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O-Zone: Not that time

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Rob from Jacksonville

Trevor is not the answer. Not happy at all about this, but it's the truth.

We'll make every effort to avoid this next-day O-Zone being all-Trevor Lawrence-all-the-time, but it won't be easy. The Jaguars' second-year quarterback struggled during much of a 21-17 loss to the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday, throwing two rough interceptions, and the majority of postgame emails have expressed emotions from anger to sadness to hopeless resignation. Sunday was indeed one of Lawrence's worst performances of his 25 NFL starts. He completed 18 of 33 passes for 133 yards with an early touchdown pass and two interceptions. The interceptions were particularly harmful and worrisome, with one coming in the end zone early in the second quarter and the other coming on the Jaguars' final offensive play of the game. Lawrence has played better this season than he did as a rookie in 2021, and he remains on pace for a better season with fewer interceptions. But it's the nature of his interceptions that have hurt, and that understandably concern Jaguars fans, with three coming in the red zone in the last five games – all Jaguars losses. There are also legitimate concerns at times with Lawrence's accuracy and a tendency to overthrow receivers. Those are all real issues. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's thought is Lawrence need time in his scheme, repetition and even the "P word" fans hate – "patience" – and there seems no doubt he will get that patience. It's fair for Jaguars fan to worry about Lawrence because they have yet to see him play to the level expected of the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. And Lawrence clearly has a long way to go to be an elite, franchise quarterback – and to live up his billing as a generational talent. But that doesn't mean he can't or won't do it. And make no mistake: The Jaguars believe strongly in Lawrence and it's still way too early to know what level he eventually reach in the NFL.

Frank from Nashville, TN

OK, John. I have been pretty patient and I get it that is a new offense and we're not really counting last year because of Urban, but I'm officially starting to doubt that Trevor is the guy. That's three last-minute drives this year with a chance to win the game and three bad interceptions. That's a really bad pattern for a guy who is supposed to be generational. I'm sorry. I'm not seeing it and we're halfway into Year 2 now. It's gotta be concerning at this point.

The concerns are fair. He hasn't looked generational and fans/observers understandably expected generational. Pederson's belief is a quarterback – even one as gifted as Lawrence – needs a year in an offensive system with continuity, and Lawrence hasn't had that. It's also important for coaches and franchises to see the big picture and not overreact to a poor performance or two from a young player. That's a tough thing for fans to hear in the middle of a five-game losing streak.

Ryan from Reality

O-man, are we the only team in NFL history to have a positive point differential and still be 2-6?

Probably not, but it's a striking statistic.

Stephen from 113 from Jacksonville via Pennsauken NJ

John, I didn't realize they were remaking Groundhog Day here in Jax. When do we get to wake up and find a new day? Thanks.

Fair. Too fair, actually. The Jaguars have lost five consecutive games. They have led in all six losses this season. All losses have been by a score or less. They have allowed a go-ahead touchdown in the final six minutes of five losses. They have led by double digits in three losses. They struggle in the red zone too much. The defense the last three weeks has allowed long drives at the wrong time. They have yet to "close" a close game, and the result is lot of maddening and frustrating repetition. The good news? They're competitive and they weren't that last season. The bad news? A close loss is still a loss and in the NFL only winning counts. A 2-6 record with a bunch of close losses is still a 2-6 record.

Dajuane from New Jersey

Not a question but PLEASE tell this guy to run the ball on the one-yard line. These goal line interceptions are killing us.

Pederson doesn't mind running in short-yardage and goal-line situations. But while this Jaguars team has proven to be a very good running team in base and "normal" down-and-distance situations, it hasn't proven to be great running in short-yardage and goal-line situations. That's not to say Pederson won't and shouldn't ever run in short yardage, but he's not ridiculous for not simply going Heavy Jumbo from the one-yard line every time.

_Bobby From Section 410 and Summerville, SC   _

Hi, John. I thought the defense was supposed to be a strength for the Jags. By my count they have cost us three wins by not being able to get off the field and protect a fourth-quarter lead. I mean no resistance at all in every instance.

Good eye. As much angst and ire being directed at Lawrence following Sunday's loss, the offense gave the Jaguars a 17-14 lead with a nice fourth-quarter drive. The defense, as it has done in four consecutive games, allowed a game-winning touchdown in the final minutes. That's a season-long pattern.

Ron from Orlando, FL

Half of these losses would be wins if we had just an average quarterback. A good quarterback would have us at 6-2. One man is holding this team back at this point and I'm curious to know when we start someone who won't blow the game?

It sounds like you're asking how long you must wait until the Jaguars bench Lawrence. The answer is a long, long time.

Art from Glassboro, NJ

If Trevor knows better, why does he keep making the same mistakes every game?

It's a hard game played by big, fast people and there are no do-overs.

Angy Shawn from Jacksonville

Please, John, tell me when the Jaguars will stop playing like an expansion team and start playing like the other 31 teams. Every year you tell us to keep the faith and be patient, but our patience is running thin.

I can't predict the future. I can tell you that the Jaguars have been in every game this season and that they're playing a lot closer to the other 31 teams than they did the past two seasons. That's real and I expect them to eventually stop losing close games and start winning them.

Mr. NFL Unfortunately Jacksonville

Even the announcers said Griffin wasn't performing. He's atrocious.

If you're talking about Jaguars cornerback Shaq Griffin, the announcers were right. He didn't perform Sunday. He didn't, in fact, play in either of the last two games. Good insight, Mr. NFL. You do know the league.

Overit from Atlantic Beach, FL

But now can we fire Doug Pederson?

No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No.

William the Contemplator from Jax

Two certain things besides death and taxes: Jags defense will give up a fourth quarter lead, and Trev will make a crucial mistake, usually in the red zone. Anything else?

People ask often why the Jaguars are losing close games. This is often the answer.

Steve from Jacksonville

Very real question. What happens to this franchise if Trevor isn't the man? He is young, talented and not a very good NFL quarterback. Him failing to be the man dooms us as fans to another eight-to-ten years of being fans of an inept and terrible franchise. Go Jags.

Lawrence in no way has proven he won't be very good. If he's not, it needn't set the franchise back eight-to-ten seasons. Not even close.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

ESPN showed a stat about the Jags' first and third quarters compared to their second and forth. Jags are one of the best coming out of the locker room, but the other quarters are horrendous. Trevor definitely has to improve. It's obvious. Even YOU have to see that.

Of course Lawrence must improve. He is expected to one day be an elite quarterback and he's not that yet. But he is better this season than he was last season with no reason to believe he won't be that much better next season. This is the growth process. It's not theoretical. It's real.

Chad from San Diego, CA

No one snatches defeat from the jaws of victory like this year's Jaguars team.

They're remarkably consistent in this way. If it weren't so damned frustrating, it would almost be impressive.

Timmay from Loserville

Is maybe it time to give C.J. Beathard a shot at starting quarterback? Lawrence is just not the generational quarterback we were promised.

No.

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