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O-Zone: Looking up

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Andy from Orlando, FL

Seriously, Zone? We can't even get a Sunday night game with the division on the line?

The Jaguars will play the Tennessee Titans for the AFC South title at TIAA Bank Field Saturday at 8:15 p.m. It's an ESPN/ABC game, so I don't know that not getting a Sunday night game was a huge "slight." Still, you could make an argument that the NFL could have done the Jaguars a bit more of a "solid" by not making them play on five days rest considering the Titans played on Thursday in Week 17. But you know what? The division title is on the line. The Jaguars are a young team on a four-game winning streak. They have the feel of a team on the rise. The Titans are fighting injuries with a reserve quarterback. The Titans have lost six consecutive games. Go win the game.

Sean from Saint Johns City

What would it take at this point for the Jaguars to lose next week and get in as a wild-card?

The Jaguars can't make the playoffs as a wild-card team if they beat the Titans because they would win the AFC South in that scenario. They can make the playoffs as a wild-card team at 8-9 with a loss to Tennessee if the Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots, AND the Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, AND the New York Jets beat the Miami Dolphins.

Julio from Southern California

O, Can the Jags still win the division if they lose the last game?

No. If the Jaguars lose to the Titans, the Titans will win the AFC South because of a better record in division games.

PDub from Miami

O' Mighty Zoner, it looks like Marvin Jones Jr. drops too many passes. He had a few drops Sunday. I know it was a big win, but we need our receivers to catch passes and not drop them. With Calvin Ridley coming on board next year, I say cut Jones and work on improving our defense. What say you?

I say Marvin Jones Jr. is the Jaguars' third receiver and is a very good third receiver. He's an unrestricted free agent following this season and I suspect he will sign elsewhere next season.

Shawn from the mean streets of Arlington

The tide has turned.

Good eye. The Jaguars are good. That doesn't guarantee they will beat the Titans Saturday. But they have won four consecutive games and six of eight. They beat two postseason teams – the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys – during that span. They also beat two teams, the New York Jets and Titans, contending for the postseason at the time of the game. They have rallied twice from 17 points behind. They have handled situations methodically in the last two weeks to enhance their postseason status. They are doing things good teams do. In that sense, yes … the tide has turned.

Bushhog from Wake Forest, NC

I just wanted to drop a line to let you know that winning is cool. As a fan, I like it!


Gary from Fleming Island

Lawrence was overthrowing the intermediate routes today, do you think that is because of his toe? He had a tendency to overthrow early in games earlier this season, but he always zeroed in as the game went on. It's all about Lawrence now, and the future is bright!

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence missed a few throws Sunday. He completed 17 of 21 passes. The best quarterbacks miss a few throws from time to time.

Bill from Middleburg, FL

A minute left in overtime in next week's game, the Jaguars have the ball on their own 30 and the Titans are out of timeouts. Do you just go into victory formation or do you try to score?

What's the score?

Mike from Cartersville (AKA Trevortown), GA

They've won four straight and won the last two by a combined 50-6. They're beginning to peak as they go into the playoffs. Is this the year? What kind of story would that be? They'd probably get their own 30-30 doc on ESPN.

It would be a good story if the Jaguars won the Super Bowl. They would probably get a documentary or two. They have won four consecutive games. They must win five more without losing to get that documentary. Let's let them beat the Titans before we start writing the script.

Jason from Duuuuuval

Winning is cool. I like it.


John from Jax

Zone, everyone likes to talk about streaks… how about eight quarters without allowing a touchdown! One fer the "D."

That's a good streak. The Jaguars in the last two weeks have played teams with difficult quarterback situations and they have taken advantage of those situations in a big way. Whatever the opposing quarterback situation, two field goals allowed in three weeks is impressive. One fer the "D."

Big on Blake from Philly

Zone, is this what it's like to root for a good team? They won as they should have. There wasn't suspense and no back and forth where the Texans ever had a chance at the end. Winning is cool, but this was kind of boring.

Yes, this is what it's like to root for a good team. Sometimes. Remember: Even really good NFL teams often only get a few 20-point victories in a given season. Most games are at least somewhat in doubt in the fourth quarter. The NFL is set up to make sure most games aren't "boring," even for really good teams.

Nick from Annapolis, MD

This is without a doubt a good offense. It's going to be able to put up points. There isn't much doubt about that heading into the playoffs. The defense on the other hand, I'm not so sure. Has it actually improved enough to be considered a "good enough" defense, or is the improvement somewhat of a mirage because of who we were playing? Has Williams on the outside made that much of a difference?

I don't know how to define mirage. And you don't define "good enough" in the NFL in a vacuum. The Jaguars' defense over the last eight games for the most part has played good enough to complement a very good offense. They were good enough the last two weeks to stifle two struggling offenses. I don't see this as a defense that can stifle a high-functioning, elite offense and I don't believe the Jaguars can beat elite teams without scoring in the mid-20s. But you know what? Very few teams have defenses that can stifle elite offenses and most teams can't beat elite teams without scoring in the mid-20s. The Jaguars' defense is making a lot of plays right now. They're making a lot at key times. That could be enough to complement this offense against a lot of opponents.

Garrett from Edgewater

Well zone, they've exceeded the expectations you had for them. Does it feel good to be off for once? I'm so hype but will be a wreck during the game next weekend. Most fun I've had with football in years.

I thought the Jaguars would be a six-to-seven-victory team. I also thought throughout the first half of the season that this was an improved team that was better than their two victories through eight games, which maybe means I was sorta wrong and sorta right. But yes … the coming week will be a combination of "so hype" all week and "wreck" come game time this week. That's December football. That's how meaningful football feels. That's why we watch. That's why fans care.

Brandon from Clemson, SC

We won.

Good eye.

Bobby From Section 410 and Summerville, SC

Hi, John. I know one offseason move the Jags need to make, backup quarterback. Beathard is not the answer. I have not been able to figure out what the coaching staffs see in him since he got here. He is terrible.

C.J. Beathard is a backup quarterback. While his contract expires after this season, I wouldn't be surprised if he's the Jaguars' backup quarterback again next season. Or not. Either way, what do people think backup quarterbacks look like?

Don from Marshall, NC

Division title on the line! Wow! Just super playing down the stretch! Now is the time for the big pay back! Go Jaguars!

Don remains "all in."

JT from Palm Coast

This has been one of the best seasons in the entire history of the franchise. Sure, they might not make it all the way to the AFC Championship this season. But in terms of changing the direction of a franchise, this year is one of the best ever. I can see the Jags being the kings of the AFC South for a while now. Exciting times in Jacksonville man!

The direction of the franchise indeed has changed. Win or lose Sunday, it's a new era. The Jaguars are out of the abyss. Exciting times? Indeed.