JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Michael from Orange Park, FL
One fer Ross and Josh, but a little disappointed so many Jaguars players got snubbed.
You're referencing Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen and long snapper Ross Matiscik being named to the 2024 Pro Bowl Games. This announcement came Wednesday night, and Allen and Matiscik were indeed the only Jaguars players initially named. Both are very deserving, and Allen perhaps deserves particular acknowledgement. He has a franchise-record 16.5 sacks through 16 games and earned his way to the honor at a premium position, playing so well he made it difficult – if not impossible – to snub him. There certainly were other deserving Jaguars players, many of whom I expect will be Pro Bowl alternates. I expect such a list could include players such as tight end Evan Engram, linebacker Foye Oluokun, running back Travis Etienne Jr. and cornerback Darious Williams. That's just a guess and there could be more. I can't say those players got "snubbed" because most teams have players who come close to the Pro Bowl and don't make it. It's an imperfect system. But players in that group deserve recognition. Here's hoping it happens for them.
John from Jax
The Jags have been ineffective running the ball in a number of games and yet ETN is still eighth in the NFL in rushing yards. Here's hoping he gets to 1,000 this weekend.
Etienne has 951 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns this season. Considering the issues around the Jaguars' rushing game, reaching 1,000 yards would be a heck of an accomplishment. And a well-deserved one.
Don from Marshall NC
When you mention the best running backs of all time then you're talking about Fred Taylor. The power and speed and the cutting ability was just outstanding. Besides that, he is a class act. A real gentleman, you can tell. He was always nice to the fans and gave back to the community. He would dominate in today's game. We could use him along with Jimmy Smith! Go Jaguars!
When it comes to former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, Dom remains "all in" – and why not?
Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA
O, I'm very nervous about the Titans game. The defense carried the team last week until the offense kicked in later. The old saying is that a good defense "travels." Do you think the Jags defense can carry the team again this week — particularly considering quarterback Trevor Lawrence's status?
The Jaguars' defensive line was a matchup advantage against the Titans' offensive line in the Jaguars' victory over the Titans in November. That should be the case again when the teams play Sunday in the regular-season finale.
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL
Hey, O-man, first you don't suck. Ever. Whoever thinks that, well they need to rethink their definition of sucking. Richard's email was great. Recently I found out I need to go in for surgery almost immediately –nothing life-threatening, but the sooner the better. They initially said they could do it the first week of January. I looked at the doctor and laughed. He was perplexed. I told him not a chance and to schedule it for the middle of February. He asked why. I simply responded, "Dude, the Jaguars will have a home playoff game and I will be there! Not recuperating from back surgery." He must have understood and told me fair enough. My wife and the Jags make my life worth living. Maybe that is some screwed up priorities, but I own it. JAGS: If you are reading this, go win this game, man. #DUUUVAL!
James from Socorro, NM
Congrats to Josh Allen for breaking the franchise record for sacks. Do you think re-signing him is the No. 1 priority during the offseason?
Retaining Allen will be a priority. Whether that will take the form of the franchise tag or a long-term contract extension, I don't yet know.
Dave from Waterloo, Canada
Hi, John. While I do not feel as negatively as some of the fans regarding Trevor Lawrence, is it not problematic that we are even having these conversations about him being the franchise quarterback in his third year? Even with all the turnovers, you do not hear comments like that about Josh Allen – and even with the offensive struggles. you never hear that about Patrick Mahomes. To me the fact it's even part of the dialogue is the worry.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes are in their seventh and eighth NFL seasons, respectively. They play for perennial playoff teams and therefore are past the point where their statuses as franchise quarterbacks are discussed that much. It's fair for observers and fans to discuss Lawrence's status. He has had stretches in three NFL seasons in which he has looked very good and he has had stretches in which he hasn't looked nearly as good. He hasn't looked good the past few weeks when he has played. He looked really good a few weeks before that. Some of that is circumstances. Some of that is Lawrence still needing to continue to grow. How worrying is it? My thought is the struggles of the last few weeks are mainly because of miscommunication, his injuries and still trying to do too much. I still would rather have him – and his future – than a lot of quarterbacks.
Abuela from Barranquilla, Colombia
Senor O- Can you reprint some of your projections on season ending stats for TL, Travis, and wide receiver Calvin Ridley? I know this isn't nice, but I don't think any of the three are living up to their preseason hype.
I don't project season-ending statistics. I don't find the process particularly interesting, informative or pertinent.
Eric from Jacksonville
I have to admit: I've always really liked tight end Evan Engram but wasn't sure about them giving him a contract in the offseason knowing that we had big paydays coming up for Trevor, Josh and potentially Ridley and cornerback Tyson Campbell. Boy, was I wrong. He has been one of the best pass catchers – if not the best -- we have this season. His catch rate is through the roof. He has been reliable and healthy, and it's proving to be a great investment. I know I should be watching my diet after the holidays, so I hope there's not a ton of calories in this big old piece of humble pie that I'm eating.
JK from NY and Fernandina Beach
John - The Jags are playing for a second consecutive AFC South title. The Titans will be playing to get a win in Derrick Henry's likely finale at Tennessee. Which team has the bigger incentive?
The Jaguars are playing Sunday to accomplish the first goal of every NFL team, to win their division. They have won four division titles in franchise history and haven't won back-to-back division titles since winning the AFC Central in 1998 and 1999. The Titans are out of the postseason. Yes, Tennessee will want to win in what could be Henry's final game with the team. That shouldn't compare to the Jaguars' incentive.
_Brian from Round Rock, TX _
How many games did the media cost the Jags this year by pumping the players full of sunshine and ruining their mindset? They're like an infection. As far as I can tell, it's just starstruck butt-kissing. These guys all thought they were going undefeated and they're spending the whole year in shock that they're not great. I miss the days when media was tough and feared.
The media doesn't cost teams games.
Dave from RI
Why is that some websites say the Denver Broncos have been eliminated from the playoffs but you and some other websites say the Jags would need the Steelers and the Broncos to lose if the Jags lose Sunday?
This is how it has been explained to me. If the Jaguars and the Steelers tie at 9-8, the Jaguars win the tiebreaker because of their head-to-head victory over the Steelers. If the Jaguars/Steelers/Broncos tie at 9-8, the tiebreaker becomes strength of victory. Pittsburgh has clinched that tiebreaker over the Jaguars, so the Jaguars need Denver to lose or tie to avoid the three-team tie.
Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
If they are not injured, shouldn't Lawrence, Etienne, Engram, Ridley and wide receiver Zay Jones be on the field in the red zone? Even with execution issues, our starters should score with regularity. Could it be the playbook, play calls or personnel on the field that are more problematic?
The players you mentioned are the Jaguars' best skill players. They're on the field in the red zone more than other players, though there are personnel packages with other players necessarily involved. Scoring in the red zone is hard. It's particularly hard when you don't run well. That's true no matter how good your skill players are.
Dave from Jacksonville
Zone, what a great year. Highs, lows and a win-and-you-are-in-sceneaio for the last game against a division rival, on the road. Did I miss something or is this not exciting?
You didn't miss anything.