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O-Zone: One fer Logan

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Travis from North Dakota:
Do you think this defense is elite yet or is it too early yet to tell?
John: The Jaguars' defense is playing at a very high level through three games. And at its current pace, it would have to be considered elite. Except for the final quarter and a half against Tennessee, the unit has played nearly flawlessly. The last quarter and a half against Tennessee counts, though. Are the Jaguars an elite defense? They are at times. Not always. That's why they play the games.
Geoff from Jacksonville:
Three and one? Dare I dream, John?
John: Dream, Geoff … dream. And stay gold.
Kyan from Le Mars, IA:
O-Man, you say often that how the defensive line matches up against offensive lines determines how the games go. Does this team have a good enough defensive line to go up against any offensive line and they just had a bad game against Tennessee? Or are they just not at that point that they can be the most dominant line every game yet?
John: We'll find this out as the season goes on. I doubt the Jaguars' defensive line is so dominant that it will control the last 13 games of the season the way it did in Weeks 1 and 3. Few teams – if any – dominate every game in that fashion. And I'm not sure the Jaguars' defensive line had a "bad" game against Tennessee as much as it ran up against an offensive line that could negate some of its strengths. Remember: that Tennessee game was 9-3 in the third quarter with the defense playing very well before the Titans got a short-field touchdown to make it 16-3. The energy went out of the building and the team after that. Had the offense and special teams done a better job keeping that game even, I think the defensive line could have held its own.
Keith from Miami, FL:
I know it would be difficult to place an NFL franchise in London, but could you see the Jags or any other team play at least two games overseas in the near future?
John: Yes. I believe it's very possible in the next 20-to-30 years you could see multiple teams do a "sister-city" concept with six regular-season games in their United States city and two home games in a foreign city. The logical teams to take this approach would be teams "non-traditional" teams in markets where games aren't sold out years in advance.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
Are we any closer now than we were a month ago in determining if we have a long-term answer at quarterback? Blake Bortles had a bad week against the Titans, but played well last week. He's done all this without Allen Robinson. I think it's still unclear.
John: We're three games into this season. Of course it's unclear. Everything is unclear at this point. Take a breath. Enjoy the aftereffects of that breath. This will work itself out.
Dana from Jacksonville:
In your opinion, why has the offensive line turned around so quickly? Is Cam Robinson really, really good? Patrick Omameh? Has Brandon Linder been a Top 10 center? It's incredibly strange to see Blake look so comfortable in the pocket.
John: The offensive line is playing better than a lot of people expected. One reason is Robinson is playing well and looks like he has a chance to be very good for a long time. A.J. Cann also played well last week, and Jeremy Parnell – despite two holding penalties – played well. But don't underestimate situations/approach here. The Jaguars have made a commitment to the run. They have stuck with that commitment even though they're not blowing open holes for huge average-yards-per-carry numbers. That has helped the pass-blocking because defensive linemen aren't able to play pass rush on every down. Bear in mind, too, that the Jaguars have had big leads early in two of three games. That also has enabled them to pass when they want to pass as opposed to passing in obvious passing situations. All of that helps tremendously when slowing down an opposing pass rush and helping a quarterback feel comfortable in the pocket.
Joe from Fleming Island, FL:
O-Zone. As a Jags fan, who do I root for when the Titans play the Titans. I know it is a long season and anything can happen, but the division title may come down to one game. I think the Titans are the team to beat, so for one week I am a Houston fan. Thoughts?
Jeff from Jacksonville :
I know we should be looking ahead, but I just want to mention that if the season were to end today, the Jags would be in the playoffs with the sixth seed, the second best turnover margin in the league and the best point differential in the league. And this is against three teams that are still considered playoff contenders.
John: Down, boy.
Brian from Nocatee, FL:
What is your take on how Dante Fowler Jr. is playing this season?
John: I think Fowler is playing much better than he did last season, and I anticipate the rest of his season following the pattern of his first three games. He has had some impact plays defensively, including a play on which he returned a fumble for a touchdown. He has used his athleticism and effort to get pressure on the quarterback and register a couple of sacks. He has two sacks in three games, which works out to 10 or 11 over the course of the season; I anticipate him having eight or nine. I don't know that I see a dominant, pure edge rusher when I see Fowler; when I say that, people tend to automatically respond with a chorus of "bu-u-u-u-u-u-ust!!!" But I don't think Fowler will be a bust. I think he's going to be an athletic, impact defensive lineman capable of making big plays who will get seven-to-nine sacks a season. And I think he will continue to make the Jaguars' defense faster and more athletic.
Abe from Catonsville, MD:
I was happy to see Jaguars players finally begin to take knees and join the ongoing social conversation in the NFL and America right now. They are doing what you are supposed to do with protests, doing it in a way that is both visible and meaningful. I decided to help as well; I bought a jersey of one of the Jaguars players who kneeled Sunday and have been wearing it all week. I will continue to do so each week as long as the Jags are kneeling, until I have bought them all, the season ends, or they stop kneeling.
John: Some people have this point of view …
Scott from Ponte Vedra, FL:
It's one thing to kneel for our national anthem, but it's another thing to stand for the playing of another country's national anthem at the same time. Freedom of speech and expression is fine but to make a statement like that is repulsive to me. I just want management to know as a season-ticket holder for 22 years with club seats and out of respect for my country and what it stands for especially the hard work of our military, I will no longer buy season tickets so that I can pay for players to sit during the national anthem. I hope you publish this from me. Thanks and good bye.
John: … and others have this point of view.
Jeff from Wake Forest, NC:
Looking at the schedule, I love that we will not see the Titans again 'til the last game of the season. Could end up being a pretty important revenge game! #DTWD
John: The Jaguars and Titans are both 2-1. Twelve games remain until they play again. It's certainly possible that game could have meaning, but it's WEEK 3! The Colts and Texans are 1-2, which means the four teams in the AFC South are separated by one game. That basically means they're not separated at all because they all play each other a bunch more. There's a long way to go in this thing. Don't worry about schedules and matchups in December yet; worry about getting to December with a record good enough that the schedules and matchups matter. That's some heavy lifting yet to be done. And you know I'm serious because when I wrote Week 3 I used CAPITAL LETTERS AND exclamation points!!
Andrew from Atlanta, GA:
Does Jamal and Leonard Fournette being college teammates give the Jets an advantage in game-planning for Sunday as Adams is familiar with Fournette?
John: No.
Davy from Jacksonville:
No question. Just wanted to give a shout out to the Jaguars players who took the time to visit my friend's 10-year-old son, Logan Cake, who is currently at Wolfson Children's Hospital. He went in for a routine eye checkup last week and was referred to an ophthalmologist where they found a baseball-sized tumor. He has had several surgeries in the past few days but they could only remove so much at this point and his fight isn't over yet. His friends and family are giving all the support they can and word seems to be spreading across the country from what I'm seeing on social networks. I don't know much about Twitter, but people are writing #LoganStrong and #HighFivesforLogan with pictures of people wearing this slogan and high-fiving each other to show him how he means to them. So in a day and age where people are crying about kneeling or standing, it's just nice to see people come together over matters like this. Really warms my heart. Here's to hoping Logan beats this thing! I know most of us who read your columns don't know each other, but you and the people that write in feel like family to me. Just felt this was an appropriate place to share a message that regardless of our opinions, people still do care about each other.
John: One fer Logan, obviously. A lot more than one, actually.

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