JACKSONVILLE – Merry Krimma to you and yours. And to me and mine. Mostly to me and mine, actually.
But sure … to you and yours, too.
Let's get to it …
Nick from Palatka, FL
Zone, Are you leaning toward the Jaguars winning one or both of these last two games and losing a shot at Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and thereby picking another promising – but not as sure a thing – quarterback? I know you're more observer than fan and picking up a generational/highly-hyped quarterback would probably attract a lot of media and fan attention that could possibly lead to more prime-time Jaguar exposure next year, thus ruining your preferred pattern of 1 p.m. kickoffs. Would you be willing to sacrifice for the team if Lawrence becomes a Jag?
I'm not "leaning" any particular way. But if Lawrence is the generational player most observers believe, I absolutely hope the Jaguars get the chance to select him. I hope this because I want the franchise to do well for many people I know, for Jaguars fans and yes … for me, personally. I write about and am around this franchise every day – and while professionalism means I strive as much as possible for objectivity in what I say and write, I obviously want what's best for the Jaguars. It benefits many people in many ways. So, of course I want the Jaguars to select Lawrence (if he's as good as everyone says). It would be a fascinating story and a franchise-changing move. And it would make not having all 1 p.m. home games worth it. Almost.
Clay from AB, FL
O, you have clearly laid out the different motivations for Sunday's game - fans want to lose, players and coaches want to win. But then you seem to just shrug and give it a "is what it is." Do you realize how frustrating that is for the fans? Without fans, there is no NFL. Period. It's just adult men playing a game, which happens in rec leagues all around the country. What separates the NFL from beer league softball is the fans, period. So, in the rare case when the interests of the fans and the players diverge, the fans' interests have to win, no?
I shrug and give what is essentially an answer of "it is what it is" when discussing the Trevor Lawrence Dilemma because what else is there to do? Yes, most fans want the Jaguars to lose so they can draft Lawrence. But players are going to play to win and coaches are going to coach to win. It's what they're supposed to do. No matter how frustrated fans might be, how is anyone supposed to prevent it?
Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124
Over the next two weeks, we'll be scolded repeatedly with the idea that "teams don't tank." So please remember that, in the last week of 2014, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were leading the New Orleans Saints 20-7 at halftime. If they won that game, they would've lost the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. In the second half, the Bucs gave a ton of playing time to backups and rookies. The Saints ended up winning, 23-20. And the Bucs secured the first pick in the draft.
Fair. And yes … this close to the end of the season, such a scenario isn't beyond the realm of possibility. Not even close.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, Texas
John: What odds would you give the Jaguars to win any of the games that we lost this year? I did some analysis and assumed that the Jaguars had only a five percent chance of winning each game during the franchise record of 13 straight losses. What I found is that there was a 51 percent chance to lose 13 in a row and only a 48 percent chance to lose 14 games and only a 46 percent chance to lose 15 games. That means that we have a better than 50 percent chance to win one of the next two games assuming we had at least a five percent chance to win. Please pass this on to Tony Khan in analytics.
I need a nap. Or an eggnog. And not just eggnog like out of a carton at Publix without anything in it. I need the real eggnog. You know what I mean.
Tori from The Westside of Jax
Zone, I'm trying to finish my holiday shopping on a budget, and am wondering if Gardner Minshew II jerseys will be 75 percent off this week, or if they'll continue to be full price for as long as the team believes he "gives them the best chance to win?"
Not my department, Tori – though I do get your angle.
Steve from Nashville
JO - Can we negotiate a contract with Trev's agent right now? Similar to Peyton Manning but with better wheels.
No. The Jaguars cannot negotiate with Lawrence's agent now. They have not secured the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. That won't likely happen until the end of the regular season. There have been cases when NFL teams have signed the No. 1 overall selection before the draft. It's too early to know what will happen on that front.
Jess from Glen Carbon, IL
"But this isn't a case of bias. This is a case of 1-13." It absolutely is a case of bias. It's the bias of voter's saying that a team that is 1-13 doesn't have any players worthy of the Pro Bowl, even when there are several players who have played at a Pro Bowl level. Football is a team sport. The voters are biasing the players based off the team's record.
That's not bias. That's just not knowing and being a little lazy. There's a difference.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL
Three selections in seventeen years and an overpriced mediocre free agent, that is neglectful!!! Especially when it at best those selections were questionable in their abilities from the start of their careers. They should have been taking one every year or at least every other year, he has every third year would have been prudent, you have to get the guy in this league and the guy has not been on this roster in seventeen long, long, long years.
Three selections in the Top 10 in 17 years actually is heavy investment in the quarterback position by NFL standards. If you add in the unrestricted free agent signing of Nick Foles, it's essentially investing major equity in the position once every four seasons. It's not incredibly neglectful, but considering the results … well, yeah … there were some bad decisions along the way.
Dave from Dallas, TX
Hey Mr. O: Whichever quarterback we draft (hopefully Lawrence), we sure need an offensive line to protect him. Are the incumbents good enough? If not, what's the answer. Thanks and Merry Krimma to you and the family.
The Jaguars' offensive line is not a major issue. I expect there could be one new player or so, perhaps at left tackle if Cam Robinson leaves as a free agent, but I don't expect there to be a major overhaul on the line in the offseason.
John from Cape May Court House
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal. Like you, I don't believe that the offensive line is that big of an issue. I also don't believe you need elite level play from your offensive line to win in this league. With that being said, there are some decisions that need to be made on the offensive line in 2021, particularly the left side. Left tackle Cam Robinson is an impending free agent and left guard Andrew Norwell will cost $15 million against the cap in 2021. While neither are elite by any means, I do believe that they are serviceable. I would lean towards franchising Robinson, which would be roughly $14 million. Then look to restructure Norwell to lessen the cap hit in 2021. The idea being is that I want veteran guys protecting the next quarterback who I know what they can do. It seems to me that the offensive line could be kicked down the road to be addressed another year. It doesn't seem that 2021 is the year to do that. Thoughts?
I don't disagree with much in your email. I'll leave it at that because it's less work just to say that than try to type something better.
Jags Fan 818 from Jacksonville
Can we please say the Minshew train has finally left the building?!
Can we say it? It's Week 16 and Minshew is competing with eight-year veteran Mike Glennon to start against the Chicago Bears Sunday. The train left a while back.
Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
Oh Mighty 'O' / King of all Funk, it has been a rough year all round. Here's hoping 2021 is an improvement. I wish you and your family, and fellow Jags fans a safe and happy Christmas. And two more losses. KRIMMA!