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O-Zone Late Night: Panthers 24, Jaguars 23

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ryan from Denver:
Did anyone win, or did Henne just lose less?
John: This is a fair question, and it's probably a fair assessment of the Jaguars' quarterback competition as of Thursday. Head Coach Doug Marrone played Chad Henne with the starters through the first half Thursday night against Carolina, and he played Blake Bortles with the starting offensive line all but one series in the second. His hope was that one of the quarterbacks would step forward and win the job. That didn't happen. Henne had a couple of accurate long passes and wasn't intercepted; Bortles flashed a bit against the second- and third-team defense but countered a nice touchdown pass to wide receiver Shane Wynn with a costly third-quarter interception. Marrone unsurprisingly didn't name a starter after the game. I didn't expect him to make a decision so quickly no matter how either quarterback played Thursday. The fact that neither's performance jumped off the page made it even less surprising. The story goes on.
Jorge from Edmonton:
Another week, another opening drive of getting the ball shoved down their mouths. This isn't looking promising at all and three wins seems to be a lofty goal this season.
John: This was the much-anticipated first email of the game, and it was spot on: the defense didn't look good at all on the opening drive Thursday, which marked a second consecutive uncomfortably slow start for the unit. The first-team unit fared a lot better after the first drive, but that was without Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the game. How good is the Jaguars' first-team defense? That's to be determined at this point. But players to a man after the game said the slow starts have to stop. They're right.
Mark from Archer, FL:
I could not watch the preseason game because it was not shown in my area. But looking at Chad Henne's halftime stats, if that is the kind of quarterback we are going to have it is going to be a long season: 57 percent completion, 73 yards and no touchdowns. Again, if that is what Henne brings us, we better bring in someone else or it's gonna be long season.
John: Henne's night may not be exactly what is statistics indicate. He threw a near-perfect deep ball to wide receiver Keelan Cole in the first half that could have been an 82-yard touchdown pass. Instead, Cole had a dropped pass for a second consecutive week. That would have made Henne's night look much better, but for the most part it was not a memorable performance by either Bortles or Henne. It perhaps was solid enough and mistake-free enough for Henne enough to at least somewhat solidify his hold in the starting job, but beyond that …
Sebastian from Austin:
Is Allen Hurns suddenly becoming the odd-man out?
John: It's tough to say. Hurns did not play in the first two games of the preseason, leading to speculation that he might be traded. He worked with the first team on Thursday. I'd be hesitant to deal Hurns. I've seen him produce in a big way in the NFL, and he generally has been reliable when healthy. I'm conservative enough to not like getting rid of such players.
Adam from St. Johns, FL:
There really is no excuse for this offensive line: five years and this is what we have? How can they justify this? It's really hard to fathom what has gone on in the front office. Did they really think they didn't have a problem there? It's so frustrating to know that we're in for another exciting season of Jaguar football.
John: The offensive line in the past two weeks has not inspired confidence against the opposition's starters. That doesn't mean this is how it will look in the regular season. Teams don't scheme as much in preseason as the regular season, and scheming makes a difference in the run game. But no … this has not been a preseason to remember for the Jaguars' offensive line.
Told U So from Jacksonville:
Can we start worrying about the defensive line now? Looks like Campbell and Jackson are like the past free agents, just here to collect a paycheck.
John: The defense hasn't looked good early in the first two preseason games, but if you're going to make sweeping statements they should be accurate. Malik Jackson played very well in his first season with the Jaguars last season, and never looked like he was in Jacksonville to collect a paycheck. We'll see how the season plays out, but I don't believe Campbell and Jackson will be liabilities this season.
Jeremy from Newport, RI:
Our starting D was destroyed by their starting O. We needed a fake punt in the preseason to try and give life to the offense. Who even does that? Henne is not showing great command and leadership of the offense. Pathetic so far! I had high hopes, but this team looks no better than last year so far, and that's saying something.
John: It was a slow start.
Marc from Oceanway:
Well, Corey Grant just made the team.
John: This was written right after Grant's 51-yard run with a fake punt. The email is inaccurate. He had made the team well before that.
Jerrell from Columbia, SC:
John, I just got into town to take a look at the Jags for myself. Like last year I will have a great feel for how early this team will be drafting.
John: This was Jerell's first email. He started the night as per normal with a charming, boyish optimism.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Jags really handicapped themselves betting that Bortles would improve. Now a 1-4 win season is the price they will pay.
John: Safe travels, Jerell.

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