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O-Zone: Lucky girl

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jim from Jagsonville

Not sure about the toe, but that strong-arm sure looked good! Go Trevor!! Jaguars on the hunt!!!

There's a lot to cover regarding the Jaguars' 36-22 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday. A defense that forced four turnovers and registered four sacks. A memorable victory in a venue where the Jaguars hadn't won since 2013. The fact that the Jaguars are two games behind the Titans in the AFC South with four games remaining – and a home game against Titans remaining in the regular-season finale. And yes, there was the pre-game storyline of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence's toe. But the big-picture story Sunday – and over the last month – is Lawrence. He is rapidly putting to rest any doubts about whether he is the Jaguars' future and whether he will fulfill the potential that made him the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. He completed 30 of 42 passes for a career-high 386 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions Sunday. He also stiff-armed his way to a rushing touchdown. He's starting to do special things routinely. And he's playing at a high level consistently enough that you know it's no fluke. The strong-arm kid indeed looks good. The Jaguars have their franchise quarterback. This is going to get fun.

Nick from Annapolis, MD

If Lawrence had sustained a season-ending injury last week, this week would never have happened. So ya, that was pretty big.

Lawrence played Sunday with a toe injury, an injury that looked far worse when Lawrence initially sustained it in a loss to the Detroit Lions last week. Lawrence's development remains the No. 1 storyline around this franchise. Sunday's game was huge for the Jaguars. That continued development is huger.

Nick from St. Augustine, FL

He's the guy, isn't he?

Yes.

Mike from Omaha, NE

Is it too soon to call Trevor Lawrence one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL? I don't see any QB who is better than Trevor, and just a few who are as good.

It's a little too soon to call him that because he hasn't done it over the course of a season, or several months. But Lawrence in the last five games is playing at a level where you at minimum know he's going to be really good. And it appears he's on his way to being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Maybe pretty soon.

Karter from Monterey

Time to gush, Zone! T-Law has been great and we have a future that looks bright. What's wrong with the run game, though?

The Jaguars' run game indeed has stagnated a bit in recent weeks. One reason is teams focused on it after running back Travis Etienne Jr. got hot and rushed for more than 100 yards a game in three consecutive games from Weeks 7-9. Another is that the Jaguars aren't a dominant run-blocking line in terms of simply driving opponents off the ball. But let's keep this in a little perspective. Yes, the Jaguars would like to run better than the 60 yards on 25 carries they produced Sunday. But if teams are concerned enough about the run to open the passing game – and if the Jaguars' short passing game is producing – the Jaguars can live with OK run numbers. In Head Coach Doug Pederson's offense, it's more about overall production. But they do need to improve. It's still difficult for Lawrence to carry the offense to the extent he did Sunday.

P Funk from Murray Hill

Do any of us know what we are talking about?

No comment.

Dave from Waunakee

Has Riley Patterson been very consistent so far after all the preseason kicker angst?

Patterson has converted 18 of 22 field goals this season. He had a little hiccup when he missed three in a two-game stretch in early November, but young kickers have little hiccups. He has been very consistent.

Clayton from Shawnee, OK

When us fans look back on this season, we're gonna wonder how all those one-possessions games didn't go Jax's way. Future is bright though!

Fans certainly will wonder about that. But there's little mystery. The Jaguars lost a slew of one-score games this season because they were a young team learning to win. They're not "there" yet." They're far from perfect. But they do seem to be learning.

Tom from Jax

Did the Titans grab on every contested play. Refs seemed out of balance.

It's always officiating in the NFL.

Scott from Palm Coast, FL

The one-yard touchdown run by Lawrence immediately became one of my top 5 all-time Jags plays. Do you think the stiff arm was spur of the moment or was it something designed? Either way, very symbolic and instantly legendary.

Lawrence's one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter indeed was the sort of play that will be replayed in the collective memory of Jaguars fans for a while. He rolled to his right, stiff-armed past linebacker Dylan Cole and outran cornerback Roger McCreary to the end zone. Pederson, smiling, told the media afterward they needed to ask Lawrence about the play. Lawrence said he probably should have handed the ball off and – also smiling – said it was the sort of play that was a great play primarily because it worked. So, yes ... the stiff-arm was very much spur of the moment.

Don from Marshall, NC

I do not know what you said to the team last week but it worked. What a game! Go Jaguars!

I am the king of all funk.

Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

It's almost like the NFL is a week-to-week league.

Indeed it is. The reality is that the main storyline of the Jaguars' season remains the same as it has been since September. This is a dramatically improved team that clearly is moving in the right direction. It was true after a Week 1 loss to Washington and it has been proven true essentially weekly since. The Jaguars have lost a bunch of close games and have been a play or two away from winning most weeks. They are indeed that close to being in really good postseason position. When the Jaguars lost in one-sided fashion to the Detroit Lions last Sunday. the panic that ensued overlooked that teams often have a bad game or two during the course of an NFL season. Whereas the Jaguars couldn't get that one turnover or one play to turn the momentum back in Detroit, they got that turnover or two Sunday. As a result, they pushed into the lead at halftime. As a result of getting the lead, the defense had a chance to rush the passer in the second half and the offense played downhill in the second half.  Such small things can have big results in a week-to-week league.

Jon from Brentwood, UK

So, Zone. Maybe playing a better overall game and not worrying so much about the so called "king" Henry is the answer?

This question speaks to one of my overriding beliefs about the NFL. I've always wondered at players, coaches and fans who talk about building to beat the teams in your division. I've always thought it better to build a team that's the best in your division and let other teams worry about beating you. The Jaguars in a sense showed that Sunday. Titans running back Derrick Henry indeed had a nice game and rushed for 121 yards, 119 in the first half. But the Jaguars played so well offensively – and forced enough turnovers – to take a very good running back out of the game. Lawrence looks like he might be really, really good – good enough to make other teams worry about the Jaguars more than they worry about other teams. That would be cool. Fans would like it.

Brad from The Avenues

My head's spinning John! I don't even know what to say, I'm just so freaakin happy!

Winning is cool. Fans like it. Especially in Nashville.

Mike from Cartersville (AKA Trevortown), GA

"Life finds a way". So… are the playoffs still on the table? What's interesting for me is who they've beaten and played well against. I could see them being that team everyone would quietly hope to avoid in January.

The playoffs are absolutely on the table for the Jaguars. The Jaguars are two games behind the Titans with four remaining. They play the Titans at home in the regular-season finale. If the Jaguars don't lose again and the Titans lose one to a team other than the Jaguars, the Jaguars win the South. That's not likely. It's also not outlandish.

Mike from Cortland, NY

A little Ellie update for those who care. We left the hospital today after 108 days, down 14-7. At home, she watched us storm back right along side me. I don't know if I believe in luck, but she sure feels like good luck today!

Another fer Elle.

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