JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jason from North Pole, AK
The Jaguars are winning, but national media seems to be critical of Trevor Lawrence. Why? Is it because he isn't putting up 300 yards and three touchdowns weekly? Fumbles? Just trying to figure out if I am viewing him through teal-colored lenses or if they aren't in tune to the great throws he has made.
I'll remind you of what a wise man said recently – that there good and bad NFL national analysts just as there are good and bad employees where you work. Remember, too: National analysts are asked to comment on and analyze 32 teams, most of which those analysts might see for an entire game once or twice a season. Aside from that, they see highlights. And look at statistics. And then they say whatever comes to mind when the producer counts down and says they're on the air. As far as the specifics of your question … Lawrence quarterbacked the Jaguars to five consecutive late-season victories to win the AFC South in his second season. He now is quarterbacking a 5-2 team that leads the AFC South seven games into his thirds season. He just played through a knee injury for a signature-type victory – 31-24 over the New Orleans Saints – on a short week and has made multiple big plays in an impressive four-game winning streak. This is a rather longwinded way of saying – again – not to worry about what national media says about your local team. Consume it if you like, but consider it for what it is. When it comes to what happens on the field, it means nothing.
Tom from Cairo, Egypt
Do you think some of the angst from fans is because we're starting games well as opposed to finishing games well? If you start well, get a lead, look good and then the other team comes back to make it close at the end, it feels like letting a bad team in. Start bad, go behind, come back and win you look gutsy, tough and like you overcame the stronger team.
Fans fan. Fanning means having angst and anger, irrationally and rationally. I suspect fans would be equally upset if the Jaguars were barely winning in come-from-behind fashion. The level of fans' concern means little when assessing this team. What matters is whether the Jaguars are playing winning football. And they are absolutely playing winning football. Remember: They have won four consecutive games and haven't trailed in the second half in any of those games. That's finishing well in the NFL.
Jz from j-ville -> Huntsville
Out of all the stuff from Thursday: Trevor is the gutsiest, toughest quarterback with the most heart in the NFL. People can throw all the stats and metrics they want, but he will be (and is) and a great NFL quarterback. Us fans should be grateful we have a team that knows how to win and has the guts to do it week in and week out and maybe focus a little less on what we wish they were. DUUUVALL!!!
Kelsey from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
KOAF, what do you think the odds are that we get a game or two flexed to prime time? I feel like we should, but historically we've not had these kinds of opportunities. Granted, we were awful, but still. Also, very ready for Duval to go light up our second home Heinz field) and prove my doubting brother the wrongest he's ever been.
I think there's a decent chance the Jaguars get a game flexed this season. And it makes no sense to say the "Jaguars were awful, but still" when discussing why they never have had a game flexed to prime time. That's the reason they never have had a game flexed. Period.
JT from Palm Coast, FL
Admittedly, I wanted Aidan Hutchison, but I feel like Travon Walker is getting bashed without actually knowing just how valuable he is. When he was at Georgia, he never had huge stats, and he played with multiple other elite first-round players. Those same players always said that he was one of the biggest reasons why they had the stats that they had. He does a lot of the dirty work that doesn't always show up on the stat sheet. He seems to currently still be the same guy with us. It is yet to be determined if he grows into an elite pass rusher. But he is absolutely one of the biggest reasons why our run defense is so good. Again, I wanted Hutchison, but I'm happy to have Walker on our team. Calling him a bust already is misguided and simply not true.
Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker is really good. He's a major reason the Jaguars are fourth in the NFL in rushing defense, fourth in pressure percentage and third in knockdown percentage. He's not a bust. Not even close.
Robert from Moorpark, CA
Take wins out of the equation, is Trevor Lawrence the best quarterback in Jags' history from a talent perspective? Or is Mark Brunell criminally underrated. I was eight years old in '99 and don't think YouTube highlights tell the whole story. Thanks.
Lawrence was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. No other Jaguars quarterback has been selected so early. He's supposed to be the best quarterback in franchise history from a talent perspective, and from this view he is that.
Chris from Jax
Maybe it has been asked and answered already, but I've noticed a distinct lack of Ozone Late Night after the games. I miss it. Any chance of it making a return? No complaints, you still are the most consistent person in football. Thanks, Zone.
O-Zone Late Night posts following afternoon games. It does not post after night games because it would post around three or four a.m., only hours before the "regular" O-Zone.
Don from Marshall NC
The media has been taking cheap shots at the Jaguars since the beginning. Write them and tell them about it. Support the ones who are respectful to the team. Never forget the ones who don't respect. Go Jaguars!
When it comes to telling the media about "it," Don remains "all in."
Brad from Section 38
Why did the Jaguars waive quarterback Nathan Rourke?
The Jaguars waived Rourke from the active roster Saturday. They had signed him from the practice squad before their victory over the New Orleans Saints Thursday because they needed a second quarterback had backup C.J. Beathard had to play. There never was an intention to keep Rourke on the active roster past the Saints game.
Tom from Moncks Corner
Even though I asked you nicely not to, you had to provide a smart a** answer. Do you really have that hard of a time answering questions intelligently?
I didn't "have" to provide a "smart a** answer. Answering that way just made me smile.
Morgan from Brunswick, GA
Zone - just curious your thoughts on wide receiver Calvin Ridley and the NOLA game. I don't want to act like an analyst the way other fans appear to. Did the Saints lock him down? Lot of double teams/take him out of the game? Terrible for fantasy team people but great for other Jags receivers and giving them more breathing room. Or is it more along the lines of the two-year hiatus/rust? Or maybe just an off game? Any feedback on Ridley for that game?
There has been a lot of angst about Ridley after that game. Yes, the Saints did some things to take him away. Officials also ruled him out of bounds on what would have been a memorable reception. Remember: The Jaguars were doing whatever it took to win Thursday. They were playing with an injured quarterback and a slew of injuries everywhere. They got ahead relatively early and kept that lead until late. As a result, they weren't taking a ton of chances downfield. Remember, too: Not every Jaguars skill player is going to have a huge game in every game. Ridley had huge impact in victories over the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts. If he continues at that pace, he will have huge impact in five or so victories this season. Considering the number of good skill players in this offense, and considering we're just seven games into this, he's hardly struggling.
Bob from St. Augustine, FL
I think the offense has given up a few first downs because the receivers have made the yardage then turned back to try for more and been tackled short.
I'm not sure about this one. Perhaps it happened and I missed it. Perhaps it happened more than once and I missed them all. I just haven't seen it as a trend.
Big Chungus from Duuuuuvaalll
If we win at Pittsburgh that makes us 6-2 going into our bye week. Should we beat the 49ers after our bye week, how would that set up our second half of the season?