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O-Zone: Rock on

JACKSONVILLE – Look-Ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Nick from Annapolis, MD

Let's get ahead of ourselves a little bit. If the Jaguars go into Indy and get a win (Boselli locked it), are they looking at a 5-6 record heading into December? At that point, they could get to 7-8 heading into December, and a shot at an above .500 record and maybe squeaking into the wild card. #SuperBowl

The Jaguars have won two of their past 23 games, with both victories by a field goal. You're now asking if they could win seven of their last nine games. It's not impossible because most things are technically possible. But it's extremely unlikely. Remember: this team has scored 13 points in its last two games and hasn't scored a meaningful touchdown since October 17. I'm not overlooking the improvement the Jaguars have made in the last six weeks or so. That improvement is impressive and real. But the Jaguars have yet to score 23 points in a game this season. In the last two weeks, it looks like defenses have figured out the passing offense because of the limitations at receiver. I see the Jaguars winning some games and remaining competitive the rest of the season. It's tough to see them reeling off long stretches of victories until they're more consistent offensively.

John from Jacksonville

Hi, King of Zone. With regards to our offense, without having running back Travis Etienne Jr. and wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (two big playmakers) this season, I think we stay as a run-first team and stick with it. If the defense has found its way (TBD), we can be down a score or two and not need to start gunslinging to catch up. Agree?

I imagine Jaguars coaches ideally would like to do this. It's far easier said than done. Also: While the Tennessee Titans notably have been able to remain patient and effective running the ball while behind in games, they have adapted to that approach over time with a unique running back in Derrick Henry. Are the Jaguars as good overall offensively as the Titans to be able to stick with that approach and get back in games with the run? Probably not – though I agree that gearing toward that probably is the Jaguars' best approach for now.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Kudos to the Jags media team for mic'ing up Josh Allen. Had a smile on my face for the full 5 minutes. Very cool.

Jaguars Media, led by the very capable Patrick Kavanagh and Dave DeCandis, indeed had Allen "mic'd up" during his performance against the Buffalo Bills Sunday. This was yet another example of the fine work of a media/broadcasting department that has been one of the NFL's best for many years and continues to do what it has done for years – i.e., bring Jaguars fans close to the team and players. Kudos? Absolutely, Jaguars broadcasting/media. Kudos.

Jim from St. Johns, FL

How do you explain Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence sometimes putting the ball into the perfect spot on a covered receiver and sometimes missing the open receiver by a lot? He's got an incredible future ahead of him but the misses that should not happen in the NFL are puzzling to me.

He's a rookie.

Albert from Wayne NJ

How much different would the narrative be around the team if they beat the Cincinnati Bengals and were sitting at 3-5 compared to 2-6? We can argue we can also be 1-7 but much more fun to hypothesize the other way.

It would also be different if the Jaguars were 0-8, which just as easily could be the case. Close games are the norm in the NFL, not the exception.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, how do you see the Colts game-planning to try and take away what we did well against the Bills?

By doing what they do well, establishing the run.

Mike from Jax

Lastly, why has Shenault regressed so much? With an upgrade in QB I was expecting something more from him, or is this performance is what we should expect from him moving forward?

I'm starting to get multiple versions of this question, and it's understandable because observers projected a major improvement and impact from Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. in his second NFL season. But while Shenault has not fulfilled those expectations this season, I'm not sure it's accurate to call this season a regression. He's essentially the player he was as a rookie – i.e., a capable "swiss-army-knife" player who can make dynamic plays in the passing game at times and can run effectively at times out of the backfield. He doesn't appear to have the speed to be a "true No. 1 receiver." That doesn't make him a bad player. It means he needs a No. 1 receiver and other players to stretch the field so he has more room to operate close to the line of scrimmage.

Clay from AB

So, the Tampa Bay Bucs "figured out" Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the secret was pressure. Now the Dolphins and Jags have "figured out" Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and the secret Is … you guessed it … pressure?

Pressure – particularly pressure up the middle and from the backside – is the secret to "figuring out" any quarterback. That always has been the case. That never will change.

TJ from Jax

After an embarrassment in Seattle, the defense plays great. Do they need to be humiliated to give effort? Where do the coaches belong in this?

If you're asking if the Jaguars coaches humiliated the players and screamed and yelled until there was a better defensive effort … no, I do not believe that's what happened Sunday. I would hope not. This is professional football.

John from Jacksonville

Hi, King of Zone. As the season progresses, it seems the officiating is very inconsistent across the league. What is deemed as a penalty in one game is overlooked in another. Also, I think the rise of the taunting penalties are a joke. Players can do all sorts of ridiculous celebrations to irritate their opponents, slam tackle them violently each play, but can't look at them face to face? So silly.

The NFL's goal in officiating typically is to remove subjectivity and judgement from the process as much as possible. It is impossible to do completely, but that's the goal because the league indeed wants a game played in Miami at 1 p.m. on Sunday to be officiated in essentially the same manner as a game played in Seattle on Thursday and so on. That's the fundamental challenge with the taunting penalty. Whereas it's relatively easy to say to an official, "Here's how to define offsides or holding," it's far more difficult to define taunting because it potentially takes so many forms. The solution? Either loosen the restrictions or deemphasize the issue or accept that there will be inconsistency.

Sean from Jacksonville

Two things to feel. One, we are definitely not in last place in the AFC South – and, two, guarded optimism. That is all. Carry on.


Jim from Middleburg, FL

Hi, John. Walter Little did well. He gave up a sack in the first but played very well after that. Seemed as comfortable with the run and the pass. Did he do that well?

He did fine. He wasn't perfect. He must improve areas. He has all the physical attributes and potential to be an NFL starting tackle and the anticipation is that he will be just that for a long time. I don't know if that will be this season. It's very possible it won't be this season. That's OK and not unexpected.

Steve from Yulee, FL

Let's get to it. Now tell me great O, did your heart sink to your knees when T Law went down? So tell us all would you now like to see a veteran or two at the tackle spot? And I'm referring to veterans other than Robinson and Taylor and yes I know they are good run blockers. For some reason, I think it's important to protect our franchise quarterback. He really must start protecting the ball better

I didn't want to see Lawrence injured and was pleased when he returned. Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson has been playing well this season, and Little for the most part played well for Robinson Sunday. He didn't actually do a bad job on the play Lawrence was injured. Quarterbacks are going to get hit at times in the NFL. Lawrence hasn't in any way been under undue pressure this season. This remains true despite many fans clinging to other ideas.

George from Drummonds

One Fer All. Looks like a team is emerging. In my opinion, doing the best you can with what you have is a tremendous positive. No question, just wanted to chime in somewhere other than the Comments Section. You rock JO.

You know what? You're right! I do rock! What's a comments section?