JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL
O, going for it on fourth down in the third quarter on your side of the field was STUPID. It changed the momentum to the Chargers and the Jags never recovered. That's enough proof that Doug needs to be let go.
You're referencing the Jaguars going for it on fourth-and-2 with a 21-16 lead during the third quarter of their 39-29 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday. The Chargers stopped a scramble by Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II on the play, and they took a 22-21 lead six plays later. I didn't love the decision at the time, but Head Coach Doug Marrone said later he went into the game with the mindset of being aggressive. He showed that mindset by going for four fourth downs and three two-point conversions. He was on the road with a five-game losing streak, a young team and a beat-up defense so the approach made sense on that level. I suppose if you're looking for reasons that Marrone should be fired, you could use the play you cite as evidence. I also suppose there are worse coaching crimes than being aggressive considering the Jaguars' situation Sunday. The Jaguars also took a 29-22 lead after the sequence to which you refer so maybe they kinda/sorta recovered? At least for a while?
Kyan from La Mars, IA
Robinson is good, maybe really good. Minshew is improved when the run game gets going. However, arm strength matters. He has to hit those shots downfield. Do you think Minshew is losing the faith of WR?
Running back James Robinson indeed is really good – better than I imagined he could be entering the season. He's more than just a cool story, having made the team as an undrafted free agent. He looks like a legitimate long-term NFL running back – and a good one. As far quarterback Gardner Minshew II … yes, it's hard to not watch him and think arm strength is an issue. There appear to be too many throws he can't or won't make. I can't read the receivers' minds and it's not something they will say publicly if they were losing faith. I would probably say they're frustrated. But everyone's frustrated. Losing sucks.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL
The pack is thinning slightly, the teal car still in the pack hot on the heels of the green car! #theLawerence500
You go, girl.
Paul from Holly Springs, FL
Do you feel like we're setting ourselves up for failure? We aren't giving our players a chance of success.
I feel like when teams lose, fans typically believe coaches aren't giving players a chance for success. I also feel like the Jaguars' roster overall not being as good or as experienced as the rosters of the teams they're playing hurts their chance of success far more than coaching.
Tommy from Spring Hill, TN
All I keep hearing is Minshew is struggling and week in and week out. This offensive line never gives him a clean pocket to throw from. This organization is delusional about this offensive line as a unit. In my opinion they are bad.
I guess we'll agree to disagree. The line is OK – not great, maybe, but OK. The group didn't have its best game Sunday. It looked like it again missed right guard A.J. Cann and it appeared that rookie Ben Bartch struggled. But to say the line hasn't given Minshew a clean pocket this season … well, that's just incorrect. And it's not a bad offensive line this season.
James from Lawrenceville, NJ
It's hard to win in the NFL, but is it really so difficult as facing six teams in a row each with 1 win or less and losing to each of them? Clearly so.
Terry from Cordele, GA
It is not uncommon for a second-year quarterback to go through a sophomore slump. Minshew had a pretty good rookie year, so does this year mean more or less because of expectations for a sixth-round pick, and if he had been a top 10 pick would we be calling this a sophomore slump instead of a disaster?
I have gotten a lot of versions of this question for the last several months, and I expect to get more versions of it moving forward. I don't know what to call Minshew's struggles. I do know that the same issues that appear to be causing Minshew to struggle this season caused him to struggle last season – and there were a lot of games in which Minshew struggled last season. Those struggles caused there to be very serious concerns entering this season, and they center around major issues such as pocket presence, arm strength and ability to make necessary throws downfield. And while I understand people wondering if he would be treated the same if he were a Top 10 selection, the question doesn't apply because the things that caused him NOT to be a Top 10 selection are the concerns – particularly arm strength.
Jordan from Jacksonville
Losing is winning and winning is losing.
Chiana from Munich, GM
Receivers don't catch balls, the defense doesn't stop anything, how is it the QB again?
No one ever said it's JUST the quarterback. But if you couldn't see in recent weeks – and again Sunday – that Minshew was struggling I don't know how to explain it.
Brian from Cranford, NJ
It's clear as day that after watching Sunday's game, although entertaining at times, was all about Gardner Minshew II utilizing checkdown after checkdown because he cannot throw the ball into coverage downfield. The reason for this is because he just doesn't have the arm strength. The sideline throw to Chris Conley was a thing of beauty, but until we find a quarterback who can really throw intermediate and deep balls with some life on them, the gameplay will continue to be the same. I really like Minshew and want him to do well, but change is needed, and hopefully our answer will be in the draft.
The analysis of Minshew has pretty much focused on the points you make, and with reason. Through seven games this season, Minshew indeed has had a lot of good moments – and he has shown there are absolutely NFL throws he can make. The touch pass such as the 28-yard touchdown to wide receiver Chris Conley Sunday is a strength, and he can make really nice timing throws the sidelines at times. But the concern about Minshew entering the NFL – and after his rookie season – was arm strength for precisely the reasons you cite. And for the reasons we have seen through seven games. It's the main storyline around him right now, and a question he has yet to answer.
The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL
Good teams find ways to win games. Bad teams find ways to lose them ... and right now, this is a bad team.
Nick from St, Augustine, FL
Five sacks. But I thought our o-line was good? Must be on Minshew. No Coughlin.
Good eye – partially, at least. A few of the sacks absolutely were on Minshew and he said as much after the game. The offensive line didn't play its best game Sunday, but it has been good more often than not this season. No, Sunday's sacks weren't on former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin. He didn't play Sunday.
Art from Drexel Hill, PA
We've been rebuilding for the past 20 years. When does it end?
I don't know. But not yet.
I'll agree with Cristiano that we're not tanking and that we're just a bad team. But based on our offseason moves, it's hard to say that we aren't a bad team on purpose and that they shouldn't have seen this coming from miles away. But sure... "not tanking…"
The Jaguars made their offseason moves to get the salary cap in order moving forward, and to move on from players they believed were in decline. They also traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue because the sides couldn't work out a long-term deal. They weren't trying to get worse.
Biff from Jacksonville
I see a team that is simply outplayed by better talent. What do you see?
A Biff with a good eye.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey, John. I don't understand the whole backup quarterback thing. If Minshew continues to struggle, why not give Luton a chance? If you are not confident that he is better than Mike Glennon, than you should not have drafted him. An at 1-5 or even worse, why not give the kid a chance? Only heard good things about him. Can you try to explain?
Not all quarterbacks are ready midway through their rookie seasons. If the Jaguars continue to struggle, I would expect to see rookie Jake Luton at some point this season. It's not shocking that we wouldn't see him by Week 7.
Michael from Where is This Team?
John, so many questions ... so much disappointment. I have to imagine no one in the building envisioned a collapse in all three phases of the team. What's left?