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O-Zone: So good

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville

Back-to-back with the Union Jack … gotta love not playing the Bills in Buffalo?

The NFL on Wednesday announced the Jaguars will play a home game against the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium in London in Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season followed by a road game against the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Week 5. They will be the first NFL team to play two regular-season international games in one season. There are multiple positives for the Jaguars in this scenario, one of which is the revenue created – and kept – from the home game and another being the international exposure of a second London game without the loss of another game at TIAA Bank Field. Could not playing the Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y. in potentially snowy conditions in December or January be a positive? Yeah, you could say that.

SteveC from Cardiff, UK

Wow. Two games to look forward to in London this year. With the exception of the Jaguars, who I have supported through thick and thin - and there has been a lot of "thin" - I generally shout for the home side. But that goes out the window at Tottenham this year and I'm hoping the UK Jags fanbase can make this an extra home field game. It will be tough, but we can get two wins out of this.

SteveC is "all in …"

TJ from Hopewell, NY

I just moved to New York and one of the makeups for losing out on going to Jags games was that at least I'd get to see them play in Buffalo this season. Guess that's out now. Lame.

… while TJ is not.

Keith from Duval

The Jaguars are the first team in NFL history to play back-to-back games in London. I know they get to keep full revenue for the Wembley game, but is the league letting them keep the revenue for both this time?

No. The Falcons game at Wembley is a home game, and the Jaguars will generate – and keep – the revenue from that game accordingly. The game against the Bills at Tottenham is a Jaguars road game with no accompanying home revenue for the Jaguars.

Fred from Naples, FL

Two games this year in London. What's next? Three games before we eventually move the franchise there?

No. The Jaguars aren't moving to London. They have been playing a home game in London for essentially a decade and this season they will play a road game there, too. This changes nothing for the long-term and simply allows the Jaguars an added international presence at no cost.

Daniel from Fort Collins, CO

I see fans scoffing about us having to play two London games. But I think playing Buffalo in London in our second game there is a huge advantage. One fer London.


Jason from Suffolk, VA

The past few years I have felt that Shad Khan and the Jaguars have established themselves in Jacksonville and quieted the noise about the team potentially moving. I understand the whole London thing as a part of helping the team financially and not necessarily a precursor to them moving in the future. But here we go: The second we get scheduled back-to-back games in London (one of which is considered an away game) out comes an article that the Jaguars are the most likely team to move when/if the NFL creates the European division. How do we make this madness stop? Stupid National media!!!

What the national media say or don't say about this topic matters not a whit. What Jaguars Owner Shad Khan says and does regarding the team matters. The Jaguars will play a home game in London in 2023 and they are staying in Jacksonville for the long-term. That has been true for a decade and it's true now.

Kannan from Jacksonville

With nickel corner being the only position up for grabs, who do you believe the frontrunner is for this position? Has Buster Brown shown enough to get a serious look as a starter in this position?

Tre Herndon is the Jaguars' nickel corner. I think there is a possibility the team could sign a veteran nickel. If they don't, I think Herndon will remain the favorite to play the position.

Brett from Sheffield

KOAF. How do you feel about Buffalo essentially being a neutral site game?

It's a-ight.

Michael from World Golf (kinda)

Kind of like the back-to-back home and away games in London (particularly for years the team has the ninth home game). Good way to get a full two weeks of UK PR, fans still get eight games at the Bank. Wait, if this a good thing - will the league repeat it every 2 years for us?

These things aren't predetermined, but I wouldn't be surprised if home-and-away games in London on back-to-back weeks becomes a regular occurrence for the Jaguars. It makes sense.

Jason from North Pole, AK

You know what's funny? Former Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer personally hiring 31 coaches then telling them he had a better staff at Bowling Green.

You're right. That was funny.

DuvalJag95 from J-ville

Hey, John. Forgive me, but I'm sick of hearing that Jags fans should temper their expectations. Have these people even been around since we got this team? We have an up-and-coming superstar at quarterback for the first time in franchise history, a receiving group that could be among the best for the next several years and a running back group that could be special. Not to mention a defense that started coming into its own at the end of last season. I'm 57 years old and remember the glory days of the late 90s when we were on the verge of becoming a perennial powerhouse. I, for one, am fired up about where this team is headed and am tempering nothing. What is your opinion on the tempering of expectations?

Fans can expect what they like, and I suspect little written here in the O-Zone will significantly influence how many fans feel about this topic. Yes, Jaguars fans should be excited. There's every reason to believe this team will be competitive for a long time as long as quarterback Trevor Lawrence is healthy. Still, I would caution against people assuming the Jaguars will dominate the AFC South and automatically be a perennial conference semifinalist. This team has earned its status as division favorites, but it was one or two plays away from missing the postseason last season. The Jaguars must prove they can consistently win games they're supposed to win and win consistently in December. That's the next step.

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. Being old school comes with, well … being old. So yea, I bemoan the demise of the running back in today's quarterback-centric NFL (not that the quarterback wasn't always somewhat centric?). And again, in all our best season runs we have had a Pro Bowl quality running back, along with some serious backups. Obviously, Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew and possibly now Travis Etienne Jr. So, I was pleasantly surprised when the Jags took running back Tank Bigsby and a fullback in the draft. The backfield looks seriously upgraded and nice and old school!! Do you see this a shift away from putting the whole load on quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a return to more emphasis on the running game, or am I reading too much into this?

I see the selections of Bigsby and fullback Derek Parish as moves for the Jaguars to improve as a short-yardage offense. I also see them as the Jaguars wanting to use more of a backfield-by-committee approach than they were able to do last season. I expect the Jaguars to try to be more balanced and versatile with the backfield. I don't expect them to be run-centric at the expense of the passing game. Remember: The Jaguars have an emerging quarterback and a very talented core of receivers. You don't want to de-emphasize those players stubbornly trying to run for the sake of running.

Dan from Munich, Germany

Hi Zone, do you think General Manager Trent Baalke will have enough $$$ to sign Trevor Lawrence, wide receiver Calvin Ridley, outside linebacker Josh Allen and cornerback Tyson Campbell to extensions next off-season? Do we have to sacrifice at other positions to afford these contracts? Thanks.

It's unlikely the Jaguars could/would sign all four players to long-term extensions in the same offseason. I expect Lawrence's contract to be a priority. The Jaguars then would have the franchise tag as an option for one of the other players. I would suspect they sign one of the other players to a long-term deal if merited. Would the Jaguars have to sacrifice somewhere to afford those contracts? Yes, if not in 2023 then sometime after that. That's the reality of the salary cap. If the Jaguars are going to pay Lawrence, they're going to be a quarterback-centric team with a few stars around him and a comparatively low-paid and young core around him.

Howard from Homestead, FL

I want my two dollars!