JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Dave from Jacksonville
Well, even when we draft the "can't-miss, generational" quarterback, we draft the wrong guy. Awesome.
I'm receiving more and more emails like this lately – and the sentiment is understandable. Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence has struggled for the last two months or so, and he struggled again in a 50-10 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday – with all three of his interceptions leading to Patriots touchdowns. And while this will be a discussion throughout the offseason, I'll say this now and I expect to say it all offseason: Nothing has happened to make me less confident Lawrence will be a very good starting quarterback for this franchise for a long time. And I remain as confident he can be a franchise-level quarterback. I say that because I have seen the circumstances through which Lawrence has had to play this season, and I have seen how he has handled those circumstances. He needs a reset. He needs a new head coach, and he needs the sweeping changes sure to come with that new head coach. He needs much, much, much better receivers and skill players. He needs this season to be over and to start new. We'll dig into details on this throughout the coming weeks and months. That's the overview.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey, John. I really think this team qualifies as the worst Jaguars team ever, maybe even the worst NFL team ever. It's so hard to watch. When can we finally start to discuss draft and head coach as there is no reason to talk about the on-field stuff? Go jags!
Is this the worst Jaguars team ever? Hell, Sascha … I don't know. There's a lot of competition for that over the last decade, and maybe I'm too close to this season to provide a big-picture perspective. This team is in the discussion. No doubt. And considering the circumstances of the past week – the injuries and the COVID-19-related absences – could an argument be made for Sunday being one of the weakest Jaguars teams and worst performances? Yeah. That's a legitimate argument.
JT from Palm Coast, FL
Tipped passes or drops have been a constant throughout the whole season. He has struggled at times (as most rookies do), but how fair is it when his receivers can't do what they are hired to do?
Chris from St. Augustine, FL
I understand changing the quarterback when you're down 44-3 is pretty pointless, but at what point do you put somebody else in just to see if you can get some success for everyone on the field? You always hear the argument that somebody drafted as high as Lawrence has to be allowed to play and pulling him could do more harm than good, but so much of the fault lies with him. I know his supporting cast is a joke, but he has very clearly regressed to the point of almost seeming broken. How do you fix that?
I'm just not on board with the regression argument. Here's why: I wrote and said shortly after the bye week – when Jaguars starting running back James Robinson was injured and the offense was beginning to really struggle – that I worried that Lawrence was going to receive a lot of unwarranted criticism in the second half of the season. I believed that because defenses were compressing on this offense because of the lack of big-play presence at receiver and it just felt as if the pressure on Lawrence – and the offense's inability to stretch defenses – was going to mean a rough second half of the season. When I analyze Lawrence, I go back to the three games right before the bye – when Robinson and the offense around Lawrence were comparatively healthy and functioning. Lawrence looked damned good in those games. I also think of multiple games recently when Lawrence looked good early before those games got away and turned one-sided. The talent is there. His composure and poise are real. So is his maturity. I don't believe he's broken. I just don't. A lot must get fixed around him, but he's still the franchise's best hope moving forward.
Jay from So-Cal
Yikes. Smash. Ka-pow. Bazinga. Whammy. Ouch. You know what I am saying
Chelten from Jacksonville
The sad part about the Jags' situation seems to be that all the losing and the negative has badly affected Trevor. Are you concerned this year has been so bad that the Jaguars ruined him after one season? Today seemed the lowest of the low.
I can't predict the future, so I don't know what that future holds for Lawrence. I do know if he is "ruined" then he didn't have the mental makeup to be great. And I absolutely believe Lawrence has such a mental makeup.
Roger from Houston, TX
I'm not a coach or a skilled football analyst, but I do think it would be helpful to catch the ball rather than batting it to a defender.
Roger's got jokes …
Wade from Westside
I have changed diapers that did not stink as bad as this team.
… and so does Wade …
James from Titusville, NJ
I can't fault the defense too much for falling apart at the end of the game. I doubt they gameplaned much to go up against Brian Hoyer. Just a tough break.
… and James …
Nelson from St Augustine, FL
John. Did this game officially eliminate us from the NFL?
… and Nelson.
Mark from Kansas City, MO
Can the Jaguars just go ahead and forfeit next week's game? From the looks of it the players have already quit, so why not?
Sunday didn't look like a team that had quit to me. It looked overmatched. It looked incapable of doing what it needed to do. It looked like a team with reserves and players signed off the street playing key roles. But it didn't look like it had quit.
Robert from Middleburg, FL
It is criminal what this organization has done to Trevor Lawrence this year. Here's a kid who has won at every level he's ever played. He walked in here this year with every tool imaginable for a quarterback. As close to "can't miss" as you can get and all the confidence in the world. Now, after just one season, TL is but a shell of that player. Everyone on the football side of this organization should be escorted out of the building the second the season ends, including the general manager. I just pray it's not too late for our franchise quarterback.
It's not too late.
Adam from Bryan, TX
Campbell is a terrible cornerback. That effort that he gave to recover on that third touchdown by the Patriots was unacceptable. John, what's been your assessment on how Campbell has played this year because the Jags traded a really good corner so he could start.
Jaguars rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell is not terrible. He has played progressively better after struggling early in the season. My assessment is therefore different than your assessment. And FYI … CJ Henderson was the cornerback the Jaguars traded.
Michael from Cincinnati, OH
I don't like how Trevor was the only player to talk after the game. It made me feel like there was a lack of leadership from the team or that the public-relations department held the others away. Neither of which are good reasons.
Kris N. from Neenah, WI
Why does this feel like rock bottom? Also, how is Trevor the only player speaking to the media? He seems like the only player willing to take any accountability throughout this entire train wreck of a season.
It feels like rock bottom because the Jaguars lost by 40 points. Your assessment of Lawrence being the only player speaking is correct. Captains should speak after games if requested. They're leaders. And speaking in difficult situations is part of leading.
James from Jacksonville
I was not a fan of the Meyer head coach hiring and I am not a fan of the decision to keep the current general manager. I have always loved my hometown Jaguars, but with the lack of talent on the team from the previous regimes failure in drafting I worry that we are may not be able to find a new HC that can turn it around. Do you believe that there is a current candidate that can turn it around?
Please from Send Help
Can you try to explain why our players beat their chest after making a tackle when down by 40 points?
I have many answers and many explanations. The readers can judge which are good and which are bad. But no … I can't explain why players beat their chests in blowouts after routine plays. They should get off our lawns.
KC from Orlando, FL
KOAF. This game sure was over in a hurry. At least we were able to hang in for one quarter. I expected us to lose, but did you expect these results?