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O-Zone: So cool

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi, John. So, how did the Jaguars do it? How did statistically one of the worst defenses in the NFL essentially shut down the league's highest-scoring offense? Is this a one-off or a glimpse of what's to come?

The Jaguars beat the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills 9-6 at TIAA Bank Field Sunday, and the Jacksonville defense indeed held the NFL's No. 1 scoring offense to 301 yards and – far more importantly – two field goals. The Jaguars' defense accomplished this by limiting Bills running backs to 22 yards, which allowed the pass rush to harass Bills quarterback Josh Allen throughout the game – sacking him four times and forcing three takeaways. What's to come? Well, the NFL is a week-to-week league, and the Jaguars are a young, improving team with flaws so they're probably not going to replicate that defensive effort every week the rest of the season. At the same time, the Jaguars' defense did show some serious signs of improvement late against Seattle last week. This writer was among those skeptical about that defensive performance because much of it came with the Seahawks well in control of the game. I said I wanted to see the Jaguars do it again before I believe in the defense. Guess what? They did it again. Maybe it's time to at least begin to believe.

Bo from Saint Cloud, FL

We're 2-1 in the last three games. Let's keep it going.

This is pertinent and should be acknowledged. The one-sloppiness of the Jaguars' 31-7 loss to the Seahawks made it really concerning. But the Jaguars indeed won both games on either side of that loss and now have won two of their last three games after losing 20 consecutive games before that. Give credit where it's due and the Jaguars deserve a lot of credit for Sunday. They did what few believed possible and did it in impressive fashion. They did it in an adverse situation. Good for them.

Jordan from Mandarin


It's professional football.

Charles from Savannah

Josh Allen sacks Josh Allen! A win is a win! It wasn't a pretty ... but wow!!

Jaguars defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen not only sacked Bills quarterback Josh Allen Sunday, he intercepted Bills quarterback Josh Allen and recovered a fumble by Bills quarterback Josh Allen. The Allen/Allen thing understandably got some play, but far more pertinent for the Jaguars is that their Josh Allen is starting to play like the player they selected No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. He has played very well the last three games and actually has played well throughout the season. I got many questions after Sunday's game about it being a "breakout" game for Allen. I suppose – and it certainly was the most impressive statistical game of his career. But it's the consistency Allen is showing that's impressive and encouraging. He's looking more and more like a foundation piece for the defense. And boy, is that needed.

Kris from Neenah, WI

Josh Allen > Josh Allen

He sure was Sunday.

Earl from Middleburg, FL

Quarterbacks of today rarely step up in the pocket. They move laterally when trouble is in town, gain time, space. You know, like the continuum. TL is constantly lunchmeat stepping up in the pocket. Are coaches aware of this trend, or watching very old tape? C'mon man, curing what doesn't work is finding a cure, okay?

Your question implies that having an instinct to step up in the pocket is a bad thing. The opposite in fact is true. That's not to say that rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence should always step up in the pocket, but it's not even close to the wrong instinct.

Mike from Saint Augustine, FL

Welcome back to Sacksonville

Good eye.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Seeing Lawrence pull the quarterback sneak was like a breath of fresh air. Glad to see the coaching staff learning from their mistakes also.

It seemed a little more of a footnote that a major story, but was it good to see Lawrence successfully pull off a quarterback sneak Sunday? Sure.

Luke from Brisbane, Aust

Any given Sunday! Woohoo!!


Jeremy from Gilbert, AZ

Hats off to the defense, what a full game performance! But the offense, oof. Trevor has to get better. Too many inaccurate throws.

Lawrence will improve. He's a rookie playing with a limited receiving corps, and remember: the Bills are the NFL's No. 1 defense in points, total yards, passing yards and takeaways. This was a dramatically reduced game plan Sunday, particularly once it was evident the Jaguars were playing well defensively. None of that means Lawrence played great. But there's zero reason to worry on this front.

Paul from Saint Johns, FL

I shouldn't say this as a Jags fan, but the refs allowed several calls to go our way today (and some no calls). Maybe there isn't a referee conspiracy against the Jags?

Of course there's not.

Mike from Port Orange Fl

Great win. Question: Is a defensive coach going to tell anyone of the defensive backfield when the other team has a player just standing there on the field to at least go stand next to him not be five-to-seven yards away and wait until he catches the ball the run up and try to tackle him?

The Bills were the NFL's highest-scoring team entering Sunday's game. The Jaguars held the Bills defense to 301 yards and two field goals.

Tom from Nocatee

Josh Allen and Taven Bryan could be a nice defensive line combo for years to come.

Slow down, Tom.

Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL

John: During Smoot's sack of Allen on the third-down play at the end of the game, it was obvious Allen lost the ball before going down. There was no explanation at the time. Any thoughts why it wasn't a fumble?

You're referencing a sack by Jaguars defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot on Bills quarterback Josh Allen on the Bills' final series. While the ball indeed was clearly out, officials ruled that Allen's forward progress had been stopped and that the play was therefore over. It was an odd call. The thought here is it was incorrect.

Bryan from Tampa, FL

I thrilled we came away with a win. Our defense was outstanding, and obviously they needed to be since our offense is inept without J-Rob. If we had not won, all the the talk would be on that fumble inside of the final two minutes which did not get reviewed. Why did the officials not review that play? Do you find that as egregious as I do?

It wasn't reviewable once the play was ruled dead.

Scott from Jacksonville

My friends tell me I'm not allowed to attend any more Jags games in the future after skipping this one.

You just wanted to brag about having friends. Well played. I'm envious.

Gregg from Jax

Bills Mafia was in full force for this game. The flyover before the game shook the stadium and gave an incredible energy to the stadium. The Jags took that energy and used it throughout the game. Totally reminiscent type of game as the 2017 playoff win versus the Bills.


Will from Jaguarville

Was this the biggest upset in Jaguars history?

My opinion is yes. I rank it above any I've seen because the Jaguars were playing a team many consider a Super Bowl favorite and the Jaguars had shown few signs this season of beating an elite team. They had lost 21 of 22 games and the Bills were leading the NFL in points scored and fewest points allowed. The Jaguars had been embarrassed by the Seahawks the week before. I'm sure some will argue and those arguments might be legitimate, but to me this was the most surprising Jaguars victory I've covered. (Yes, even over the 1996 Divisional Round victory over Buffalo. Remember: that victory was in the playoffs, which means the Jaguars had … made the playoffs).

Mark from Kansas City ((formerly of Jax))

John, Is this win against the Bills as big of an upset as the win against the Bills back in the 1996 playoff game?

Bigger (for many of the same reasons in parentheses above.)

KC from Orlando, FL

Are we back to kicker tryouts? The feel-good story of three weeks ago feels like a distant memory for special teams magic.

Jaguars kicker Matthew Wright went three of four on field goals Sunday. He converted from 55 yard, which was good. He missed three consecutive times wide left in the third quarter when penalties on both teams kept giving him opportunities. The three misses were a bad look, but Head Coach Urban Meyer talked positively about Wright after the game. I don't sense kicker tryouts are imminent.

John from St. Johns, FL

Started with an awesome flyover…who saw this coming…wow, winning is fun!!! Awesome defense led by THE Josh Allen!

Winning is cool. Fans like it.

David from Ada, OK

What the hell, John? Beers on me.

Beers are cool. John likes them.