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O-Zone: No turning back

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
That may not be a bad schedule competitively, but it's a bad schedule from our point of view. First time in team history without a home night game? Screw you, schedule makers. I just hope my time line is wrong; otherwise, Gus will be fired by the bye.
John: I suppose I'm just too dim to see the awfulness of the Jaguars' 2016 regular-season schedule. While I do understand the disappointment over there not being a home prime-time game, I also know it's fairly unusual to have had one every season for 21 consecutive years as the Jaguars did. That's probably a bit more unusual than not having one in one particular season. As far as Head Coach Gus Bradley being fired before the bye, I assume that means people on your timeline think the Jaguars are going to start 0-4. There are no guarantees in the NFL, but the Jaguars' first four opponents combined for one winning record and a playoff appearance last season. Three of the four games are home games, with two at EverBank Field. Perception aside, this is not a schedule set up for failure.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
While we're still on the Aaron Colvin situation ... you are constantly referring to their young age and how young people make mistakes. I want to retort and say they are professionals, but then I remember I was a young professional at their age ... Yeah, mistakes were made.
John: Yes.
Chris from Heath, TX:
I'm not as certain as most people that the Rams-Titans trade does not hurt the Jaguars chances of landing one of the top three defensive prospects. If the Browns are sold on one of the top quarterbacks – but not both – and the Rams select that player (which wouldn't happen if the Titans remained in the top spot), then the Browns may be inclined to take one of those top defensive players. There was also a pretty good chance the Titans would have taken Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil if they had not traded that pick. Now, it's quite possible that instead of two offensive players being picked before the Jaguars' selection, only one will be chosen (by the Rams). In other words, it seems the top of the draft could easily go as follows: Los Angeles – Carson Wentz/Jared Goff; Cleveland – Myles Jack; San Diego – Jalen Ramsey; Dallas – Joey Bosa. Who would you expect the Jaguars to pick if that does, in fact, happen? Tunsil? Shaq Lawson?
John: I don't think your scenario will happen because I think the Browns will either select a quarterback No. 2 or trade back with a team wanting to select a quarterback No. 2. I also think the Chargers will select Tunsil at No. 3. If your scenario does occur, I think there's a good chance the Jaguars select Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner.
Glenn from Jacksonville and Section 436:
O-man, I'm tired of hearing everyone excited about the season – until the schedule comes out and then everyone is afraid of all the good teams. How about a bold prediction? Rodgers is 0-1 in the 'Bank, and he will end his career winless here! If we really are as improved as we think, this is the perfect chance to prove it! #DTWD
John: There indeed appears to be some Schedule Fear, with Jaguars fans forgetting the team actually MIGHT BE IMPROVED this season – and that just because a team the Jaguars are playing has won games in recent memory doesn't mean the Jaguars have no chance. You can tell my passion on this subject by my use of CAPITAL LETTERS in the first sentence, but the point is I'm agreeing with your point: you can't be afraid of teams just because they're pretty good. The idea is to get good and start beating those teams. No time like the present for that.
Josh from Section 106:
After seeing the schedule, it is very disappointing that our beloved Jags do not have any home games at night!
John: Yes. That was disappointing. It's a little bit of the luck-of-the-draw situation, though. At 5-11 last season with little winning history in recent seasons, a team probably isn't going to have more than one prime-time appearance. The Jaguars' prime-time appearance was at home the past few seasons. This season, it happens to be on the road.
Brian from Neptune Beach, FL:
Well, the schedule is out. At least we know where we stand. #notenoughprimetime
John: #notenoughwinninglately
Bill from Hammock, FL:
I'm concerned long-term about the Titans/Rams trade. It should help the Jags' selection but the amount given by the Rams appears to put them in the fast track for competing for the division. I can't believe Indy may become the weaker team in our division over the next few years. Your opinion?
John: One of my opinions is it's dangerous to assume a team with a quarterback as good as Andrew Luck is going to be weak. My other opinion is I'm a lot more interested in what the Jaguars are doing to get better than 31 teams than what three other teams who happen to be in the AFC South are doing to improve themselves.
Sonny from Melbourne, FL:
How many prime-time games is Dallas playing and they pick before us in the draft? I guess it is hard to get there and just as hard to leave.
John: The Cowboys were a few plays away from the NFC Championship Game in 2014, and there's a perception nationally that the return of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant could make them an elite team. The Jaguars last made the playoffs in 2007, and while they appear to have an improving young offense, those young players are not yet as high-profile as Romo and Bryant. It's not the same thing.
Ryan from Dearborn, MI:
John, when can we finally get a prime-time game that isn't a Thursday night game against the Titans? That is probably the most non-watched Thursday night game nationally every year.
John: You're right that Titans-Jaguars is as low-profile as prime-time NFL gets. The Jaguars will get a prime-time game that isn't that match-up when they win more.
Brad from Spring Lake, NC:
Will the home game against Tennessee next season the first time the Jaguars have played a regular-season game on a Saturday?
John: No. The Jaguars beat the Houston Texans, 38-20, in Houston on Christmas Eve in 2005. That game also was on a Saturday.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
I see 7-9 in the 2016 schedule.
John: I see at least that and maybe a few games better. We'll see.
Bill from Jacksonville :
"You have to win your way into premium national games." John, how have the Houston Texans "won their way" into five premium national games? How? Thanks! Go Jags!
John: The Texans won the AFC South last season and have won it three of the last five years. They also have had winning records four of the past five seasons. I do agree that five times is a little high for the Texans considering their accompanying lack of playoff success, but hey … maybe people like watching J.J. Watt more than Jaguars fans do.
Sam from Orlando, FL:
Let's earn a prime-time game by getting "flexed" into a 4 p.m. or Sunday night match up later in the season with the playoffs at stake.
John: That's certainly one way to do it.
Morgan from Jacksonville:
I actually like the schedule. The first four games will really set the tone for the season. They may not be the best teams but they are solid and if we can win a few and not lose in a blowout I will be excited for the rest of the season. I also like the bye week following the London game, even if it is early in the season. Either way, we can re-evaluate what happened during the first four games or reinforce good things that came out of it. #DTWD
John: One thing I've learned in 21 seasons covering the NFL is it's impossible to analyze difficulty of schedule in September, much less April. Last year's Jaguars schedule was a perfect example. Many fans spent the offseason calling Carolina a "winnable game" and teeth were collectively gnashed after the Jaguars played the Panthers tough before losing. The Panthers, as it turned out, weren't exactly "bad." That held true throughout the season, with a slew of once-tough games suddenly seeming more winnable as the season continued. Still, if you assume the Jaguars will be improved next season then the first four games of the season don't seem impossible. Nothing in the NFL is easy, but that first month of the season shouldn't be un-navigable, either.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington, TX:
There is a group on Facebook called Forever Jaguars started by John Meurer. Current members are fans, former and current players. Two members in particular met through the group. I hope you will send a special congratulations to Warren Day and Kelly White Ford, who were engaged to be married Friday. #STANDUNITED
John: Hey! One fer Warren and Kelly.

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