JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Pete from Jacksonville
I saw an interesting stat that Trevor's passer-rating increase from Year One to Year Two thus far would be the largest in NFL history since they began tracking these numbers if the difference holds or improves the rest of the season. The improvement by Trevor is very noticeable, exciting and possibly historic. He is the biggest factor in making the Jaguars relevant again. His commercial appeal as well as his maturity well beyond his years, not to mention his recent stellar play, make him an ideal face of the franchise. Dougie P does not take this job without Trevor being on the roster.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence indeed is the biggest reason the Jaguars have a chance to be relevant again – and the biggest reason they have a chance in the coming seasons to move beyond relevance to become an annual contender. Guess what? That's what was supposed to happen when the Jaguars selected Lawrence No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The idea of selecting a quarterback there is that he will become a player around whom you can build a franchise. He's supposed to become a player who can lift those around him, give you a chance to win most games and be a reason you win games you might not otherwise win. He also is supposed to become a player who you willingly pay franchise-defining money over an extended period because you can trust him to be available – and maximize himself and those around him over that period. He is supposed to become the face of the franchise and draw other top players to that franchise. I suspect you're right that Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson wouldn't have taken the job without Lawrence. Coaches like winning, which leads to championship opportunities and job security. Elite quarterbacks typically are the best avenue to those things – and yes, Lawrence looks like he has a chance to be all that was predicted.
Big on Blake from Philly
Zone, two things. 1) These Jags went from competing for a third straight No. 1 pick to beating the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. I'm excited to see this train keep rolling and Lawrence lead the way. 2) Was trading Jimmy Robs for a draft pick really worth it?? Ground game has been very ineffective since. Seeing as he is a healthy scratch with the New York Jets, do you think he gets cut and Jags can claim him back?
Two answers. 1) I never thought the Jaguars were going to compete for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft; they had improved too much – and even during a five-game losing streak they were coming too close – to not win their share down the stretch. 2) Trading running back James Robinson didn't cause the dropoff in the Jaguars' running game, and I would be surprised if he returns.
JT from Palm Coast, FL
When I lived in Fort Worth I attended the Jaguars' game at Jerryworld. Beautiful stadium, but Jags were doing Jags things and I left after the third quarter because the beatdown was enough. A Cowboys attendant on the way yelled out, "How 'bout them Cowboys!" I kindly looked his way and proceeded to give him the double bird. We typically don't do well against the NFC in general, but I'm hoping that we don't lay an egg on Sunday.
Daniel from Johnston, IA
Great win over Tennessee. However, I can't shake the feeling that we might watch the Jags lay an egg against Dallas. What's your thoughts of their chances this week?
I expect the Cowboys to win because their defense is really good and their offense is balanced enough to give the Jaguars more problems than the Titans did last week. If the Cowboys get an early lead, their pass rush could force Lawrence into a mistake or two – mistakes he hasn't made in recent weeks. I see the Jaguars needing to make some big plays in the running game and needing to score touchdowns early so that Dallas doesn't get the lead. If they can do that and force Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott into a turnover or two, then the Jaguars can win.
Travis from Athens, GA
Looking at Year 2 rankings on the NFL website by Marc Sessler, it does not pass the smell test. They have Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields ranked No. 10 and Trevor Lawrence No. 13, but Trevor excels in almost every category other than rushing. He has a higher completion percentage, almost twice the yards, more passing touchdowns, a much better touchdown-to-interception ratio. And Trevor has won more games. How do these "professionals" determine these rankings. It can't be based on math.
I haven't the foggiest idea how Marc Sessler determines his NFL quarterback rankings. I am not Marc Sessler.
Dallas from Sioux Falls, SD
Mr. Zone, Trevor is once again the AFC Player of the Week. Has any Jaguar, QB or otherwise, been the AFC Player of the Week twice in one season?
No. Quarterback Mark Brunell (Week 11 1996, Week 12 1999, Week 9 2000) and running back Fred Taylor (Week 3 1998, Week 12 2000, Week 15 2004) won the award three times. Running back James Stewart (Week 7 1997, Week 1 1998) and quarterback David Garrard (Week 13 2006, Week 8 2010) won it twice. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew won it once (Week 3 2009). No Jaguars offensive player previously has won it twice in one season.
Gary from Wesley Chapel
Zone, I think we may look back someday and see that the Titans' dominance over the Jaguars ended when linebacker Shaq Quarterman made that monster hit on running back Derrick Henry at the end of the first half! Shaq hit the Stop button on all of that, then Trevor Lawrence proceeded to put on a display of what the Jaguars/Titans rivalry is going to look like for the foreseeable future. If I'm not mistaken, Henry only had two yards rushing after that hit. Whatever the exact number is, the worm has turned in the AFC South. Shout-out to Shaq Quarterman! That hit will be the stuff of legend in Jaguars football history. Do you agree?
There are certainly plays that resonate in histories of franchises. There were possibly a couple of such plays for the Jaguars Sunday, with one being Lawrence's stiff-arm touchdown in the third quarter and the other being Quarterman's hit on Henry that forced a second-quarter fumble. The plays without question defined the game. Whether they define the franchise for a time or signal the start or end of an era will depend on how the Jaguars play going forward.
Mike from Rochester, NY
Dear O-Zone, I am coming to you today for some much-needed advice. I asked my wife after Sunday's game if I could purchase a ticket to the Titans game and make the 16-hour drive down to Jacksonville. I explained to her the potential meaning of the game and she replied, "You mean the same team you said wouldn't win another game after last week is going to the playoffs?" I simply replied, "I just have that feeling." So O, mighty wise O do you think that's permission from my wife to purchase that ticket now to watch our team play for the playoffs?
John from Jacksonville
Hi KOAGF - I hear mention that the Jaguars are not likely to win Sunday against the Cowboys. Then, there is excitement and hope that we will make the postseason. What good is making the postseason if the mindset is that we probably can't beat a good team at home? Either we can beat any team or we shut up and go home.
The Jaguars can beat the Cowboys. I'm not sure they should be favored because the Cowboys are one of the best four or five teams in the NFL right now. That doesn't mean the Jaguars can't or shouldn't make the postseason. It means they might not yet be one of the best four or five teams in the NFL.
Kevin from Jacksonville
The Jags rushing numbers are down the last four games because in that stretch they played two Top 5 rush defenses in the Ravens and Titans – and then had two games where they were down big and the game-flow forced them to abandon the run early: Chiefs and Detroit. It's really not rocket science. There shouldn't be alarm over the run game.
Tudor from Saint Augustine, FL
Respectfully, your caption for Dallas in this week's power rankings is inaccurate. They beat the Jags 31-17 in Florida in 2014, fewer than 16 years ago; D.
You're referencing my comment in my all-important power rankings this week. I noted that the Cowboys haven't played in Jacksonville in 16 seasons. Respectfully, the comment wasn't inaccurate. The Cowboys indeed beat the Jaguars 31-17 in 2014. The game was played in London. If you're going to challenge the king, you better come strong.