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O-Zone: Piping hot

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

_Jess from Glen Carbon, IL            _

Zone, Seahawks wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are two of the best in the NFL. The Jaguars' secondary hasn't played well in most games this year. Even so, I think the Jags have a better chance to win this game than many believe. Seattle quarterback Geno Smith just doesn't scare me. He's got some very good-to-great receivers to throw the ball to, but the Seahawks changed most of their offensive line this past offseason due to – in part – quarterback Russell Wilson's complaints about protection. If Wilson was playing QB, I would say Seattle wins easily. With him out, I see a very winnable game for the Jags. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has posted a 90-plus QBR three straight weeks, becoming only the second NFL rookie quarterback to do that since the 1970 merger. If he can do that again this week the Jags can win the game. Your thoughts?

I think Lawrence is developing rapidly – to the point of keeping the Jaguars in games. I also think running back James Robinson and the Jaguars' running game are playing consistently enough to give the offense hope in many games. I also think the Jaguars' lack of speed and premium playmakers at receiver make it difficult for the offense to get into the high 20s or low 30s most weeks; their season-high this season is 23 against Miami. I also think the Jaguars' secondary has had enough issues covering that even quarterbacks not on Wilson's level – Tua Tagovailoa of Miami and Tyrod Taylor of Houston – have thrown for big yardage against this defense. Those thoughts don't mean the Jaguars can't win Sunday; they can. But those thoughts do lead me to believe the Jaguars have enough flaws they can lose pretty much any game – including those that seem winnable because of the opposing team's quarterback.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

I need a dose of reality, so I don't become like Uncle Rico - what does 16 need to start working on getting better at? While I'm glad he's getting good, I don't want to get into the habit of blaming every member on the team except him. Also, do you think that Mac Jones looks better because of the players around him, or because he is adjusting quicker?

If your premise is that Jones has been better than Lawrence over the course of the entire season, I probably haven't watched Jones enough to refute it. I don't know that he has been better than Lawrence has been over the last three games. Maybe that's wrong, too. I do know Lawrence has shown steady improvement and that there is nothing to indicate he's not on his way to being elite. Where must he improve? Everywhere, which is the case for all young quarterbacks – and it's what he's doing. He particularly needs to be more accurate – but he's improving there, too. But Lawrence doesn't need to "start working to get better." He's working at it constantly. It's happening before our eyes. This is what Jaguars fans have wanted for a couple of decades. Just watch.

Revron from Mandarin

Just curious: what determines whether the play clock starts at 25 seconds or 40 Seconds? BTW I was a season ticket holder for the first 24 years! Now I am a couch potato watching from home or the nearest bar.

Teams have 40 seconds from the end of the previous down in normal situation or 25 seconds after the ball is declared ready for play certain "administrative" stoppages of play – i.e., a change of possession, the two-minute warning, etc.

Howard from Homestead, FL

Your comments on the radio communication got me wondering. Why don't the Jags do more hurry up offense so Trevor can get to the line sooner? Seems like it would be beneficial for a rookie quarterback to hear the coordinator give him tips on the defense's formation for about ten seconds before the snap.

The Jaguars would like to play up tempo and I expect they will do more of this as they improve offensively – and as Lawrence continues to grow. But hurry-up offense is not the end all. If you're really good offensively and you're getting first downs, it's terrific; it can overwhelm defenses. If you're less than really good offensively and getting three and outs, it puts your defense back on the field very quickly and can lead to disastrous stretches of positive momentum for the opponent.

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF - I feel like were extremely thin at cornerback, and wish we wouldn't have traded CJ Henderson and Sidney Jones IV. If you controlled the do-over button for this season, what decision would you reverse?

I probably wouldn't have done either.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Our O-line has received a ton of criticism, but this year they have done a fantastic job of keeping our quarterback clean. I wonder how much does the O-line's success this year have to do with a quarterback that has "above-his-years" pocket presence? I'm not calling Lawrence great yet, but all the great QBs in the league seem to have that in common.

The Jaguars have allowed a league-low eight sacks this season. That can be attributed in large part to the offensive line and in small part to the Jaguars having had their bye whereas a lot of teams have played one more game. But a huge part also can be attributed to Lawrence's pocket presence. He senses the rush well – phenomenally well for a rookie – and passes quickly and at the correct times to avoid sacks. He also rarely runs into sacks, an area in which many NFL quarterbacks – including some recent Jaguars quarterbacks – have struggled.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

"… dining alone in a strip-mall Mexican restaurant and drinking beer(s) from those huge mugs and watching Spanish-language soap operas without subtitles…" Ahh, a man of fine tastes I see. I actively seek this out. I usually have the Mrs with because we both enjoy authentic tacos, but I like it when they put the fútbol game on. My favorite telenovela though is from Peru called Ojitos Hechiceros. Some of those are really wild.


Garrett from Jesup, GA

So, if Russell Wilson is a Hall of Famer today, will Kirk Cousins be one in two years if he wins a Super Bowl? He would have very similar career stats in similar amount of games played. I don't buy Russell as a Hall of Famer yet. He's had a great first nine years to his career, but let him rack up some more great years and numbers before getting him a gold jacket.

If Kirk Cousins had won a Super Bowl, played in another and been in the playoffs eight of nine seasons, and had the same knack for late-game clutch performances as Wilson, AND had similar statistics to Wilson … then yeah … he probably would be a Hall-of-Fame player. I have no dog in this hunt. I wouldn't necessarily call myself a huge fan or put Wilson on the same level as, say, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady or Peyton Manning … but he's probably a Hall of Famer … and maybe a touch better than Kirk Cousins.

John from Jacksonville

Hi King of Zone. Want to see more speed in our wide receivers and have that deep threat? Ask the Culligan girl to stand in the end zone. Wait - never mind - the ball will bounce off the back of their helmet.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Paul from Saint Johns

Can Lawrence become elite without elite receivers? I ask because, as often mentioned on this free website (I'm the one who reads it daily), Lawrence is improving by the day and showing elite qualities. But his receivers aren't "elite" with speed with wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. out and the offense is "compressed." Shouldn't an elite QB be able to compensate for average receivers? Or does a QB need one burner receiver to become "elite?"

Lawrence isn't elite yet – and you don't have to have elite receivers to become elite. And yes … elite quarterback can compensate to some degree for average receivers. But they're still better with better receivers.

Ken from Jax

With our crack and knowledgeable front-office flunkies, do you think we will be able to get a sixth-round pick for linebacker Myles Jack or will we have to settle for a seventh-rounder to go with our collection of sixth- and seventh-round special team selections which we like to collect? I'm thinking we might be able to get a fifth-rounder for James Robinson and tell everyone how good of a trade it was because he was an undrafted free agent and we managed to get a fifth for him, thus claiming that we upgraded the roster. We need to get someone in the front office with half a brain! Oh wait, I hear the phone ringing off the wall. Probably another team offering us someone who can block.

Good burn.