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O-Zone: Nothing is over until we decide it is

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Chris from Nashville, TN

So, the Indianapolis Colts beat the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Houston Texans blow out the Atlanta Falcons? Not liking our chances at winning the division this year, but at least we beat the Tennessee Titans, right? What's the over/under on the record that would force Owner Shad Khan to clean house? If the defense continues to underperform, any chance we see defensive coordinator Todd Wash and/or Head Coach Marrone gone in the near future?

Wow. Overreact much? Look, I understand frustration with losing a game Sunday – and there's little question the Colts and Texans both looked good this past weekend. And because the Colts looked good on Sunday Night Football against a very good team, there's a tendency among fans to look at the television screen and scream, "MOMMY! DADDY! I WANT THAT!!" But to think one victory over the Chiefs makes the Colts special? Or to think that beating a 1-4 Falcons team right now means a lot for the Texans? And to start talking about cleaning house? Really? The Jaguars are one game out of first place in the AFC South with … 11 games remaining. There's a good feeling among players and coaches about where this team is headed, and there was zero panic in the locker room following Sunday's loss to the Carolina Panthers. So, if you're checking Twitter every five minutes to see if the Jaguars are planning on firing coaches … no, this isn't remotely the time for that.

Hulk from Las Vegas, NV

In 2017 we had a up and down first half of the season before we settled in and played consistent ball. With Blake Bortles! Everyone calm down, humans make mistakes. Now we have a bona fide offense to ride. Defense cleans it up and we're back on track and maybe close to 2017 in terms of defense and leaps and bounds better than the offense was then. We'll be fine. Relax.


Craig from Auburn

I have a question for you O. I am perplexed that on Sunday the Jaguars didn't stack the box and try to force the Panthers to throw the ball. Would this not have made sense against a rookie quarterback that has yet to prove himself? After all we know who the running back is, and we know he has to be contained. Plus, we know how it feels to have the box stacked against us, since our opponents have been doing it for years. Is there something that I missed on Sunday that was tried, similar to what I am asking?

There was nothing wrong with the Jaguars' schemes on Sunday. They played the gap control defense they typically play, and the linebackers – and at times, safeties and defensive linemen – got out of their gap or got blocked out of their gap. When that happens, the run defense can look really bad. It happened Sunday and the run defense looked accordingly bad.

Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

So THAT´s how having a good quarterback feels like, huh?


Mark from Richmond, VA

Watching Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell get absolutely dominated Sunday, then watching Colts guard Quenton Nelson Sunday night really hurt. Not that we could have taken Nelson and I know I'm comparing the best to the absolute worst, but Norwell was an All-Pro two years ago. What happened? How does a player have this steep of a drop off? Was it the injury? Was he never really that good? I know all about missing, but can you explain giving a guy a fat contract when you wouldn't even take him over Storm Johnson in the 2014 draft? How does that even make sense?

Where Norwell was drafted isn't all that pertinent to the conversation. Undrafted free agents become exceptional players relatively frequently. But there is a danger of assuming because a player is named All-Pro one year he is elite and will be that good every year. Norwell in retrospect appears to have been a player who played very well with one franchise who is not as good with the subsequent franchise. Norwell hasn't been bad the entire time he has been in Jacksonville, and it's fair to say he hasn't been as awful this season as many fans and observers are portraying. Still, the idea for an offensive lineman is to not get noticed; Norwell has had an alarming number of noticeable plays this season. He was about as noticeable as it gets when getting driven into quarterback Gardner Minshew II Sunday. You simply can't get noticed like that as often as Norwell does. You just can't.

Robert from St. Augustine, FL

Maybe we can trade quarterback Joshua Dobbs back to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the fifth-round pick we threw away on getting him?

Yes, Alex … I'll take random discontented thoughts for 300, please.

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

Our defense did accomplish one thing Sunday: They made the run game for the Panthers look very good. It is glaringly obvious the one huge weakness in our defense is the linebacker group. Needs to be addressed in the draft. I don't see it getting addressed in FA with the lack of cap space we have.

You're talking about solutions next offseason; the Jaguars need to improve at linebacker now. The way to do that is to be better in gap assignments. That can happen and I suspect it will. Myles Jack and Quincy Williams are both capable players. There's no reason they can't improve in the necessary areas.

Stephen from Glorieta

O-man, I really enjoyed the game Sunday. No, I didn't enjoy the weaknesses the Jags displayed but, man, there are some strengths. Minshew (and wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr.) are playing so well and I felt confident they could have won the game until the clock expired. That's exciting! You feelin' it?


CD from Fleming Island, FL

I hope and feel Minshew can improve on ball security. The handoff fumble I'd call an aberration and a learning experience; a 300-pound man hitting your elbow will cause a fumble most times. It's the third fumble that I feel with experience, he can improve on – i.e. knowing when to throw it away to live for another down. But to be fair, that same mentality led to the Armstead TD against the Broncos -- trying to buy time in the pocket to make a play downfield. Can we brave a few fumbles for some magic? I think I can.

You can have the magic without the fumbling. Protect the ball with both hands whenever possible; that will reduce the tendency to fumble. It's doable. I suspect he will do it.

Jefferson from Phoenix, AZ

O-Zone, is the Jaguars having a pending QB controversy with two good QBs one of the signs of the apocalypse or just further evidence of global climate impact?

Who says it can't be both?

Stormy from Wyoming

Mr. Zone, is it just me or have we run about zero screens to Lenny Fourtnettey?

The Jaguars haven't run many screens to running back Leonard Fournette this season. Don't expect that to last long.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

On that long touchdown run by McCaffrey, it looked like Quincy Williams and a safety were both out of position, not in their gaps, when McCaffrey cut it up field. Better gap discipline can fix that right?


Julio from Southern California

O, I have a solution for the Jalen issue, but I do not think many will like my solution. It happens all the time in the workplace. When two employees do not get along the company decides one has to go. My suggestion is let Tom go and give Jalen a verbal commitment that he will get a new contract soon. I like and respect Tom, but this issue may reflect a deeper issue with Tom as it relates to how Tom relates to today's players.

So, what happens when cornerback Jalen Ramsey decides someone else has treated him poorly? Do the Jaguars let that person go, too?

Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL

If we had scored on last play, would you have then gone for two points? I agreed with the call in Texas, but I would have kicked the extra point this time.

I would have played for overtime in both situations.

Chris from Space City, TX

So O, the same day in which the Jags' D was torched, Ramsey is in Space City hanging out with Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. I realize the back specialist is in Space City, but couldn't he have seen the doc earlier in the week and been on the sideline with his teammates by Sunday? His problem is with the grumpy Coughlin not his teammates.

The decision was made late last week to have Ramsey see the back specialist. He saw the specialist Monday and flew to Houston Sunday. This was a bad look and fodder for the uninformed in the Twitterverse. Those are the only places it's an issue.

ABC from ABCTown

Pearl Harbor were the Japanese, not the Germans!!!

Every time. I mean … every time.

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