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O-Zone Late Night: Titans 33, Jaguars 30

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) scrambles from Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Rashaan Evans (54) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) scrambles from Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Rashaan Evans (54) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

JACKSONVILLE – This hurt, and it will sting for a while.

That's the short-term view of the Jaguars' 33-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium, Tenn., Sunday – and Jaguars observers particularly will hate the loss because losing to Tennessee stinks whatever the score and whatever the circumstance.

The Jaguars missed a chance to take sole possession of first place in the AFC South after two games, and they missed it largely because of special teams and an … interesting… pass-interference penalty late in each half Sunday.

Turns out that not only wasn't Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack down, he didn't really do enough to be called for PI, either.

But those are short-term hurts. The long-term takeaway from Sunday is the 2020 Jaguars are good offensively. They have a good, young roster with a lot of improving players. They're resilient – for real – and they're good enough to play toe-to-toe with a team that made the AFC Championship Game in January. 

They're good enough to do it on the road in a venue in which they haven't been nearly good enough in recent seasons.

The quarterback looks like he might be long-term good, too. How good is that? 

Let's get to it …

Richard from Jacksonville Beach, FL

I'll say this: NFL quarterbacks don't take momentum-changing, drive-stalling sacks for no reason early in the second quarter.

The play you're referencing indeed was huge. Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II took a 20-yard sack in the first half Sunday on a play on which he clearly should have gotten rid of the ball and gotten the Jaguars to second and ten. The play led to a punt and prevented the Jaguars from having a chance to tie the game in the second quarter. The very good news for the Jaguars is that overall Minshew played well Sunday, and he appeared to throw downfield with confidence. It seemed his pocket presence was good overall. I believe more than ever – and for perhaps the first time – that he really might be the Jaguars' quarterback of the future. To rally the Jaguars from a double-digit deficit against that defense was impressive. But the play you reference came with the Jaguars trailing by a touchdown and holding the ball at the Titans 49. They had a real chance to tie the game, maintain momentum and at least cut the deficit to four. It was a bad decision by a still-young quarterback and one Minshew can't make.

Stevie from Duval

Love Minshew so much but he has to throw it away a couple times a game.


Josh from Atlanta, GA

Another week in Nashville, another blowout loss. How is this possible?

This was the much-anticipated, oft-ballyhooed, too-often-premature First Email of the Game – and yes, it looked early like this was going to be another blowout loss. But as was the case against Indianapolis in Week 1, the Jaguars rallied to tie. They could have won. It could be said they should have won. Unsolicited advice: This Jaguars 2020 team looks like it might be a slow-starting, fast-finishing team. Early emailers may want to resist hitting send until the second quarter.

Alex from WAUSAU

Special teams … not so special. Logan Cooke needs to be replaced. He has been a below-average punter since Day 1 on this roster. Was there any competition in camp for Cooke?

Cooke had a bad punt late Sunday. He has not been below average since Day 1.

Edward from Jacksonville

They look capable of competing.


Marc from Oceanway

Do you agree with the pass interference call against Jack?

No. I didn't think what Jack did on a late-fourth quarter drive affected the receiver nearly enough to draw an interference penalty. I also didn't think an interference penalty against Jaguars safety Josh Jones in the first half should have been called. Kicker Josh Lambo's mistakes were huge, but those two penalties…

Dan from Somewhere in the back

This loss is entirely on the defense. At least everything is back to normal and we can talk about how awesome our draft pick is going to be.

Maybe you should stay in the back.

Stan from Jacksonville

A squib kick just before halftime! Seriously!?!

There's nothing inherently wrong with a squib kick, but the kicker has to get the kick through the first line of blockers. Lambo didn't do this late in the first half Sunday. It led directly to a 51-yard field goal by Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski on the half's final play. It's not fair to say it cost the Jaguars the game. it's not fair to say a missed extra point by Lambo cost the Jaguars the game, either. It's fair to say neither mistake helped.

Eric from Duval

Does Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash ever call any defense other than the soft zone?


Paul from St. Johns, FL

Is it common for NFL teams to have only one quarterback active on gameday? I noticed our backup QB was a healthy scratch for today, so I'm curious what happens if Minshew gets hurt?

The Jaguars didn't have one quarterback active Sunday; they had two. Mike Glennon, as was the case in Week 1, was active for the Jaguars on Sunday. Had Minshew been hurt, he would have played quarterback.

Dave from Duval

Hey O, this Jaguars team can take a punch, tank you very much! Go Jags!

Yes, it can. (And well done.)