EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Another frustrating Sunday. Another long flight home.
Let's get to it …
Jerrell from Columbia, SC:
Jags have a clown at the quarterback position.
John: No, they don't. The Jaguars have a young, improving player at the quarterback position who played Sunday as he had much of the season. He made mistakes early and late – and clearly struggled with a pocket that wasn't its best and allowed too many sacks. But he also made plays throughout the game to keep the Jaguars in the game. This is the growth process, and while there are ups downs, there is still significant growth.
Buddy from Bellingham, WA:
Watching this team play has made me realize, you're right. Rested is much more important than being prepared. I'm going to take the rest of the game off.
John: This was the much-respected, much-anticipated first email of the game. I'm glad you got a break, but it's sometimes hard to pass judgement on a game in the first half.
John from Valdosta, GA:
Dare I say that Myers is kicking with confidence?
John: Ah … dare away, John. Yes, give credit to Jason Myers where it's due. He converted all three field goals and both extra points Sunday. Considering he had missed two extra points in his last two games and considering the team worked out kickers during the bye week ... it was a pretty clutch game for the kid. Now, he could have kicked off better – a lot better – but maybe this isn't the day to nitpick.
Jay from Section 124:
As I remember Tom Coughlin saying: Careless disregard for the football. Seems like a good description of today's game. We failed to come up with loose balls when the Jags were the first to the ball. Makes me wonder about the emphasis.
John: The turnover aspect of Sunday's game was maddening and frustrating. Still, while I may feel differently after re-watching the game, this didn't feel at first glance like a "callous-disregard-for-the-ball" game. (And that was the phrase Coughlin used, by the way). Bortles' first interception was a tipped ball and the second came in desperation time when the Jaguars had to go the length of the field in less than a minute. That's prime interception time. Nick Marshall tried to run on the muffed punt before he caught it, which is yet another mistakes by the rookie on special teams. As far as Bortles' fumble in the red zone … like Marshall's muff, it was a big-time gut punch and a case of Bortles trying to make a play. He has to be better there, with a better sense of what's going on around him. At the same time, Bortles' ability to make plays and extend plays outside the pocket it what makes him … him. While that's a rough edge that needs smoothing, you don't want to take that instinct away.
Shane from Lusby, MD:
Don't forget to point out the bad calls in the game, like the blown challenge.
John: I don't spend much time lamenting blown calls. They tend to balance out over time, but yeah … I thought Bryan Walters caught the ball on the third-quarter challenge.
Ryan from Northville:
John, how many times can our offense cross the 50-yard line and then stall before getting in field-goal range? We have to lead the league in drives across midfield that don't end in points.
John: This without question has been an issue. For a long time over the last couple of years, the Jaguars didn't move a lot anywhere. Now, they're moving more and getting within range quite a bit They're not scoring enough once there. It's an issue.
Thomas from Jacksonville:
Let it not be said, "They outworked us …" WAIT … no, let it be said.
John: Well, I suppose it has been said, but I'm not sure where it's applicable.
Conrad from Richland Center, WI:
The Jacksonville Jaguars' setting new of pathetic game play each week. The expansion Buccaneers have nothing on this bunch.
John: Now, c'mon, Conrad …
Mike from OH:
I've read that 7-9 will win the division. Where is this number coming from? Can you explain the reasoning behind this?
John: It's based on the entire AFC South being 3-5 or worse after eight games. People are assuming no one will go better than 4-4 the rest of the way. Is that a safe assumption? Perhaps not, but neither is it beyond reason.
Brian from Section 238:
And that is why we are 2-5...2-6.
John: Well, this is as good a place as any to close this O-Zone Late Night. Yes, the sequence at game's end – Bortles' fumble followed by Marshall's fumble – was why the Jaguars are 2-6. They had opportunities on Sunday to win. That has been the case in seven of eight games this season. One positive is that game Sunday was one the Jaguars probably lose by a wide margin the last two years. Another positive is the Jaguars rallied after it appeared the game was over in the first half. The negative … well, the negative is here were are in another O-Zone Late Night talking about a game the Jaguars could have won and didn't. This is a tough one to swallow, and you don't want to be talking the same issues week after week. Still …