JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jim from Middleburg, FL
John O. Last game of regular season in Nashville with dreams of playoffs in our heads. Derrick Henry has always been a nightmare to stop. Yea, he's older and his O line ain't the best. I think he might the spoiler. You know he wants it!! This is bad.
This is a fair concern, and it's certainly a theme entering the Jaguars' 2023 regular-season finale against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday. Henry, the Titans' running back, indeed has had legendary games against the Jaguars – and though he hasn't been the dominant force this season that he has been through much of his career with the Titans, he remains a Pro Bowl player. He therefore remains very dangerous and he can dominate games under the right circumstances. Remember, though: The Titans' offensive line has struggled much of the season and is not the same Titans offensive line/offense it has been in previous seasons. The Jaguars' defensive line proved a favorable matchup in a victory over the Titans in November. Yes, Henry will "want it" Sunday. This might be his last game with the franchise and there will be incentive for the Titans to make it memorable. He can be a spoiler. But the Jaguars' defense is capable of stopping him and winning the matchup. Actually, the Jaguars' defense is supposed to stop him and win the matchup. It's critical that that happens Sunday.
Stuart from Cottonwood, AZ
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Tank Bigsby get a 12-yard run for a first down in the four-minute offense? Sounds like his stock is climbing, and it has been a while since we had "that guy."
Jaguars rookie running back Tank Bigsby indeed had a 12-yard run in a four-minute situation Sunday in a victory over the Carolina Panthers. That doesn't automatically mean his "stock is climbing." The Jaguars like Bigsby. I expect him to have a key role moving forward. I don't know that that role will be that much more extensive the rest of this season than it has been in recent weeks.
Mike from Omaha, NE
Hi, John. Winning records, playoffs and division titles two years in a row are pretty awesome and enjoyable!
The Jaguars can win a second consecutive AFC South title with a victory Sunday. They might miss the playoffs if they lose. This is contending in the NFL. This is the fun stuff.
Don from Marshall, NC
Let's face it. If the Jaguars have any hope of winning the Super Bowl this year it is going to come from Trevor. He needs to get hot this week and beat the Titans. I believe he could do this. I think this defense could get hot and dominate. This team is a lot better than their record indicates. No time to be half stepping it's on. Go Jaguars!
When it comes to full stepping, and when it comes to Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Don remains "all in."
Tom from Nocatee
Who cares about the Pro Bowl? Our guys are gonna be flying to Vegas on that Sunday anyway.
Tom, like Don before him, remains "all in."
Jason from North Pole, AK
I know left tackle Cam Robinson's 2024 cap figure has been mentioned a number of times. Isn't the most obvious answer to offer him a restructure/extension that lowers that hit and avoids competing for him in free agency later? Would love to see him finish his career here. It's been too long since a Jaguars player was drafted, signed multiple extensions, and retired here. Who is the last one you can think of?
You're right that it has been too long since a drafted player had a stellar career and retired with the franchise. Center Brad Meester comes to mind as having done this, but it hasn't happened often. It's also fair to note that in the salary-cap era it's uncommon for it to happen for any player for any NFL franchise. The cap just makes it very difficult. I agree that Robinson has proven himself important enough to be a player the team works to retain. I don't yet have a feel for whether that will happen. We'll see. The offseason is approaching fast.
Tim from Fort Wayne, IN
Do you have the list of Jacksonville's Pro Bowl alternates? I've seen several other teams that have posted theirs. Is it an organizational decision to not make them public, did they not have any alternates, or does being named a backup just not feel impressive enough to be worth posting? I'd love to know who else has a chance to get there.
Jaguars Pro Bowl alternates: Wide receiver Jamal Agnew, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, inside linebacker Foye Oluokun, cornerback Darious Williams, running back Travis Etienne Jr., tight end Evan Engram and punter Logan Cooke.
Crash from Glen Saint Mary
OZ! The best is yet to come. The Cats will win the AFC South. They'll beat the Brownies. Upset the Ravens.
I expect the Jaguars to beat the Tennessee Titans Sunday. They must play well to do it and the Titans are capable of winning, but the Jaguars should win. It would not surprise me if they won a postseason game after that. At least one.
Steve from Nashville, TN
With just one game remaining in the NFL 2023 regular season the NFL's scheduling format rises to the top again. Two divisions, the AFC and NFC South, still have three teams each vying for the division crown and the AFC East has a head-to-head matchup to decide who wins that division. It is hard to find another professional sport that consistently produces so many meaningful end of season games.
The NFL schedules division teams playing one another in Week 18. This is the case with every team in every division. Your odds of having Week 18 meaningful games in a 17-game season are therefore relatively good.
Peter from Jacksonville Beach
I was in the stadium last week watching the game. We had a third-and-five. I knew it was going to Engram. Everyone in the stadium knew it was going to Engram and the Panthers knew it was going to Engram. Quarterback C.J. Beathard passed it to Engram and the Jags got a first down. I feel like it has been a while since we've had that guy.
Jaguars tight end Evan Engram has become phenomenally reliable. That reliability has extended a lot of drives this season. The Jaguars have had a lot of seasons in which they haven't had a receiver so reliable. He's important to this offense, particularly on third down.
Levi from Huntsville
John, just level with me, is Trevor playing in the finale?
This is unknown as of this writing on Friday morning and I expect it will remain unknown until late Sunday morning. If I had to guess, I would guess Lawrence plays for the Jaguars on Sunday. That guess i based on him practicing twice on a limited basis this week whereas he did not practice at all before ruled out of last Sunday's victory over the Carolina Panthers. The guess is not based on anything more than that and I would guess there's a real chance Lawrence doesn't play. Either guess could be wrong.
Dan from Greer
There appears to be a rule in football that confounds me, which is confounding to say the least. The offense is heading in for a score along the sidelines. Around the one-yard line, the player is hit and fumbles the ball. The ball bounces into the end zone, where it goes out of bounds, untouched. For some reason, the defensive team is awarded the ball at their twenty-yard line. Is this really a rule? I couldn't understand why the ball wasn't considered down where the player fumbled it. This happened in the Dallas/Detroit game, and is the second time I've seen it happen this year. This time didn't make any more sense than the first time. I'd appreciate an explanation that could un-confound me.
NFL rules mandates that a fumble that goes out of the end zone toward which the offense is moving is a touchback. The ball therefore goes to the defensive team at the twenty-yard line. I'm not sure there's much of an explanation beyond that. I guess I see your point that possession could be awarded to the fumbling team at the point of the fumble. But that seems not to punish that team for making that mistake. The reality is there's probably not a perfect solution. I don't sense there ever being much of a push to change the rule, though. The solution? Don't fumble close to the goal line and don't reach the ball over the goal line. The latter would stop a lot of lost fumbles.
Biff from Jacksonville
Hey man, do you think, in spite of ourselves, we'll end up sittin' on a rainbow?
I ain't done nothin' since I woke up today.