JACKSONVILLE – One day since Krimma and one more day to Look-Ahead Wednesday.
It doesn't feel like Christmas. Sigh.
Let's get to it …
Chad from San Diego, CA
Zone - Merry Christmas to you and your family! This team is headed in the wrong direction. Injuries aside, the decision-making and situational awareness Lawrence has displayed the past few weeks and parts of games all year long has created cause for concern. Can this be fixed this season? I'm not confident we can make any noise in the playoffs (if we are gifted the opportunity).
This has been a common inbox refrain in the last day or so – and why wouldn't that be the case? The Jaguars on Sunday lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-12, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. It was a loss more one-sided than that score indicated. It was never close – and worse, the Jaguars looked listless and uninspired from the start. Head Coach Doug Pederson clearly focused on this in his postgame press conference, focusing on players needing to take pride in ownership to reduce turnovers and saying that the team lacked urgency – and that the Buccaneers appeared to want the game more than the Jaguars. We'll get more into Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence later in this O-Zone and this answer isn't meant to avoid the topic of Lawrence's recent issues. He indeed has struggled with situational awareness and decision-making in recent games. My overall thought is that he was improving in these areas – and playing well for the most part – for several games before sustaining a high-ankle sprain in a Week 13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He played particularly well in that game before being injured with less than five minutes remaining. Wide receiver Christian Kirk also hasn't played since that game, and Kirk's absence clearly has cost the offense some reliability and cohesion. That has hurt Lawrence, too. My overall thought on Lawrence is you can't ignore the knee, ankle and – most recently – concussion issues through which he has played the last two months. These issues have limited his practice time on multiple occasions, and his timing with receivers appears to have suffered along with that. I don't know if that can be fixed this season, but I do expect him to be the franchise quarterback moving forward. More immediately concerning was the overall performance against the Buccaneers. This team for the first three months of the season scrapped, fought and willed its way to victories. It seemed like a mentally tough, playoff-type ream. That seemed to be its identity. It doesn't feel that way anymore. It has two weeks to change that feeling. The time is now.
Eric from Mandarin
At what point do the general manager and the head coach face accountability? If I was this poor at my job week in and week out, I would be unemployed. Can't wait to hear how you spin this dumpster fire. So unacceptable, but no one seems to care at 1 EverBank Field Drive.
General managers and head coaches face accountability in the form of their jobs. Plenty of people care very much. Caring doesn't always mean firing people at the first sign of adversity.
Dwight from Naples, FL
KOAF: Gotta admit I am tired of hearing we are still in first place. I was halfway rooting for Indy or Houston to win. Maybe it would motivate these guys to play better. Goes back to last year, our best games seem to be when we are in crisis mode!
Frank from St. Augustine, FL
Johnny … I've watched a lot of Jaguars football this season, and our quarterback has suddenly regressed to the point to where he is less than average. At the same time, we are making backup quarterbacks look like they are world-class talents. I don't understand how a team can look this bad with the skill players that we have on the team. I'm curious if you see a rebuild with a massive overall of coaching or skill players for next season? There doesn't appear to be explosion or execution or creativity, or inspiration on either side of the ball.
These are fair questions and thoughts. Season-ending losing streaks that include performances such as Sunday's make them legitimate. I don't know what to expect this offseason. The season isn't over yet. The last two regular-season games likely will go a long way toward shaping the ensuing few months,
Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL
O, oh, ooooo: This team is in freefall. Mentally and physically. The O-Line can't keep Trevor upright. He's now seeing ghosts and has no confidence. All the injuries … he just isn't right. I get they still have the division lead but the team that won those eight games is well in the past. This is officially very ugly and equally concerning.
Mark from Jacksonville
Not trying to play 'got ya' but I'm just wondering what you think about this team after consistently referring to them as "good" (a month ago, according to you, we were "very good"). If we judge them by their record, they're average. If we judge them by recent results (the most relevant data) they are really bad. Just wondering if you think this is still a good team.
I consistently referred to the Jaguars as good and very good when they were good and very good. When an NFL team is 8-3, winning close games and beating teams with winning records – which the Jaguars were doing much of the season – why would you call them anything else? The Jaguars have lost four consecutive games and lost in a listless performance Sunday. Why would you call them good now? Did this get me? Maybe. I guess it's whatever.
Dave from Jacksonville
If this is the "good times" of being a sports fan, I may need to stick with scripted television exclusively. Because this sucks.
I wrote often this season that these were good times to be a Jaguars fan. The last few weeks were not good times. Sunday was an awful time. The Jaguars still have a chance to make the next few weeks a good time. Weirder things have happened. Teams have responded to greater adversity. Can the Jaguars respond to what admittedly is significant adversity? I don't know. Only this team can answer that.
Koop from Jax
Even for the Jags, this collapse is remarkable. Not a single positive from an important game. Shocking from a normal NFL team standpoint. Depressingly common for the Jaguars. Not sure where this ranks in "low points" for the franchise, but it feels like we're scraping the pavement.
I'm not sure, either, where Sunday ranks as a low point in Jaguars history. It's down there.
Gerry from Jacksonville
Two observations: 1- it wasn't even that close. 2- Trevor isn't right and may have been brought back too soon.
1 – no, it wasn't. 2 – that's easy to say in retrospect, but he cleared concussion protocol and you play the players who give you the best chance if they're healthy.
Rob from Jacksonville
I know the Jags still control their postseason destiny, but that control seems very shaky. Is this team cooked? Sometimes it happens – ala Tennessee last year.
This is a fair question. I don't know the answer. The Jaguars looked cooked Sunday. They don't have to look that way moving forward. It's up to the Jaguars for it not to look that way again. After Sunday's performance, you would think motivation would be high to show that's not what they are.
Don from Marshall, NC
The coaches suck and someone needs to get fired. You don't see Trent Baalke showing his face around while his draft is a total bust. Just cannot trust these guys anymore. Give me a no name coach who will not have a midlife crisis and who is willing to sign one-year contracts. That's all the NFL is and these coaches are ripping the owners off. The Jaguars continue to keep the nation right about their opinion of the Jaguars. I really feel bad for the Jaguar fans. The coaching on this team is as bad. This team is going nowhere fast and the coaches all staring at the stupid plastic plays not even looking up. Bunch of pathetic little cowards. Afraid to look up. That's what a loser does when things are not going right. Same problem same team no accountability.
Don is not happy and he at this point is not "all in."
Dan from Jax
Playoffs? Playoffs?! Do you really think this team deserves to be in the playoffs?
If they win the AFC South, they deserve it. If they make it as a wild-card team, they deserve it. That's because the playoffs are based on the entire season and not the last half of the season. Are they playing like a playoff team? Obviously not.
James from Socorro, NM
The Jaguars may still win the division, but I don't think the selection committee is going to let them into the playoffs.
James' got jokes.