well, almost always.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
The Jets hadn't scored on an opening drive in 30 games. THIRTY. Unbelievable.
This was the much-anticipated, oft-ballyhooed, always-reliable First Email of the Game. Hey, one fer the statisticians!
ABC from ABCTown
Trade our four first-round pics for sixth-round picks!!!
Winning is cool. Fans like it.
Kyle from Green Cove Springs, FL
See above answer.