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O-Zone: So worth it

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Let's get to it …

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. I believe your characterization of the Jaguars' games as Dog Fights is dead on. Just before the Saints game you wrote: "It seems they found an identity in two victories in London and are increasingly comfortable that they can win 'dogfight' games by making key plays late on both sides of the ball." Not an empty analysis, as once again the New Orleans game turned into yet another dogfight for sure, with late key plays securing the win. The Jags and Steelers over the years have played very tight games regardless of where either team stood in the standings in any given year. This year they are only one game apart in the standings. What are your thoughts, another dog fight?

I'm not given to "empty analysis." Incorrect analysis, yes. Foolish analysis, yes. But never empty. Here's the reality: If you're going to win in the postseason, you must be able to win "dogfight" games. Postseason and late-season games in the NFL get weird, sometimes because of injury and sometimes because defenses are good enough to create turnovers and make offenses clunky at times. The ability to win tight games matters and the Jaguars are showing that ability. And yes … I expect Sunday's game to be close when the Jaguars play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa. I believe the Jaguars can and should win. It wouldn't be surprising at all if the Steelers win. They believe they're good, they're confident and they're playing at home. Beating them will be a tough task.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Will this team's roster look any different after our bye week?

NFL rosters change to a degree every week because of injuries, releases and player acquisitions. If you're asking if the Jaguars' will look dramatically different in terms of trade-deadline deal … maybe. I don't expect it, but it could happen.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

This might be a stupid question, but how is it a team ends up a half-game ahead or behind in the standings?

Bye weeks.

Josh from Denver, CO

Halfway through the season, with a lot of reason to be excited about this team! My question so far is what do you make of Press Taylor's first season heading up the offense? To me, it has been a mixed big with both far ends of the spectrum. Been some amazing, creative play calling, and some head scratching moments. Curious to know your thoughts thus far.

I think there's not a discernable difference between the Jaguars' offense this season with offensive coordinator Press Taylor calling plays full time and last season with Taylor splitting the duties with Head Coach Doug Pederson. They are scoring about a point a game more than last season. They are ranked ninth in the NFL in that category at 24.7 points per game this season compared to 10th in the NFL last season at 23.8 points per game. They are 14th in the NFL in total yards at 336.3 per game this season compared to 10th in the NFL last season at 357.4 yards per game. They were inconsistent at times last season and really good at other times, struggling at times and scoring in bunches at other times. They have been pretty much that this season. I expect the offense to improve if it can get healthy, meaning getting wide receiver Zay Jones and left guard Walker Little back. I also think getting wide receiver Calvin Ridley more cohesion and natural progression with quarterback Trevor Lawrence will help. I think when those things come around Taylor will somewhat magically be more "amazing" as a playcaller.

Anita from Springfield

Has Ridley been better when wide receiver Zay Jones is on the field?

At times, yes. Jones' presence makes it much harder to double-team Ridley and shade coverage toward him. The Jaguars' offense overall has been hurt by Jones being out with a knee injury.

_Steve from Wallingford, CT      _

So, Quincy Williams is now rated as a Top 5 off-ball linebacker in the NFL. Did we just not give him the time and chance to develop?

The Jaguars selected linebacker Quincy Williams in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He was released in 2021 and now is flourishing with the New York Jets. He got caught up in a regime change between Head Coach Doug Marrone's staff and Head Coach Urban Meyer's staff, and it didn't appear he was going to be a great fit for that '21 defense. Would he fit here in this scheme now? Maybe. Would he be an upgrade? Maybe, maybe not.

John from Cape Canaveral

Anybody who does not understand the importance of pressures in addition to sacks did not watch the New Orleans game. Saints quarterback Derek Carr was never able to get into a groove, and we only had one sack.


John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - I didn't know much about Ridley until he signed with the Jags. I heard lots about his talent and he is very good. However, was I wrong in thinking that we would see more long pass attempts down the field? Do you think Ridley is frustrated by not having many of these called or coming his way?

We're seven games into a season in which Ridley is returning from an absence of nearly two full seasons. Ridley also is in his first season with a new coaching staff, new teammates and new scheme. The Jaguars have targeted Ridley deep at times this season. They have targeted him heavily on other occasions. My sense is the Jaguars to a degree are still trying to figure best how to involve Ridley. He also is dealing with double teams and shaded coverages, particularly with Jones missing time with a knee injury. I don't expect them to force deep passes to Ridley, or to force him the ball at all. This offense works best when Lawrence is distributing passes organically. Ridley will get his opportunities over the course of time. As will wide receiver Christian Kirk. And Jones. And tight end Evan Engram. And …

Kdub from Jacksonville

O-Zone: Responding from Zach from Omaha, please pass along our recommendation of staying at a hotel on the beach. Jacksonville has one of the best beaches in the country and is underrated. Being from Nebraska, I could only imagine the appreciation they would have from being near the ocean walking on the beach etc. The hotel cost is prob no more than paying what they are downtown. Quick uber ride in or just take the shuttle service offered by JTA at Wingate park near Jax beach golf course. Cheers.

Zach from Omaha will be attending his first Jaguars game November 19. We're passing along some recommendations in this O-Zone.

Nick from Palm Coast, FL

Why is Yasir Abdullah not playing anymore on game day? Is it just a matter of numbers or is he hurt?

Jaguars pass rusher Yasir Abdullah, a fifth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, was active the first five games and has been inactive since veteran Dawuane Smoot returned in Week 6. I expect he will be active following the Jaguars' bye week. He's a rookie. It takes time to adapt to professional football.

Jason from St. Augustine, FL

Did you notice how in the Saints game the clock management felt suspect after the Jaguars got the lead. Lots of three and ounce with mostly passing abandoning the run despite the need to burn down the clock and keep giving the ball to the hot hand ETN. Do you think the coaches look back on this, except accountability and work on a better game management strategy for the next game?

I'm not sure if the coaches will except accountability or not. I know damned sure you can't win in the NFL if you go three and ounce very often.

Matt from Round Rock, Azores

Jaguars punter Logan Cooke has a completion percentage of 100 percent and a passer rating of 118.8. Looks like we have a quarterback controversy on our hands.


Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX

Watching Trevor's press conference, I love his mindset. He really is a great leader and a tough, talented guy who totally gets it. We're lucky to have him. I feel like the sky's the limit for this team, with one caveat, which will be The Story of the season. Can Coach Pederson not wet the bed again when we meet the Chiefs in the post season? I think he just got over his personal trauma of facing Reid in week 2.

The Kansas City Chiefs have played host to five consecutive AFC Championship Games and won two Super Bowls during that span. They are 64-18 in the regular season, 75-21 including the postseason. Whatever trauma is involved in playing the Chiefs, it's not exclusive to Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson.

Jax by Lionel Playworld

Autocorrect makes communication with you more difficult.

Thank goodness the experience is worth the effort.