O-Zone: Ring my bell

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Has Cody Kessler been given a sufficient opportunity to show he is not the Jaguars’ answer at quarterback?

Yes, but I’m not sure that was ever a prominent storyline. While some wondered about the issue, I never got the feeling Kessler being inserted into the lineup three weeks ago was a case of the Jaguars trying to figure out if he could be the long-term starting quarterback. This was more about longtime starter Blake Bortles struggling enough during October and November – particularly in the last two weeks of November – that it was difficult for the Jaguars to start him anymore. And once Bortles was benched, there hasn’t been much point in starting him again. As far as Kessler, it’s hard to know exactly what level he could reach. The Jaguars’ offensive line has struggled to protect him; he has been sacked 13 times. And as the case when Bortles was playing, not a lot is going right around Kessler offensively. Either way, neither Bortles nor Kessler will be the answer long-term at quarterback for the Jaguars – and I would be surprised if either Bortles or Kessler is their Week 1 starter in 2019.

Jeff from Palm Coast, FL

Looks to me like the Jaguars are signing off for the season. Third down and Dave Williams as the featured back. As a 10-year season-ticket holder, that smells like capitulation to me. Anyway, I also will sign off for the season. Bye.

I often get emails at the end of disappointing seasons asking, “Why not play young players and see how it looks?” That’s how it looks.

John from Jacksonville

It really feels like the front office has said, “Play inferior players and if we lose, that’s OK.” I have never seen a team do that for the last six games of the season.

I often get emails at the end of disappointing seasons asking, “Why not play young players and see how it looks?” That’s how it looks.

Howard from Homestead, FL

This loss forces me to rethink what I believed about football. If a 32-year old making his first start in seven years can beat this defense, maybe we were wrong. Maybe there really are guys in the stands who can step onto the field with half a playbook and little experience and win nevertheless. Maybe the average NFL player isn’t as good at his trade as we were led to believe.

I’m not sure how much there is to rethink – and I wouldn’t change an entire belief system based on the Jaguars’ loss to the Washington Redskins Sunday. Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson, who indeed hadn’t started an NFL game since 2011, threw for 151 yards. The Redskins had 245 total yards offense and 16 first downs. They didn’t have an offensive touchdown until the fourth quarter. They scored 16 points and had one drive over 40 yards. Johnson played fine considering his circumstances, but the Jaguars lost Sunday because they didn’t have an offensive touchdown for a second time in three games. Did Johnson “beat the Jaguars’ defense?” I suppose, but that really doesn’t tell the story about what happened Sunday.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

Running back Leonard Fournette at No. 4 looks worse every week, right?

It ain’t looking good right now.

Evan from Section 37 and Ponte Vera Beach, FL

How do you lose to a team where the quarterback has not started a game in ten years? Also, don’t you think we are really in for a major rebuild on the offensive side of the ball that could take us many years before we can be competitive again?

Here’s how you lose to a team with a quarterback who hasn’t started a game in seven seasons: by not being good enough offensively to score enough points to beat another struggling offense. And yes … the Jaguars are in for a major rebuild on offense because they need to reboot at quarterback, wide receiver and tight end. They likely won’t be elite offensively next season, but can they be better? Can they be more competitive than they were this season? Absolutely.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

I agree with benching Blake Bortles, but these fans that thought that somehow we would be better with our backup are delusional. Injuries wrecked this offense and firing the quarterback and offensive coordinator weren't going to solve anything.

Sometimes, it’s time to move on. The Jaguars decided three games ago it was time to move on from Bortles and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. And yeah … there wasn’t much chance it was going to turn this offense elite. Late-season quarterback and coordinator changes don’t work that way, particularly with offenses as injured as the Jaguars’ offense this season.

Rachal from St. Augustine, FL

During the game, the referee mentions a "30-second timeout.” Is there another kind of timeout?

A 30-second timeout actually is a normal timeout. Longer timeouts are sometimes taken at the discretion of television.

Frank from Jacksonville

Not a fumble … refs are terrible. What say you?

You’re referencing a fumble by Kessler in the first quarter Sunday. What say I? I say there wasn’t enough to overturn it. I also say fans have thought referees were terrible since I started watching the NFL in in the early 1970s – and I doubt that will change.

Rob from Pittsburgh, VA

John, this team is better than its record. Five of its losses were one-possession games. With some offensive line fixing and a new quarterback, I think this team will be good next year.

OK.

Jerry from Hero, FL

Boy, was that an inspiring performance … NOT! I'm not sure what was more annoying: the guy at the top of our section repeatedly yelling "YOU SUCK," or the complete lack of offense. I know there are no pro-level offensive linemen left on our roster, but it really seems like Fournette is good for about one good run a game – and Kessler stood still in the pocket until it was too late to do anything. What are we to look for the last two games John?

It's hard to expect much different from the Jaguars’ offensively or from the team overall in the last two regular-season games. The offense has scored one meaningful touchdown in three games since changing quarterbacks and coordinators, and Head Coach Doug Marrone has shown no inclination to go back to Bortles as the starter. With the offensive line unlikely to magically get healthier, it’s hard to imagine more from the offense. The Jaguars are playing two teams in the final two games – Miami and Houston – that seem likely to still be playing for playoff berths or for playoff positioning. It will be a tough road.

John from Jacksonville

Kessler for MVP? What a game. Your favorite statement for Blake, I believe, is in order for Kessler. Sometimes it’s time to move on. Do you think Kessler is back next year?

As a backup. Perhaps.

Andrew from Fort Lauderdale, FL

I’m not sure any quarterback could make this offense function right now. Losing this game has to be for the best.

I don’t disagree with your first statement. I assume you’re referencing the 2019 NFL Draft with your second statement. If so, it’s hard to disagree with that, either.

Michael from Middleburg, FL

John, I don’t care what you or anyone else says or thinks ... anyone with their eyes open and know a little about football can see it’s coaching for the Jaguars. Bortles is the best option to win, and getting rid of the offensive coordinator was an idiotic mistake.

Of course. Because it’s always coaching in the NFL.

Dan from Vegas

Doubt that this will be posted, but here it is. This team has given up same as his head coach quit on his previous job, it always starts from the top John.

Wow. What a nervy question. I’m really surprised I have the guts to post it. Bottom line: Every time a team loses a lot of games, the default opinion is that the team “quit on the head coach.” Do the Jaguars know the season is over? Sure. Do players look around and see young players playing and know this has a different feel than an October game? Sure. Does that mean the team “quit on the coach?” No, but that’s how people are going to perceive it – and whatever I write here isn’t going to change that perception.

Andy from Roswell, GA

Can we please just cut wide receiver Donte Moncrief now? I can’t take it. How does a veteran make a pick look that obvious? Ridiculous. On the plus side, this really helped our draft position.

Fair.

Allen from Belle Air, OH

Different quarterback, same result. Can we skip the next game? I am so tired of watching such poor offense. It is unreal. Oh no … just realized we have TWO more games of this. Oh, the bells, the bells, the bells ...

Fair.

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