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O-Zone: No knocking

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jeremy from Jacksonville by way of Miami

We all know it's not realistic to expect another shutout victory this Sunday, especially on the road. But I think it is reasonable to expect a bounce-back game. I thought the Jaguars would have that following the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with the Houston Texans at home. The young team has to respond in Indy this week, right? We can't drop three straight, can we?

This is the NFL and the Jaguars aren't a great team yet. As such, they can respond Sunday – and bounce back – and still lose. The Colts indeed are playing at home and will have their two top wide receivers – Alec Pierce and Michael Pittman – who didn't play in a 24-0 loss to the Jaguars in Jacksonville in Week 2. I expect Sunday to be close with both teams scoring in the low twenties or high teens. That's the sort of game the Colts have been winning lately. The Jaguars lost that kind of that sort of game to the Texans last Sunday. The game probably will come down to red-zone scoring. That hasn't been the Jaguars' strength at times this season. They need to be good there Sunday.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said he needs to see Cover 2 more. Well, buckle up, because until he beats he, he's going to see it all season.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence indeed has struggled at times against Cover 2 looks, and he struggled at times against the Texans' Cover 2 scheme Sunday. He also had really good moments last Sunday. Patience is paramount here because to beat Cover 2 you must take checkdowns and short passes. That will be the focus Sunday. Lawrence won't see Cover 2 every week. He will see Cover 3 Sunday because that's what former Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley – now the Colts' defensive coordinator – runs. And Lawrence won't always see Cover 2 run as well as the Texans run it. But he indeed will see versions of it until he learns to beat it. No doubt.

David from Chuluota, FL

O - In the preseason, we had a lot of drama with our kickers. I don't think anybody would have been surprised if the kicker carousel continued into the season or cost us a few games. The fact that Riley Patterson has solidified the position and locked down the job is noteworthy. I think he deserves an 80s-style slow clap!

One slow clap fer Patterson.

George from Longview, TX

Readers calling Jags a bad team. Bad teams don't shut out the Colts. Bad teams don't Stomp the Chargers on the road. Bad teams don't lose to the Eagles by one score giving the ball away five times. We may not be great, but we ain't bad. Come on Trevor!!

The Jaguars were bad too much against the Texans in Week 5, not good enough against the Washington Commanders in Week 1 and Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 and really good most of games against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3 and Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. They overall have been OK this season after being really bad for two seasons.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

Pederson took the "points" three times inside the 10-yard-line in the first half against the Chargers. I don't think he is aggressive just to be cool like many coaches, but considers each situation with care and thought.

Pederson has coached in the playoffs three times and won a Super Bowl – all while with the Eagles. His philosophy in being aggressive is about percentages and taking advantage of potential touchdown/field position situations when decisions make sense in the big picture. Besides, he is plenty cool. He doesn't need to make aggressive in-game decisions to verify it.

Diego from South of Tierra del Fuego

Since the Jaguars' brain trust cannot design plays to score touchdowns in the red zone, why do they not watch film of the top teams who are successful and copy? Duh. Diego for offensive coordinator.

It's always coaching in the NFL.

Chance from Windsor, Canada

Only 10 sacks through five games, bottom third of the league in that category. Our D-Line is expensive … thoughts?

The Jaguars' defense is ninth in the NFL in yards allowed and fourth in points allowed. They are sixth in the NFL against the run, and that's including a game in which they allowed 210 yards rushing (Eagles). A lot of the money on the defensive line – and the front seven – was spent with the idea of being stouter and better against the run, and you don't play defense at the level the Jaguars have played through five games with a bad defensive line. It hasn't been a great pass-rushing group yet. There haven't been many signs it will be a great pass-rushing group. It for the most part has pressured quarterbacks at least adequately, with one exception being last Sunday against the Texans and quarterback Davis Mills. If this group stays healthy, I expect it will continue to be OK rushing the passer. It doesn't seem likely to be dominant.

Crash from Glen St. Mary

O Man! Where's Walker Little? Put that beast in there at guard.

Walker Little, a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft, is the Jaguars' swing tackle after competing with Jawaan Taylor in 2022 Training Camp at right tackle. Little could be an option at guard if swing guard/center Tyler Shatley doesn't work out as the starting left guard, a position Shatley now is playing after a season-ending injury to starter Ben Bartch. But I would suspect reserve Cole Van Lanen to be an option there ahead of Little. Stay tuned.

Jason from Green Cove Springs, FL

It seems like all the fans are coming down on hard on Lawrence, which can be deserved. Nobody seems to be pointing out that the receivers haven't really helped him out as much either. I counted at least 15 drops over the last two weeks. To my eyes, it also seems like they aren't getting as much separation as they were during the first three weeks as well. Do you agree at all with my assessment?

Lawrence has had some otherworldly good throws in recent weeks. He also had a couple of awful red-zone decisions that have been the key plays in two losses. He also tried to force too many passes downfield against Houston last week. The receivers didn't seem as open the last two weeks at times and they had too many drops. The receivers and Lawrence could – and should – help each other. Both areas could – and should – play better moving forward.

Tim from Oklahoma City, OK

Elite teams beat teams they're supposed to beat, and they are competitive against other elite teams. The Jaguars aren't elite. Bad teams often are not competitive in any games. The Jaguars aren't bad, either. They are a team that has been competitive in every game they've played even if they haven't played great in all of those games. There seems to be this idea that a team can only be great, or terrible. There are plenty of middling teams. That is what the Jags are. A team in the middle, hopefully on the rise.

Elite NFL teams also lose to OK teams, but you're pretty accurate in your assessment. The Jaguars aren't elite. They were awful for two seasons, so it honestly would be petty shocking if they were elite already. They do appear middling right now. Maybe they'll improve from that. My sense is they'll hang around there throughout this season and improve moving forward. Stay tuned.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

Re: "turning this team into a postseason winner will take more than one year." How long did it take the 1996 Jaguars? How 'bout the 2017 Jags? The victories have been within reach. Just need to make the plays, as any true fan deep down knows absolutely to be true.

Dwayne is "all in."

Adam from Allentown, PA

Seems like Trevor wants to play hero ball and not just take what the defense gives him.

I wouldn't call this Lawrence's defining characteristic. He took what the defense gave pretty well in Week 2 against the Colts. He has struggled with at times lately, particularly against the Texans. The Colts will try to make this a weakness Sunday. It's a major storyline in this game and moving forward.

J from Mandarin from Jacksonville, FL

Longtime Steeler fan. Saw Terry Bradshaw struggle for three seasons. Often replaced by Terry Hanratty and Joe Gilliam. Then he went on to win four Super Bowls. Trevor is our guy so fans don't panic yet.

One very accurate old-school Steeltown guy fer Trevor.

Richard from Jacksonville

Silkie's any good?

You're referencing Silkie's Chicken and Champagne Bar in Springfield at the corner of Walnut and Sixth. Yes, it's good. It's also three blocks from my house. I'm out that day.

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