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O-Zone: More than a minute

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Ross from Jacksonville

The average margin of victory this season in the NFL is just 9.7 points, the LOWEST since 1932. Jaguars have a margin of victory in the wins of 10.83. Games in the NFL are tough to win and often are not won in blowout fashion. Just give me one point more than the other guys. Go Jags.

Good eye, and good perspective. Your point that NFL games are rarely blowouts goes further than this.  Even NFL games decided by seven-to-10 points are often not decided until the final four minutes with multiple such games decided on one or two plays. Consider the Jaguars' road victories over the Pittsburgh Steelers (20-10) and Indianapolis Colts (31-21) this season. The Jaguars needed a field goal and touchdown, respectively, in the final half of the fourth quarter of those games to secure those victories. Had the Jaguars not scored those game-clinching points, late drives by the opponent would have been game-deciding. Remember: These are professional football players and coaches. The nature of the draft and the salary cap means there are talented players on all teams and coaching staffs who work year-round – and tirelessly each week – game-planning for ways to beat opponents. What makes the Jaguars' five-game winning streak particularly remarkable is they haven't trailed in the second half of any of those games. That's closing games in the NFL effectively. You're not supposed to beat teams by three touchdowns with comfortable second-half margins in this league. You approach each game trying to win. If you do, you succeed whatever the score.

Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville

After eight games last year, the Jaguars' record was 2-6, the mirror opposite of the current 2023 record. They went 7-2 during the second half of the 2022 schedule including having to win the last five in a row to win the division. I know we all want homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, but do you think 5-4 at least gets them into the playoffs or wins the division?

Your scenario would mean the Jaguars finishing 11-6. The second-place Houston Texans would need to have a record of at least 7-2 in the final nine games in that scenario to win the division. Even with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud playing well, that's a tough ask. So, yes … I think 5-4 over the last nine games would win the AFC South for the Jaguars.

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, congratulations to Tom Coughlin. Also thank you to all our military veterans. Mr. Coughlin always reminds me of a military mind. Without his precision approach and attention to detail, the Jaguars may not have existed for long. Yet his honor and courage made this franchise thrive in those early years. He set a marker for what every franchise should become. Thank you, Tom, as a vet and a fan, thank you.

One fer Coughlin.

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF – I've noticed defensive end Dawuane Smoot is moving around like normal and seems to be affecting the quarterback. It could be a game changer if he could start adding to our sack totals. Big congrats to Smoot on returning to the field after his Achilles injury!

One fer Smoot.

Nate from Southside

While roughing the passer has become excessive, I agree with its intent. However, I think the quarterback slide past the line of scrimmage should be eliminated. It also creates needless penalties when tacklers can't make last minute acrobatic adjustments if they choose to slide. Do you think there is any chance they ever do away with it - particularly since there are more running quarterbacks?

I agree with your premise and the rule allowing quarterbacks protection if they slide when running past the line of scrimmage indeed leads to some clunkiness, awkwardness and unfairness. But it's a rule designed to protect quarterbacks and I see no scenario in which the league moves away from protecting quarterbacks.

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, the Jags seem to be on schedule. The opposing teams coming in the next few weeks are what makes the NFL great. Who has a better second half, the offense or defense? Quarterback Trevor Lawrence's trajectory reminds me more of John Elway's every day. The third year it all came together. A fan is looking forward to some exciting football or at least should, right?

I would expect the Jaguars' defense to have a better second half of the season than the offense. This not because I think the offense will be bad, but the defense has been consistently good and I would be surprised at this point if that changed. Yes, you would expect exciting football moving forward. There's no reason that will change, either.

Crash from Glen Saint Mary

OZ! The 49ers love to run the ball. The Big Cats are excellent at stopping the run. Travon Walker will have a great day as the Jags win.

One fer Walker.

David from Oviedo, FL

Zone - I think we win this game by keeping the defense fresh, meaning the Jaguars' offense must maintain drives. Too many 3 and outs and we're in trouble.

This has been something of a hidden strength for this team this season. While the Jaguars' offense has struggled at times in the red zone, they have had relatively few three-and-out possessions. That has kept the defense rested and helped the Jaguars often have positive field position.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Do you expect Jags fans to show up for this game? When we play a traditional team, it always seems that their fans pack our stadium just as much as our fans. We need home field advantage to mean something.

I do expect Jaguars fans to show up Sunday. I also expect there will be a lot of 49ers fans for the reason you cite. The 49ers are a traditional team with a large, passionate fan base. When traditional teams play road games, there are often a lot of fans of the traditional team in the stands. I'm sure fans will complain about this Sunday and I'm sure some observers will criticize and mock Jacksonville for this. But this is not a Jaguars thing. It's a league-wide thing.

_Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville      _

Data shows 53 percent of tickets for this sold-out game are going to San Fran-located people. Owner Shad Khan needs to step in and address this at the front office. Other teams take charge of the ticket sales and deal with this. First suggestion, use the data to determine which accounts are owned by ticket brokers, resellers and SCALPERS then add on a "redistribution fee" on their season tickets. You shouldn't be buying season tickets JUST to resell or make money off them. Either make it financially unattractive to do so or ban them from buying those season tickets so people who are local fans can. Second idea, find those tickets who are local and those who are not, identify the out-of-market accounts and validate they are coming to the games. Bottom line: Other teams limit external out-of-market sales. This has been going on for a long time and the typical justification has been "the team is so bad why not resell the tickets." That is NO LONGER AN EXCUSE. We are 6-2 and San Fran is going to come in and take over the Bank. DTWD and all us loyal fans are really frustrated with this. We need to teal out this stadium weekly. Thanks for listening, I know you don't have answers, but I hope Shad reads this and hears our frustrations. DUUUVAL!


Bradley from Sparks, NV

The 49ers seem slightly better at most every position besides special teams and quarterback. Is this the type game where Lawrence has a chance to vault himself to the next level?

The 49ers have more name recognition around their roster than the Jaguars. I don't know that they're more talented at all the positions you cite. I don't know, for example, if it's fair to say position groups for the 49ers on defense are playing better than the Jaguars this season. This is not a knock on the 49ers' position groups. Rather, it's the reality that the Jaguars' defensive line, linebackers and secondary are playing at an extremely high level. Are the 49ers' skill players outside quarterback significantly better as a group than the Jaguars' skill players? Perhaps, but I wouldn't argue it vehemently. As for Lawrence having a chance to vault himself to the next level … sure, a game against a team as good as the 49ers always presents such an opportunity. If he plays well against the 49ers' defense, he is capable of making a huge difference. He's capable of doing that. Stay tuned.

Scott from Daytona Beach, FL

Congratulations to Tom Coughlin for going into the Pride of the Jaguars next year. How long do you think it may take for Urban Meyer to make it in?

We continue to talk here in the O-Zone about the importance of being "nice." As with many questions that prompt the discussion, this was not "nice."