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O-Zone: Leave in silence

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bruce from Somewhere

Oh no! Trevor has morphed into Blake Bortles and the [not real] Jags curse continues.

We officially – or perhaps unofficially – have reached the point of overdoing Trevor Lawrence Panic. This panic among Jaguars observers seemingly began following a five-turnover performance in a Week 4 road loss to the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles and escalated following a 13-6 Week 5 home loss to the previously winless Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field this past Sunday. The disappointment over the Texans loss is understandable. It felt to many like a game the Jaguars should have won and many pundits – including this one – believed the outcome would say much about where the Jaguars are right now. The game indeed told us the Jaguars weren't quite yet ready to handle winning as heavy favorites and they're not yet ready to be considered AFC South favorites. It also showed that Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has some developing to do before he is elite. It did not say Lawrence never will get there. It did not prove that Lawrence "has morphed into [former Jaguars quarterback] Blake Bortles." We live in a 24-7, Twitter world in which fans and observers treat every NFL game – and sometimes every play – as the definitive, end-all statement on whether a player is Hall-of-Fame bound or a bust. Remember? Less than two weeks ago? Lawrence was coming off a second consecutive impressive performance and was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. I received multiple O-Zone questions at the time upset that Lawrence wasn't getting more respect as an elite quarterback. I am receiving even more questions this week convinced he is a bust. Neither is true. He's a second-year veteran who has played five games in a new offensive system. He in many ways started over this past offseason under Head Coach Doug Pederson and this staff. What will he become? Where is his ceiling? We don't know yet, but the story hasn't been written yet. It in a very real sense has just begun.

Craig from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Well, it looks like it's time for Ms. Lawrence to cut his goldilocks and put his big boy pants on!!!!

I don't know Lawrence's career end game. I don't know if he will be elite. I know he has shown enough to make me think there's no reason he can't eventually be really good and I know his hair has nothing to do with … well, anything.

Jim from Red Bay

Hey, John. It seems we have the same record as the two teams in last year's Super Bowl. Maybe it's not how you start but how you finish! What say you?

It's not how you start but how you finish.

Brendan from Yulee, FL

How many games are the Jags going to "flush" down the toilet this season? Seems to be a theme with the team finding every possible way to lose games.

The Jaguars have lost three games this season. I projected them as a six-to-eight-victory(ish) team before the season and that still feels right(ish). That means they could lose nine-to-eleven-victory(ish) more games. So, yeah … they could flush a few more this season. It's the first season of new regime that took over a team that won four games over the past two seasons. There are going to be ups and downs. And some flushing.

Ed from Jacksonville

Can you be considered a franchise quarterback when you are 0-3 against a team that has won only five games during that timeframe?

Two of Lawrence's losses to the Texans were during a rookie season with horrendous circumstances. If you want to consider games played in those circumstances when assessing Lawrence, it's whatever. Such assessments don't matter in the big picture. Lawrence didn't play well Sunday. In the big picture, he needs to develop so games such as Sunday's are rare. If he does, few will remember Sunday and he will be fine.

Gero from Wenden, Germany

Hello, John. Not that there was any hope of making the playoffs, but you HAVE to win against teams like Washington and Houston. As for the idea of a seven-to-nine win season, that's done with Sunday's result.


Miffed from Hilliard

Generational QB? The BOAT (No. 5) made better throws than our generational No. 16. Keep it up and we'll be in line for a replacement in 2023, right?

I don't know that former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles often made throws that were better than those Lawrence makes. If you say so, fine. I don't expect the Jaguars will be looking for a replacement at quarterback in the 2023 offseason.

JR The Squatchlands

That was ugly! Why do we always play down to our competition?

The Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts 24-0 in Week 2 and the Los Angeles Chargers 38-10 in Week 3.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

John, the team needs a big body wide to stretch the defense for 50/50 balls. Look around the league. Every young successful quarterback has a wide receiver like that.

The Jaguars have some good, productive NFL receivers. It's a better group than last season and I expect the group to be productive. I absolutely think Lawrence would benefit from an above-the-Xs-and-Os wide receiver who could more consistently win 50-50 balls and make spectacular plays.

Geoff from Gilbert

Back to being the worst team in the league. The order has been restored. Got me worried there for a few weeks.

Decent teams lose to winless teams in the NFL. The Jaguars are not the worst team in the league. But it's understandable fans feel disappointed and angry after the loss to the Texans. They expected more. It's up to the Jaguars to get fans to expect more again.

Cliff from everywhere with helicopter

Maybe there was something to that "the Colts and Chargers were depleted by injuries to key players" theory after all.

The one-sided nature of those two victories always had something to do with injuries to the Colts and Chargers. Both teams were without their best wide receivers, and both teams had other significant injuries. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was playing with injured ribs. Injures such as those impact games. Those injuries were not why the Jaguars won. They almost certainly contributed to them winning by a combined 62-10.

Josh from Palm Harbor, FL

Our lowly team last year beat the Buffalo Bills and made quarterback Josh Allen look bad last season. Count me as someone not worried about Trevor's progress at all. He's got what it takes.

It's the NFL. Young quarterbacks have bad games. Lawrence had a bad game Sunday. He must learn from it and learn from a lot of things this season. And yes … one fer Lawrence.

Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Any thoughts on why wide receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk were MIA against Houston?

The Texans played Cover 2 about 98 percent of Sunday's game, which Head Coach Doug Pederson said took away some plays designed for Kirk. Zay Jones was targeted eight times. He caught three passes for 12 yards. He had a chance to make a play on several other throws. He couldn't catch a pass that was slightly high over the middle early in the game and he couldn't make a play on a pass that was defended well in the second quarter. Either would have been a really good play.

Ed from Danvers, MA

Was it raining in Philadelphia Sunday?


Armand from Jville

Trevor's last year was a debacle so throw it out and this is Trevor's Rookie 1A season. What say you KOAF?

There's a lot of truth in this. Pederson hasn't said this specifically, but he has talked enough about quarterbacks needing consistency around them – and about quarterbacks flourishing in the second year in an offensive system – that you get real idea that Jaguars coaches see it at least close to this way. That's not giving Lawrence "a pass." It's not saying the Jaguars aren't trying to win. It's not OK for Lawrence to struggle. But there absolutely is confidence around the Jaguars that he will improve and be more consistent with more time in the offense.

Jami from Wye Mills, MD

When the coach and the players start speaking in clichés, we are doomed again. Same team, same results.

Coaches and players say what they say after games. The words do not portend doom.

Adam from St Johns

I don't think you truly get it. You keep talking about this and that. That game was awful and exactly the Jaguars. You keep talking like this team is better. Where? Excuse after excuse, John O.

Maybe I don't get it, Alan, but my job is to talk and write about the Jaguars. I therefore have to talk and write about something – this, that or whatever. Yes, Sunday was bad. And disappointing. Where are the Jaguars better than last season? Pretty much everywhere. I suppose I could shut up and not answer questions following games. If I did, what would there be for you to dislike?