LONDON – That was a big one Sunday. How big? Really big.
Mike from Orange Park, FL:
John: Whew? Whew?!! You're darned right. The Jaguars dominated the Colts for a long time Sunday and appeared on the verge of a dominant, mood-altering victory. Pretty much everything was going well for the Jaguars until the fourth quarter happened. Then for a while it frankly had the feeling of a very long plane ride home. It had that feeling throughout a lot of the fourth quarter – right up until 4th-and-1 from the Jaguars 48 with 1:42 remaining. Then Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's pass to tight end Dwayne Allen was incomplete because of a defensive breakup by Josh Johnson. And then the guy on the stadium public-address announcer said, "Jaguars Football." A few minutes later, the Jaguars had a victory they oh-so needed. Did it save jobs? Will it save the season? Only time will tell but within the context of this team – right now … boy, was it big. Whew.
Steve-O from Da Burg:
O man, you have written in the past that "ra ra" speeches from coaches do not really work to make teams play better. If that's the case, why do players give "ra ra" speeches to each other just prior to kick off?
John: I think they're excited about the game.
Eric from Portland, OR via Duval:
Hey John, remember when people were worried about Greg Olson leaving us to become a head coach?
John: I remember this about as well as I remember people worrying about Jedd Fisch for similar reasons.
Ian from Leeds:
Am I the only one noticing that Yannick Ngakoue is making at least one massive impact play a game? Reckon we have a gem there!
John: You're not the only one noticing. Ngakoue has three sacks in his last three games, including one on Sunday. He also had an interception return that set up a touchdown Sunday and he is playing far better than would normally be expected for a third-round rookie. Give Dante Fowler Jr. some credit here, too. He is causing more disruption than early in the season and he tipped the pass that Ngakoue intercepted Sunday.
Christopher from Phoenix:
Yes this is good. Moving the pocket and some creativity in the play calling. I'll give Olley credit. And that defense is gonna be nasty. Fowler's tip to Yannick was a thing of beauty. Ramsey is a shutdown corner and Jack is starting. We are gonna be OK. DTWD
John: This was written before things got tricky in the fourth quarter, but there's still a lot of truth in it. The defense overall does look like it's going to be good. There are a lot of young players making plays and looking like they're ascending. As far as the offense … yes, it appears the plans for now need to call for Bortles to move with the pocket and use his mobility. You don't want to overcall designed runs for him, but using his mobility and creating some chaos … that indeed seems to be where he is best.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
I am picking up some bad vibes from your body language.
John: Fair enough.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
Does the whole team get to make the London trip – practice squad and inactive?
John: Tight end Ben Koyack end defensive end Jared Odrick did not make the trip because of injuries, but for the most part the entire team – practice squad included – indeed made the London trip.
Adrian from El Paso, TX:
Why did the NFL take a very important division game away from Jacksonville? Never mind the whole "home-away-from-home" stuff that everyone seems to be OK with. I'm not from Jacksonville but if I were a fan I'd be pretty upset that I don't get to watch a pivotal matchup at home like it should be. Just doesn't seem right, and if this is a continual "experiment," I as a fan don't like it. London seems happy with non-divisional games, why not keep it at that?
John: This was my fourth trip to London in four seasons. Despite all of those trips I don't know that I have enough of a feel for the entire city to know if it "seems happy" with something – or if it's just having a really good day. I do know that the Jaguars-Colts wasn't the first division game in the International Series and I see versatile possibility of it division games not being in play in future years.
Matt from Austin, TX:
Excited about our top three picks!
John: Let's see … No. 5 overall Jalen Ramsey looks like he's on his way to being an elite corner …. Second-rounder Myles Jack looks like a playmaking linebacker … third-round defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has three sacks and an interception in his last three games … yeah, that's exciting stuff. Oh, and be excited about defensive tackle Sheldon Day, too. The fourth-round selection had a tackle for a loss and appears headed to being a very good player.