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O-Zone Late Night: Not yet solid

JACKSONVILLE – O-Zone Late Night following Chargers 24, Jaguars 6.

Let's get to it . . . Chris from Palatka, FL:
These penalties are killers. It's one thing to be a bad football team; being an undisciplined team is another. Unfortunately, the Jags appear to be both. Competition? Accountability? I saw none of it today. Very sad.
John: Yes, it was, but this is a good question to start O-Zone Late Night because it pertains to a notable happening Sunday after the game. It was not the same Gus Bradley as we had seen after previous losses. Not even close. Bradley started his postgame after the 24-6 loss to the Chargers by saying that this was not an example of a team getting better, and he highlighted it by saying he saw a team that lacked effort at times Sunday. It was a strikingly honest assessment, but Bradley said it would have hurt credibility to say otherwise. The Jaguars did lack discipline on Sunday and they didn't compete nearly as well as Bradley expects. It's not acceptable, and Bradley clearly wasn't pleased. He wasn't as positive as usual, and he didn't try to tell people it was OK. So, why did it happen? The best theory I can come up with is this: The NFL has a long season. There are good days and bad days for teams of all levels. It's safe to say that right now the Jaguars are not a team at a high level, and Sunday, they did not have a good day.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
I have NEVER seen a team that consistently beats themselves more than us. We have the ball around the 20-yard line. Two straight sacks out of field-goal range. Second-and-33 . . . and they convert on our penalty. I just don't understand how the same things happen week-to-week.
John: The Jaguars aren't a good team right now. Bad teams do things to beat themselves, and they don't have the pure, raw, win-the-one-on-one-matchup talent to overcome mistakes. This is where the Jaguars are. They won't be here forever, but it's where they are now.
Don from Macclenny, FL:
We were embarrassed, at home, to a team on its fourth-string left tackle. Is this progress?
John: No, Sunday was not progress. All teams have ups and downs. Even within the framework of the Jaguars' season, Sunday was a down.
Who Cares from Loserville:
What is going on with this team? We suck, John. Penalties at literally the worst times, dropped balls, missed tackles. This team does practice don't they?
John: Yes.
Jeremy from Andover, KS:
As bad as the Jags are, the refs are even worse. What is the checks and balance system in the NFL for refs? We see horrible calls every week. Do they really just keep paying these guys and not care about fair/accurate officiating?
John: I'm never, ever one to say refereeing cost a team a game. Referees are graded and they are reprimanded for mistakes. To your point, there have been more instances than usual this season in which the league has told the Jaguars that a call had incorrectly gone against them in a game. I sense that may be the case yet again this week.
David from Kingsland, GA:
Does Jason Babin not understand the offsides rule . . . or not care? It has to be one or the other.
John: It's a frustrating penalty.
Eric from Boston:
These penalties are literally game-changing. Every week. Extreme lack of maturity and self-discipline. That is on the coach.
John: First, I get the frustration. And most certainly, Bradley would tell you those things are his responsibility. At the same time, getting mental mistakes and raggedness out of a situation isn't always something that happens immediately. Over time, I'd expect this to be a turnover-creating, consistent, minimal-mistake team under Bradley, but that's a cultural thing that won't happen overnight. A comparison that comes to mind is when Tony Dungy first arrived with the Colts. As the time, Peyton Manning was a young quarterback who threw quite a few interceptions with the idea that quarterbacks sort of have to take chances down the field. Dungy didn't believe this, and he and quarterbacks Coach Jim Caldwell worked with Manning on the idea that you could be prolific on offense without making chance throws that lead to interceptions. Manning threw 23 interceptions the year before Dungy's arrival, and 19 in Dungy's first season. He didn't throw more than 10 for four years after that and never has thrown 19 in a season since. Habits and approach can take a while to change.
Chuck from Summerville, SC:
Say what you want to, the officiating in the JAGS games has been horrible at best this year and criminal at worst. Defend them all you want.
John: I wouldn't call it "criminal."
Logan from Orange Park, FL:
Third-and-34, John.
John: I had it at third-and-32, but yeah, point taken.
Silly Max from Tucson, AZ:
...that being said, we're not watching a real solid football team here.
John: No, we're watching a young, building team that is going to have ups and downs. Sunday was an extreme down. We're watching a team building toward solid. That comes later.

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