JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Nathan from Utah
Zone, I believe the Jaguars can average seven more points per game through offensive efficiency alone. Which puts them just inside the top half of the league. Paired with the improved defense - considering time of possession and turnovers -they could average three-to-seven points less per game allowed. Barring injuries, and the expected weekly improvement, am I out my head to think that the final game of the season may very well determine the division winner?
I expect the Jaguars to be improved this season. I do not expect them to win the AFC South, make the postseason or go into the final week of the season with a chance to win the division. This is not at all to disparage what the franchise has done this offseason or to indicate the franchise isn't going in the right direction. My thought here merely acknowledges that Trevor Lawrence is a young quarterback in his first year in a new offense with many unknown pieces around him. It also acknowledges that a lot must go right for a team to go from where the Jaguars were last season – as the NFL's worst team – to postseason contention. I think a lot more will go right for the Jaguars in 2022 than has been the case in recent seasons. I just doubt enough will go right for them to be a playoff team. That feels like a year away.
Richard from St Augustine, FL
Oh wow is me says the town crier! However, Doug Pederson went 0-4 his first year at Philly and finished up about .500. I like his preseason philosophy. Protect your starters, get good physical work in when you can, practice against another team and evaluate the bottom half of your roster thoroughly. It does look like our non-starters don't match up to other teams. All-knowing KOAF, would you compare this team with the end of 1996 preseason as far as believing in themselves as a team? Time for the moodachays to count from now on!
I wonder if Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson even remembers his preseason record in 2016, his first season as the Philadelphia Eagles' head coach. My guess is perhaps he does – and that if he does, he didn't care about it anymore than he cares about the Jaguars' 0-4 record this preseason. Why? Because Pederson is an NFL guy who sees football through an NFL lens. He was an ex-player in his first season as the Eagles' head coach and he's an ex-player – and a Super Bowl-winning head coach – now in his first season with the Jaguars. Because he is those things, Pederson knows how to look at the preseason. Here's how Pederson answered Saturday when I asked how he felt about his team coming out of the preseason: "I feel good. I feel good about the starters. The way they've played the last couple of weeks and have really dominated while they were in there." He talked a little after that about some reserves on Saturday getting a chance to solidify backup spots: "That's what these games are all about." He added: "I feel good about the starters and where they are and how they are focused and ready to get this thing going." The Jaguars' starters were competitive this preseason. They looked very good at times. That's Pederson's takeaway. As far as comparing this season to 1996 … I just can't compare teams like that. That '96 team struggled until it started believing in itself in November. It wasn't special until after that. This team has potential. It could improve. It appears to believe in itself. We'll see soon enough where that takes it.
Doug from Jacksonville
I've always considered preseason games to be glorified scrimmages or open practices. If the Jags were trying to win against the Steelers, they wouldn't have had a rookie quarterback in the game when the starter and back up were dressed and healthy. I also feel like they make some calls to work on plays against another defense that wouldn't be the call in a game they were trying to win.
Nathan from St. Augustine, FL
All the talk of the Jags having the No. 1 spot on the waiver wire this week after cuts got me wondering how exactly does this process work? As much of a football fan as I am, I have never read how the waiver wire works. Is it like the draft where the Jags have so long to decide on which players, if any, they want to claim? Or do teams just select which players they want to claim and the NFL sorts it out?
When NFL teams want to part ways with players with fewer than four accrued seasons, they waive them. Other teams then have until the following day to put in a claim on the player. If multiple players put in a claim, the waiver wire order decides who gets the player's rights. Beyond that, there's not all that much to "sort out." Because the Jaguars had the NFL's worst record last season, they are No. 1 on the waiver wire. They will remain there until Week 3, after which the order is based on the current season's record.
John from Jacksonville
Not trying to be mean or condescending, Donnie, but it is the preseason. Same thing you said last year and the year before that and on and on and on.
I'll keep saying it next year and the year after that – or until preseason starts being a good indicator of what will happen in the regular season. I can't control what people think about what's written or said here. All I can do is make it as true as possible.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, do you find it tough to get to know some of these players fighting for their football careers when they get cut?
For those of us who cover and get to know these players tangentially, I would say it's a little difficult. The NFL is a tough business. Players are trying to show they deserve a place against some of the best people in the world in a profession. You certainly feel empathy for those that don't make it. For the coaches who work with these players daily and see the effort first-hand, it's very difficult. It's particularly difficult for the head coach, who must tell the players they have been released. We in the media don't have to do that. One thing has changed here, though: With each team having 16 practice-squad spots these days, and with veterans now allowed on those squads, being released from a team at the end of the preseason doesn't automatically signal the end of a dream.
Jason from North Pole, AK
I am guilty of panicking over inaccurate throws from Trevor. The kid is only 22 years old. If he becomes elite, the Jaguars could be competing for championships for the next two decades. If he sucks, we go right back to quarterback purgatory and continue to be a laughingstock. In terms of football, the stakes could not possibly be higher. So, when Trevor misses a wide-open receiver, I tend to wonder if all is lost and he just doesn't have it between the ears. I still believe he will be great, but man I'm living and dying with every throw over here. Just can't help it.
Hang in there.
Bruce from Owensboro, KY
I am pessimistically optimistic about the upcoming season. I think that is the way many fans feel.
That's an understandable way for Jaguars fans to feel. There are a lot of reasons for hope, but I get why longstanding fans don't trust those reasons. And I understand why those fans want to see results before they believe. The Jaguars have had one winning season since 2007. Why wouldn't fans want to see results first?
Andy from St Augustine, FL
People that can't see the difference between Trevor Lawrence and Blaine Gabbert/Blake Bortles need to get off the sunroom couch and get out into the world. Lawrence is already better at this point in his development (hint - he's still developing) than Gabbert/Bortles were at their best.
JR from The Squatchlands
O, I didn't get to see the exciting matchup with the Falcons and wanted to ask what you thought about Devin Lloyd's performance. He was basically the only Jaguar on the field that has a chance to start and I am eager to hear how he looked in his return to action.
Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, started and played much of the first half. He looked strong and fast – and perhaps most importantly, he showed no ill-effects from the hamstring injury that kept him out the first three games of the season.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
I changed my mind. I used to hate you. Now that preseason is over, I really hate you.