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O-Zone: Office of line

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, on paper, who do you think improved their rosters the most since last year, the Colts or the Jaguars? I feel like we should be a much better team than the team that beat Indy last year.

I think the Jaguars overall improved more than the Colts in the 2022 offseason, but the Colts are a good team and they improved at quarterback by trading for Matt Ryan. Remember: The NFL is a week-to-week league. It's hard to argue that the Jaguars were better than the Colts last season and it's hard to argue they're better now. This is true even with the Jaguars winning the 2021 regular-season finale over the Colts. Also: Just because a team beat another team in Week 18 of one season and improved in the offseason doesn't mean they're going to win against that same opponent early the next season. Professional football doesn't work like that.

Dave from Duval

It's concerning that not only does Trevor not have a game-winning drive, he hasn't even come close. Just like the field shrinks in the red zone, it's wide open from your end with a prevent defense you're going up against.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence led a game-winning drive against the Miami Dolphins in 2021, but it's true that he hasn't done it often – and he hasn't been impressive in that situation. It's probably safe to point out that many Jaguars games were so one-sided last season that he had comparatively few late-game opportunities, but either way: Lawrence must come through in that situation. When he does, perception will change.

Nathan from Utah, US

Zone, Jacksonville week in Jacksonville! Hell yeah, baby. My eyes will be on Yannick Ngakoue versus Cam Robinson. For this Jaguars fan, this is epic. And could mean first place in the division. GO JAGS!

Nathan is ready for some football.

Marcus from Jacksonville

In 2020 we opened the season with a win against Indy. We proceeded to lose every remaining game on our way to the worst record in franchise history and the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Tell me again why a few glimmers of hope from game one signals that we've turned a corner and better days are ahead?

You're right. Playing well in spots and showing some good things in Week 1 guarantees nothing. But do you know what guarantees future success in the NFL? Nothing. The Jaguars play games, and we discuss them here in the O-Zone. When games start, we watch and talk about them again the following week. Guarantees are for wrestling and other scripted events. Most sports are about anxiety. If there were guarantees, they wouldn't be fun.

Biff from Jacksonville, FL

I think one of my favorite tweets from this past weekend was someone saying the receivers made Trevor look good and that it's clear we need to draft Trevor's replacement next year. I didn't know one season plus one game of the second season was enough time to determine failure. Do I need to rethink how I approach everything in life?

Yes, but not because of that.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Intentionally grounding a pass close enough to an eligible receiver to escape a penalty is a skill that quarterbacks hone over time? Is there a quarterback in your experience who was good at this?

I'm not sure I've thought about this or watched it closely enough to remember a quarterback who was particularly skilled in this area. I'm good, Steve. I'm not that good.

Jason from Jax

We have a head coach. Now, we need an offensive coordinator to call plays.

We're a game into Doug Pederson's tenure as the Jaguars' head coach and offensive play-caller. The Jaguars scored 22 points in his first game after averaging 14.9 in 2021 and produced 383 yards after averaging 305 in 2021. Pederson is a respected play-caller who has called plays for playoff teams and a Super Bowl champion. My first thought when reading this email was perhaps it's a touch early for fans to start questioning his play-calling. My second thought was considering the quick-trigger, hot-take times in which we live, I'm kind of surprised it took so long.

Sean from Jacksonville

Are we the Washington Generals getting trounced by every NFL Globetrotters? It makes it easier to mentally absorb a loss.

The Jaguars had an eight-point fourth-quarter lead against the Washington Commanders in Week 1. Yes, they lost 28-22. Yes, it was disappointing. But they did not get trounced. It was not an easy victory for Washington. I understand the Jaguars have lost too much in recent seasons. But Week 1 was not ridiculous or one-sided or embarrassing. It was a pretty normal loss by NFL standards.

Emily from Jacksonville

Do you think Sunday's game is a must-win game? I do. If we are 0-2 heading to Los Angeles to play the Chargers, we might be in big trouble. A 0-3 start would be devastating to the team and Jags fans.

Every game in the NFL is a must-win game until you lose. Then, then next game is a must-win game. That's a cliché, but there's a big bag of truth in it.

Bill from Jacksonville

A lot of talk about the Colts struggling in Jacksonville. A lot of talk about how bad Houston is and that a team that ties a bad team is probably not great. Those are fair points. But it should also be brought up that the Colts literally made every decision in the offseason about beating the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Last year the Texans were expected to be horrible and yet beat the Jaguars twice. The Jaguars are still very bad, I'm expecting Sunday to be a very sad day for those getting hyped for the chances of a Jaguars win.

I don't know that it's accurate to call the Jaguars "very bad." I see them as a six-to-seven victory team, which isn't good but is probably more "sort-of-bad-compared-to-good-teams." They certainly seem better than the 2021 Jaguars, who were indeed "very bad." Either way, I think the Colts are "pretty good" – their Week 1 tie notwithstanding. I expect the Colts to win a close game Sunday because I think they're the best team in the AFC South and I would be surprised if they go the first two games of the season without winning.

Zach from Wisco

John, I've always liked you. Right up until I read you say "I like IPAs" yesterday. Let's have a few Guinness instead. I'll buy.

I used to love Guinness and used to enjoy more than a few in a short period. I've found I just can't sit and imbibe many in one sitting anymore. Not that I won't give it the old college try.

David from Ada, OK

If we have fans that TRULY think that this is an abysmal franchise with no hope in sight and spend "hard earned" money or even "lazy inheritance" money to go see them, I find that surprising. It would seem they are idiots or crazy. I hope they say that stuff to vent frustration but really don't mean it. But if they really feel that way might I suggest using that money on Sbarros and beer and try baseball? Super long seasons and less stressful.

Fans fan. It's what they do. If they didn't, it would be pretty boring. Saner? Less disturbing? Perhaps. But certainly more boring.

Adrian from Somewhere between optimism and reality

Not a Jags question, and I know you have ZERO pull, but can you tell your boy Gene to talk to the powers that be to get rid of all Dallas prime-time games? I get the whole America's Team thing, but no one wants to watch that now or anytime in the last 25 years.

While the Dallas Cowboys have faltered in the postseason as often as not since 1995, they remain one of the NFL's most popular franchises. Even longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette can't change that. He's powerful. But even that power has its limits.

Carter from St. Augustine, FL

Has it occurred to anyone that the problem with her all fence for the last seven years has been the office of line? And now the latest player who's no good is Trevor Lawrence because the office of line can't block and he doesn't have time to throw or think? Are we really going to have to live through another couple years of this? Does Doug Peterson not understand this you think that at least Doug Peterson would know this.

I can't speak to what Doug Peterson knows or doesn't know about her fence, though a quality wood fence should last more than seven years. I also don't know Pederson feels about the office of line. Then again, it seems to me I don't know all that much about all that much these days. I'm just here in my office of writer … full of bliss, happy the security code still works.