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O-Zone: Pick them up

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

JT from Palm Coast, FL

During my time in the military, I learned that jetlag is a very real thing. We haven't won at the 'Bank all year and divisional games are always tough. Minshew is good, but having a week to prepare for him should be a positive for us. Do you expect this game to be close or a comfortable win?

I expect the Jaguars' game against the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Stadium Sunday to be close, not so much because of jetlag, but because the Colts are 3-2 and playing well. I also expect former Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II, who is expected to start for the Colts, to be motivated against his former team. Obviously. He will be playing against a team with a fan base that treated him well, which will make it an interesting day. On the field, Minshew is a tricky matchup. While not a starter, his style can be tough to defend for one game because he has a way of keeping his team in games and making clutch plays at big moments. This doesn't happen every game, but it happens enough to make him dangerous. Also: The Colts have been more than good enough early in the season to have confidence. They believe they will play well. They believe they will win, and confident NFL teams are difficult to beat. Considering their season to date, and considering how well they played in a 31-21 loss to the Jaguars in Week 1 in Indianapolis, they should think that. They will be dangerous.

Bo from Linwood, NC

Zone, the Jags are 21stin the league in points scored going into Week 6. And two of the four teams had a bye last week. It seemed like the blueprint for this team was supposed to be to have such a high-scoring offense that the defense could sustain us with a bend-but-don't-break mentality. Is it time for us to switch gears and lean on our defense and just manage the game with this offense? I know we put up big yardage numbers last week, but we keep finding a way to enter the red zone and leave with 0 points.

The Jaguars absolutely shouldn't just "manage the game" offensively. They have had more than 400 yards offense in two of the last three games. They are ninth in the NFL in total yards and have moved relatively consistently. The points will come. Note: They are also a touchdown and a field goal from being 10th in the NFL in points scored, so it's not as if they're lost in the desolate cellar of the league's unwashed offenses. They're also coming off a game when the offense had multiple huge plays and huge drives at key times. This feels close. There has been progress. Stay tuned.

Donny from Heathrow, FL, Section 37, Day 2

I think any debate about whether the Jags have a homefield advantage when playing in London is resolved, because clearly they do. After getting blown out in their first two games over there in the Head Coach Gus Bradley era, they obviously have improved on how to do it. They are 7-5 overall now even though they haven't been that good for most of the last 10 years. One of the three games they managed to win with then-Head Coach Urban Meyer was in London. They outplayed the Denver Broncos last season, but lost a close game primarily due to self-inflicted mistakes by quarterback Trevor Lawrence. It should be no surprise now that when the Jags have a good team then they consistently win in London. The 2017 playoff team routed a good Baltimore Ravens team, 44-7, and the Jaguars just won two consecutive games in London that weren't as close as the scores indicate. It's pretty clear to me. Your thoughts?

I think you pretty much covered it.

…. from London

I understand why the Jaguars haven't wanted an early bye week after London trips in the past, but I thought they'd perhaps change that stance this year on the back of a longer stay. They didn't and it makes next Sunday feel a bit like a trap game (whatever that means). Do you know if they were torn on whether to have the bye now or later?

They were not torn. Head Coach Doug Pederson prefers the bye later in the season and therefore asked to not have the bye this week. He might change that stance in the future if the five-hour time difference is an issue this week.

Paul from LAKE CITY, FL

"Jet lag," harumph! I think he means "extra naps."

Good eye.

Anita from Springfield

Is there any risk of losing the "training camp" feel when the Jags get back from across the pond? What does the team need to do to keep up the momentum of two wins in London?

I assume the training-camp feel of the week in London will dissipate now that the team is back from the United Kingdom. The Jaguars won their last five regular-season games last season without a "training camp" feel. How do you keep up the momentum of winning two consecutive games? Win a third consecutive game?

Mike from Jacksonville

I've noticed a lot of people are saying the Jaguars had an advantage over Buffalo for being in London for two weeks. Does that mean they will have a disadvantage against the Colts for being in London?

We'll find out this week.

William from Jacksonville

As a fan, I really loved the back-to-back games in London because it was nice having two Sunday afternoons free. But did the players hate it because of all the extra taxes they had to pay? Is it true the UK tax rate each game paycheck up to 45 percent? And the UK can also tax any player on their endorsement deals based on the number of days they are "working" in the UK? Sounds to me like what is good for the goose (the TV fans and Mr. Khan's back pocket) is not at all good for the gander (the player's back pockets).

Yes, the United Kingdom taxes players more heavily than the United States. Players don't love it, as might be expected.

MrMakersMark from Sec 408 Row A

Mighty O. A big difference I noticed from the Buffalo game was T-Law throwing 20-to-30 yards instead of the first games, where it seemed most passes were dumpoffs or under 10 yards. This really helped the offense stay on the field and although I love sacks by the defense, having a huge gap in time of possession was fantastic and I hope it continues. Was this designed or what the Bills gave them?

Most teams like to run consistently and keep their offense on the field by converting third downs. When teams do that, they often have a time-of-possession advantage. The Jaguars ran better against the Bills and converted third downs better than they had in pretty much any previous game this season. The Bills didn't really "give" them this as much as the Jaguars did these things well.

Ian from Leeds, UK

To address Nick from Virginia Beach's point about London audiences with a UK perspective, the NFL has been massive here for decades. Fans chose their favourite teams by happenstance (personally, Fred Taylor, John Henderson and Marcus Stroud for me). The Wembley games have earned us a lot of fans, but only among the people new to the NFL. If you look at the first five years of Jags in London, the opposition always had the home team feel. The fact that it didn't feel like that at Wembley means that Shad's plan is working and the base is growing.


Boxcutter Bill from Mass

Looks like Minshew Mania is coming back to Jacksonville. All we have to do is cover underneath, right? He can't throw deep right? What's the chance of Minshew having one of his signature games against his old team? I feel like we should come out slinging it and try to get up early. Am I wrong?

There were some throws Minshew didn't make consistently at times while in Jacksonville. It was one of the reasons he's a backup NFL quarterback. I don't know if the Jaguars need to "come out slinging it Sunday," but it would behoove them to get ahead early. Getting ahead early helps against any quarterback because it makes that quarterback make throws they have to make instead of ones they want to make. That would help against Minshew, too, but can he have a signature game? Yes. He's always capable of that. That's why he's going to have a long NFL career.

Don from Marshall, NC

It seems like Doug Pederson offense does not leave many breadcrumbs for the next week opponents. It seems you never know what they're going to do. Go Jaguars!

When it comes to breadcrumbs, Dom remains "all in."