JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Matt from Houston, TX
Have we really seen enough of Matt Wright to pick him over Lambo? Was Lambo THAT bad in competition? I get he missed multiple kicks in a row, but so do most NFL kickers ... I think they jumped the gun on this one.
The Jaguars indeed released Josh Lambo Tuesday, meaning Matthew Wright is the team's kicker moving forward – and I can't vehemently disagree with your point. I was a touch surprised the Jaguars released Lambo for a few reasons. One was that Head Coach Urban Meyer had supported Lambo for the past three weeks. Another was that NFL's current practice-squad rules would have made it a little easier to carry Lambo on the 53-player roster for a few more weeks because you could bring other players up and down from the practice squad – thereby keeping Lambo available if needed. Perhaps the biggest argument for keeping Lambo was that despite Wright's heroics in a victory over the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday, he also is 10 days removed from missing short off the crossbar from 53 yards and off the right upright on an extra point in a loss to Tennessee. The other side of the conversation is it's difficult to keep a kicker who isn't kicking on the roster – and that side of the conversation in the end is the more reasonable side. Lambo's struggles in the first three games of the season – three missed field goals and two missed extra points – would have gotten most kickers quickly released from most NFL teams. The Jaguars gave him nearly a month. Maybe that's jumping the gun a bit, but probably not – and it's certainly not an unreasonable decision.
Matthew from Arlington of Duval
Just a "Thanks for the memories" to Lambo. Kicking is a cruel business, and this Jag fan just wants to throw some appreciation his way.
Lambo will – and should – he remembered fondly by Jaguars fans. The 2017 season was the team's most memorable in the last decade and that season doesn't play out the same without Lambo. He also was really, really good for several seasons. Appreciation for Lambo? Absolutely.
KC from Orlando, FL
Sad to see Lambo's release. Seeing him pick up Wright after those huge kicks was a class act. I hope he gets his mojo back. He was one of the few bright spots on the team these past few years.
Hey, one fer Lambo! And yes … his support of Wright Sunday was cool to see.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, is it normal for a team to work on such an odd play on a regular basis considering it will almost never be used?
You're referencing the so-called "slider-kill" play that the Jaguars used to gain a quick nine yards in Sunday's 23-20 victory over the Dolphins, with quarterback Trevor Lawrence passing to wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. and getting the clock stopped with a fast timeout at game's end. But you're incorrect that the play almost never will be used. It actually could be run relatively often because of the importance of end-of-half and end-of-game situations. Even if it might only be used once or twice a season, it's worth practicing considering it probably will mean the difference between a chance at a field goal or not having that chance. The NFL is a situational game and that situation is more than common enough to merit the amount of time the Jaguars apparently dedicated to it.
Nick from Palatka, FL
Hey, Zone. So glad we have two weeks to enjoy this. I just had a technical question that only the all-knowing O will be able to answer. On the penultimate play of the game, if Miami does not touch Shenault down does the clock run out or can Meyer kill it mid-play? DTWD!
This depends on when the official rules the play dead. Section 2, Article 1(d) of the NFL rulebook states that a runner is down when he declares himself down by "falling to the ground or kneeling, and clearly making no immediate effort to advance." On the play in question, Shenault Jr. fell forward with the intent to give himself up – something the official likely knew considering the circumstance of the play. Also, Meyer said this after the game: "I had the official right there and I said, as soon as he catches and goes down, time-out. He caught it, time-out, and there was still that one second left." So, the play should have ended immediately when Shenault went down because the official he had no intent to get up and tun. Therefore, the official knew the play was over and should have been looking for the timeout. Again: credit Meyer and the coaches for being aware of the situation and making sure officials were aware, too. This is what they should have done, and they did it. So, hey … one fer Meyer …
Tom from Mandarin
SLOW DOWN. You are ready to hail Urban Meyer king for making a reasonable call at the end of the game. Given the odds, that play had just as good of a chance for success as any other option. Only difference, it contained the element of surprise. If you really want to anoint someone have Con send one hail of a big Christmas present to Brian Flores. If he hadn't made that Meyer-like fourth-down call, Wrights opportunity would not have existed and the outcome most likely would have been very different.
No one's hailing Meyer king of anything. But the call at the end of the game was a good one. People criticize this coaching staff enough when it fails. You can't praise – even a little – when it succeeds?
Don from Marshall NC
I see a tight and close bunch of players on this team. Better keep an eye on these guys. Players on this team better be stars if they want to ride the T-Law gravy train. Go Jaguars!
You go, girl.
Eddie from Happy Jax
Is Agnew starting to take on the role originally envisioned for Etienne?
Jaguars wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew certainly appears to be doing things that rookie running back Travis Etienne Jr. would have done had he been healthy, particularly carrying a time or two out of the backfield and catching the ball quickly on screens out of the backfield. I expect Etienne – who is out for the season with a Lisfranc injury – would have had a bit more of a "traditional running-back" role at times, but Agnew's emergence certainly has allowed the Jaguars to use some more elements that Etienne would have brought.
Tristian from Crystal River, Florida
O, I think you ought to be tempering expectations a bit more when it comes to the questions/comments about Wright and if we've found "the answer" at kicker after one great game. The truth is that any kicker who'd even see the field in an NFL game are capable of Wright's performance. I'm not trying to undermine how incredibly clutch he was. But there's a reason he wasn't already hired, and it's a high-pressure position loaded with ups and downs. If Wright suddenly goes a few weeks missing short field goals, he's probably history, quick as that. That's the cut-throat nature of being a kicker in the NFL.
First, I can handle what gets "tempered" in these parts and what doesn't, though – as I've often stated – advice from readers is not only welcome but "awesome." And I indeed have written multiple times that going with Wright has risks considering he was as shaky in a Week 5 loss to Tennessee as he was clutch in a Week 6 victory over Miami. And of course there's a possibility Wright could be gone in a few weeks. If he makes kicks, he will be here. If he doesn't, he won't. That's indeed the nature of the NFL.
Charles from Port St. Lucie, FL
Strategy should be simple now. Just make a field goal. We are undefeated in games we make a field goal.
Richard from Lincoln, RI
So, when you talked about the Tampa Bay streak in 1976-1977, it got me thinking ... I graduated high school in '77! I hope you are not feeling as old as me, John?
You're damned right I'm not feeling that old. I graduated ol' Jacksonville Episcopal High School in '83 – and I was 16 at the time. A young 16, at that. Graduating in '77? I can't even imagine.