Advertising

O-Zone: Quick fix

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

JagfanNC from North Carolina

It's funny ... you said we would win by double digits. What is your prediction for Dallas?

What do you mean I’m funny? … Funny how? Actually, I did think the Jaguars would win by double digits against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday – just as I thought the Jaguars would beat the New York Giants in a close game in Week 1, beat the New England Patriots in Week 2, struggle with the Tennessee Titans in Week 3 and beat the New York Jets in Week 4. So, after four weeks of “not bad,” the ol’ gut was way wrong last week. As for this week against the Dallas Cowboys, I think the Jaguars’ offense will play far better than most people expect. They were able to move the ball well last week – outside, of course, of the turnovers and the stalling in the red zone. The Cowboys’ defense is tougher than Kansas City’s, but I still see the Jaguars scoring enough to get ahead. If they get ahead, I believe the defense will force a turnover or two and make this game similar to the victory over the Giants – not a blowout, but a solid victory. I think they will beat the Cowboys by around seven points. Maybe I’ll be right. Maybe I’ll be wrong. Maybe some people think my prediction is funny. Maybe I’ll care. Probably I won’t.

Logan from Wichita, KS

A wise coach once told me "you're never as good as they say you are when you win; and you're never as bad as they say you are when you lose." I still don't know if I agree ...

You should listen to wise people, though I can’t see it happening.

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

So, if you don't see the Jaguars signing Leonard Fournette to a second contract, what do you feel about the value of the draft selection? Drafting a player at No. 4 overall to be on your team for five years seems like a waste. Not to mention he's injured this year and will probably hold out like Aaron Donald/Khalil Mack did in Year 5.

I didn’t love the selection at the time because I’m not a big running-back-in-the-Top-10 guy. That doesn’t mean I don’t think Fournette is good. It means I believe that in the modern NFL there is more franchise-building value at other positions. If the Jaguars get five productive seasons from Fournette – or six, if they franchise him – then it’s good selection. As for whether Fournette will hold out in Year 5, we’re a long way from that. He has to be more productive than he has been in his first 21 games before that’s a concern.

Scott from Daytona Beach, FL

See you Sunday in Dallas. You buying breakfast, right?

Not for you.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

I’ll admit I was on board after making it so far without him last season. But, with 20/20 hindsight, we should have paid that Allen Robinson guy, right?

Robinson has caught 19 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown for the Chicago Bears this season, a pace that would make him a 76-reception, 868-yard, four-touchdown wide receiver. Statistics aren’t everything, and I would have preferred the Jaguars have kept Robinson, too – had it made sense under the salary cap. It’s also difficult to assume a player’s production for one team would be the same if he were on another. But the Jaguars’ decision to allow Robinson to leave was in part because they didn’t believe he was an elite, No. 1 receiver. So far, it doesn’t seem the Jaguars made a horrible decision on that front.

Hugo from Albuquerque, NM

Sorry O: I know Moncrief wasn't brought in to be a game-changing, take-the-team-over-the-top signing, but at $9.6 million you have expectations – and he's not meeting them.

Jaguars wide receiver Donte Moncrief, who signed a one-year, $9.6 million contract last offseason, is on pace to catch 57 passes for 800 yards and six touchdowns this season. I don’t know how to determine if a player is “worth” $9.6 million, but the reality is you always overpay in free agency and it’s tough to find productive free-agent wide receivers. I agree that the Jaguars need more from Moncrief, but I just didn’t expect that much more than he has given.

Sam from Jacksonville

O ... I hate to say it, but this season is starting to feel like 2000 all over again.

I’m not feeling that yet. The Jaguars have lost two games – a very close game to a division leader and a one-sided game to what might be the best team in the NFL. Check with me Monday, but this doesn’t feel like the wheels are off yet.

Robert from Jacksonville

As a fan (short for fanatic), we see uncalled penalties, blown calls, mistakes, etc. Rewatching several games and Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has been hit low, in the head and late. Not one call. In Kansas City, wide receivers were held and contacted well beyond five yards. Do you see these same things, or do I need to make an appointment with my optometrist?

The holding penalties – and most penalties, for that matter – aren’t something I notice a whole lot. And I’ve long been a believer that the league isn’t purposely against any particularly team. But the whole thing of Bortles not getting calls … well, that is a real thing. There were several Sunday that should have been called and were not. So, in that case … no optometrist needed.

Dave from Duuuvaall

Hey O, If the Jaguars want to beat the Cowboys on Sunday they need to reestablish their identity. That identity is to run the ball, win the turnover battle and play great defense. I realize Fournette’s absence and T.J. Yeldon’s nagging ankle injury have played a role in a lack of a running game up to this point. But that has to change! Run the ball and play defense and see what happens! Please!

DTWD

Ruben from Jacksonville

At what point do we start letting rookie wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. get more run? Moncrief is too inconsistent and I feel like Chark gave us a taste of his potential for making big plays in the Chiefs’ loss. I know in limited action Chark has been a little inconsistent as well; however, his potential is through the roof and isn't going to get better if we don't start getting him game reps. If we start getting him more game action he could be really dangerous down the field off play action whenever Fournette returns.

I have said since training camp I thought Chark had a chance to be very, very good by season’s end – and that he had a chance to be a major contributor next season. I also said I believe the Jaguars will work him in more as he earns more opportunities. I still believe those things, and I think you’ll see his plays and targets increase.

Mike from Jacksonville

Why didn't the Jags call Tim Cook before they went out of house? Is it a benefit to already know the system?

Sometimes you’ve seen enough to know you want to see something else.

Brian from Charlottesville, VA

Here's a non-doom-and-gloom question for you. What are your thoughts about if the Jaguars should retain Yeldon after the season? If Yeldon keeps playing like he has, I think he'll go into free agency commanding $5-$8 million per year. I can't see the Jaguars paying him that, but I don't know that they can afford to lose him either. Your take?

I don’t believe the Jaguars will retain Yeldon after the season – not because he’s not worth it, but because they will have other veterans on which they need to spend second-contract money. I anticipate the Jaguars addressing running back relatively early in the draft, and that’s fine. The third-through-fifth rounds are the right time to address the position, particularly the reserve roles.

Benjamin from Jacksonville

I think the team will rebound well this week. Can you explain why the offensive coordinator continues to call the back-shoulder fade pass to Moncrief near the end zone over and over? They have tried that pass like 10 times and completed maybe one, so it seems to me Moncrief cannot make that catch.

Moncrief made that catch for a touchdown against the New England Patriots. The reason the Jaguars run that play when they do is it’s considered a high-percentage play against certain looks – particularly against zero, or man-to-man, coverage. So long as teams call that defense against the Jaguars near the goal line I expect you’ll see the back-shoulder fade. Also, it’s what Moncrief was brought to Jacksonville to do. If they’re going to play him, they need to have him doing that.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

It seems like when the offense starts slowly it cascades down and effects the overall team. The defense starts being left on the field too long, the team falls behind in points, they abandon the run, it becomes more difficult to throw. How do they fix this?

Start faster.

Advertising