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O-Zone: No way, no how

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Wade from Westside

Trevor just does not have the IT factor to bring a team back at the end of the game. Gardner Minshew II had it and even Blake Bortles had it from time to time, but Trevor lacks it. How long until this organization moves on from Trevor? Will fans need to suffer three more years of this? What is the appropriate amount of time to decide a quarterback is not the one?

There were plenty of reasons to criticize the Jaguars following a 34-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday. Some of those reasons even had merit. A pass rush that registered no sacks. Cornerback Shaq Griffin for an overall rough day that included allowing the game-winning touchdown pass with :17 remaining. A defense that allowed too many crossing routes. And others. But it's hard to understand criticizing quarterback Trevor Lawrence's "IT" factor at the end of game based on Sunday. Lawrence completed 20 of 22 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions and two rushing touchdowns. He led an 18-play, 84-yard, 10:03 drive in the fourth quarter that he capped with a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Kirk to give the Jaguars the lead with 2:44 remaining. The Jaguars for the game were three-for-three on touchdowns in the red zone. And Lawrence keyed that long drive with a big-time throw for an 18-yard gain to wide receiver Zay Jones on third-and-12 from the Jaguars 18. This was a solid performance and an impressive drive late. As for your questions about moving on from Lawrence, it's not happening this season. Nor should it. He has improved from last season. He's developing. Stay tuned.

Chris from Tampa, FL

That one was on the defense. Yep, same old Jags, find new and creative ways to lose games. Lawrence is the first quarterback in NFL history to have numbers like he did and still lose. Add to that, the 200-yard-plus rushing. I'm sure we'll find some new, historic way to lose next week. It's what we do. We should be in that commercial series.

I'm not big on "same old" team themes, and I say that acknowledging that Jaguars fans have plenty of reasons – and right – to interpret losses however they see fit. I just don't see the Jaguars' losses this season as having much to do with – or feeling much like – past losses. The Jaguars have lost too much over the last decade-plus and I've witnessed many of those losses. A lot of that losing felt hopelessly one-sided without much evidence it could improve. That was particularly true the past two seasons, a span in which the Jaguars won just four games. Ten of their 14 losses last season were by double-digits and there were few losses that you realistically said, "The Jaguars could have – and maybe should have – won that game." You could make that argument in most – if not all – the Jaguars' losses this season. That doesn't change the past. It doesn't make losing not suck. But it's why maybe kinda sorta this isn't the "same old jags."

Clayton from Shawnee, OK

Another bad loss.

Good eye.

Mark from Landrum, SC

What to do about Walker?!? Second game in a row he contributed heavily to the loss with a stupid, nonsensical roughing penalty on third and long. Make the mistake once and learn from it. Make it twice, sit him down.

I can't put the two penalties in quiiiiite the same category. Walker, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, made a really bad mistake against the Houston Texans last week with an unsportsmanlike penalty that came after the whistle. Walker appeared to have every chance to avoid that penalty in that situation. He committed a roughing-the-passer penalty Sunday by hitting Colts quarterback Matt Ryan high as he was pressuring him. It was a legitimate call under the rules, but it was much more understandable. I just didn't see it as quite so nonsensical as you and it didn't seem like something for which he would – or should – be benched.

Brian from Greenwood, IN

About time for this special quarterback to win games like these.

This sentiment had merit following losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Texans the past two weeks. It doesn't feel right this week. It's just hard to put that loss on Lawrence.

Tom from Nocatee

Draft talk?

Even during seasons that feel lost early, I don't talk much draft here until the Senior Bowl in January or February. This season doesn't feel lost. This season actually feels exactly as I expected – like one in which the Jaguars will be improved, and frustrating, and probably not making a postseason push, but probably good enough to win six or seven games, and good enough to feel good about the future by season's end. That's still very possible.

Steven from Middleburg, FL

Same sorry Jags. Defense was horrible all game long. No sacks and didn't make any plays when need to. All our defense does is talk about being elite. Only thing elite is in being average and giving up leads.

I have no problem with players talking about being elite. They should talk about being the best they can possibly be. But is this defense elite? No. The Jaguars had two very good performances against teams without their top receivers in Weeks 2 and 3. They have yet to show a big-time pass rush except in Week 2 against the Colts. The Jaguars have good players on defense. They have played well at times. They could be good. But at this moment, they are certainly not elite.

Dan from Munich, Germany

It's noticeable that there is a good future for this team, but it is so frustrating watching them mature and gain experience.


Joe from Caton, NY

And the losing streak is at three! I don't see them winning another game this year. You still sticking to your six to seven wins this year?

Give or take – and I would be stunned if the Jaguars don't win another game this season.

Randy from Way Up North

Yup, another two- or three-win season. At least now we can start talking about the draft and how to "rebuild" the team again. "For the first pick of the 2023 NFL draft the Jacksonville Jaguars select ?????"

It is the nature of fans and observers to overreact to NFL losses, and I sense a bit of overreaction to this loss. The Jaguars' loss to the Colts' Sunday, like their other three losses, was disappointing and frustrating. They all have been by one score and at least three could have gone the other direction with a play or two. But your email suggests that this team will win one – or zero – more games this season and select No. 1 in the 2023 NFL Draft. This feels more like a team that will stick together and not fall apart as the season continues. It would just surprise me if we're looking at a repeat of 2020 and 2021 in terms of final record.

Ron G from Va Beach

Tough game to watch, especially with how the defense played. What do you think this team is missing?

Experience, particularly experience playing together. Big-time, game-closing pass rush. Big-time, above-the-Xs-and-Os-playmaker at wide receiver. Knack for winning close games. Experience in the offensive system – and experience overall – at quarterback.

Tommy from Fernandina Beach

Shaq Griffin had a tough day. The Colts picked on him every time they needed a big play!

Pretty much.

Jeremy S Bailey from Jacksonville by way of Miami

I don't know how this team can win anymore. We lose giving the ball away. We lose with efficient quarterback play. We lose with a pedestrian running game. We lose with insane rushing yards. We lose scoring six points. We lose scoring 27 points. We lose with a lead in the fourth quarter. We lose with a chance to come from behind in the fourth quarter. I don't know how this team can win, John. I want to believe it still can, but it's been a rough three weeks.

They can win by making a key play or two more at key times in each game. The Jaguars right now are a team that loses close, winnable game. That makes you a bad NFL team because your record says you're bad. But this feels like a team capable of winning. I hate writing "they're close," because the NFL is a league of close games and winning is all that matters. But they feel close. They just do.

Bobby From Section 410 and Summerville, SC

Hi John, you know the defense is having a bad game when they can't stop a one-dimensional offense. Any thoughts?

My thoughts are that the Jaguars damned sure couldn't stop a one-dimensional offense against the Colts Sunday.

David from Ormond Beach, FL

Losing sucks. Fans don't like it.

Nor should they .