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O-Zone Late Night, Week 17: Jaguars 26, Panthers 0

O-Zone Late Night - Week 17

JACKSONVILLE – This was what this team needed.

And while it may not have been pretty, and while it sure wasn't full of big plays, the Jaguars’ 26-0 victory over the Carolina Panthers at EverBank Stadium on Sunday was important – and considering the circumstances, it was impressive.

The victory snapped a four-game losing streak. It came with quarterback Trevor Lawrence missing the first start of his three-year NFL career with a sprained AC joint. It kept the Jaguars in control of their postseason destiny; if they beat the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tenn., next weekend, they win the AFC South.

The last part is the most important part.

The Jaguars can win a second consecutive division title. How they got here doesn't matter. Win and they're in. On to the Titans.

Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Well, that was boring. Cool that they won. I guess.

I smiled at this email – and it wasn't the only one Sunday expressing this sentiment. Was Sunday's victory exciting? Pretty? All that memorable? No. No. No. But the Jaguars snapped a four-game losing streaky and remained in first place in the AFC South. They did so with backup quarterback C.J. Beathard playing efficiently and mistake-free – and with the defense playing its best game of the season. They can with a second consecutive division title by beating the Titans this week. Winning was the primary objective Sunday. The other objectives were to play mistake-free offensively and to be sounder defensively. Looking pretty and being exciting were not objectives. Mission accomplished.

Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville

It was nice to see the Jaguars playing like a team that was determined to win. There was a lot of intensity on both sides of the ball. Good to see Brandon McManus kick well. No turnovers by the offense and a lot of sacks by the defense. This was a much-needed victory. On to Nashville to win the division!

Winning is cool. Fans like it, including Big Jags Fans.

Alex from Michigan, formerly St. Augustine

How about Engram?!

Jaguars tight end Evan Engram caught six passes for 60 yards Sunday. He now has 104 receptions for 884 yards and three touchdowns this season. He is the eighth tight end in NFL history with 100 or more receptions in a season. Engram was proud of this accomplishment and rightly so. A lot of people wrote him off as a bust after five seasons with the New York Giants. He has rewritten his story in two Jaguars seasons and is now one of the NFL's best players at his position. Good for him. He's a class act who has earned this moment.

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA

O, The Jags needed that! The Titans would like nothing better than to beat the Jags next week. Do you think Lawrence will be able to play, and play well, next week?

I think it's Sunday and that it's way too early to know if Lawrence will play next weekend.

Bill from Jacksonville

So happy for Josh Allen.

As you should be. The outside linebacker broke the Jaguars' single-season record for sacks Sunday. He now has 16.5 for the season, two better than Calais Campbel's old record of 14.5 set in 2017. Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, long was overly criticized by many observers. He always has been really good. He always has been effective. He has the sacks this season to go with his overall good play. Good for him. His moment is well-deserved.

Alan from Ellington, CT

Well, that's a relief they can crush the worst team in football, as they should. I hope they can keep the momentum going! Winning is fun.

The Jaguars needed to win Sunday. A lot of people, including this writer, weren't sure they would win – particularly considering how they played last Sunday in Tampa. The opponent, in this case, matters significantly less than the result. Take this one and move on.

Enrique from Calexico, CA

Why don't you bring Tom Brady instead of C.J. Beathard?


Josiah from Jacksonville

RUN THE FREAKING BALL! It drives me nuts how little this team mixes in or uses the run with ETN.

This came before running back Travis Etienne Jr.'s 62-yard third-quarter touchdown run. The Jaguars overall would like nothing more than to run the ball. It drives them nuts how much they often struggle to do so when they try. They ran better Sunday.

Don from Marshall, NC

Do the Jaguars need a play for the end zone? I mean, I can give them one because obviously they don't have one. Totally flat out the worst play-calling I have ever seen.

This was the much-ballyhooed, oft-ridiculous, seldom-forgotten First Email of the Game – and made apparent that, at least early on Sunday, Don was not "all in."

*Nathan from Broomfield, Colorado      *

John, been a fan since the glory days and after 30 years I finally got to experience my first Jaguars home game!! What an experience and thank you DUUUVALLL for the chance to experience awesome!

Very cool.

New Year's Eve at our place 🎊 Check out game action photos 🏈