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O-Zone: Still hope

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Wade from the Westside

After Sunday, the Jaguars won't even be thought about as having the top defense in the NFL. Pathetic!

Yeah, that's really not the case. The Jaguars struggled with the Chiefs' speed offensively for the first two series of a 30-14 loss Sunday – and the defense was unhappy with the performance. But the Jaguars' defense held the Chiefs' offense to 13 points after the first two series, and it gave the offense a 35-yard field after a second-quarter interception by safety Tashaun Gipson. This wasn't the Jaguars' best game defensively, and Head Coach Doug Marrone was right that the unit allowed too many big plays. But it wasn't as if the defense completely melted away. The Chiefs are a big-time offense. It wasn't realistic to think the Jaguars would pitch a shutout.

Jeremy from Dodge City, KS

Well, that was brutal. Bring on the all-is-lost movement.


Mike from Atlanta, GA

This offense is struggling without Leonard Fournette. With Corey Grant sustaining an injury, do you think they will trade for a running back or sign one off someone's practice squad?

I think everything's open to possibility after Sunday: trade, free agent, practice-squad signee. I wouldn't anticipate anything earth-shattering, but at this point …

Kevin from St. Stephens, SC

An observation after five games. No franchise quarterback (almost everybody has known that from the beginning). No bell-cow running back (Leonard Fournette has been a disappointment since he got here and T.J. Yeldon is no better). With this offense (or lack of) there will be no playoffs this year.

How do you explain 3-2?

Bill from Jacksonville

Here, John: Let me go ahead and write the standard postgame story for you for another inexcusable, pathetic effort and performance. "There's no need to panic. Today was a struggle. Jaguars just aren't a healthy team right now. You'll have games like these. They're still 3-2. They have their whole season ahead of them." Copy, paste, rinse, repeat. Sigh.

Sounds like you're learning about the NFL, Bill. I can't take credit for it. I'm assuming you've looked at league history with many, many competitive and championship teams as examples of why one victory or loss doesn't a season make. Well done, my friend. Well done.

El Tigre from Section 412 and St. Johns, FL

When the winning stops, the whining begins. I can't wait to read the O-Zone the next couple of days.

It will be a scene.

Michael from Orlando, FL

No left tackle. No right tackle. No wonder Blake can't find the guys in white jerseys.

Yeah, it didn't help. The Jaguars' offensive line struggled Sunday. While quarterback Blake Bortles had one of his worst games in a while, the Chiefs' pass rush played a huge role in that. Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford seemed to pressure Bortles on every series. A major issue now is left tackle Josh Wells' groin injury that kept him out the entire second half. He had been playing for left tackle Cam Robinson, who is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Josh Walker appeared to fare well in Wells' place, but the injuries are hitting an extreme on the offensive line. It's a thing.

Sad and Disappointed from Georgia

O-Man, where do I even begin? That was an all-around terrible performance in every facet of the game. Outplayed and outcoached. Everyone shares blame for this one.

You're not wrong.

John from Nowheresville

This team is not as good as it thinks it is. They need to put more focus on working to stop the other team instead of talking about it. I have no clue how they didn't keep running the ball; once again another bad game plan.

The Jaguars put plenty of work into offense and defense. They speak to the media for a few hours a week as mandated by NFL rules, and the time spent doing that – and what they say – has nothing to do with how they play on Sundays. The Jaguars' defense allowed a very good Chiefs offense two touchdowns. They also intercepted quarterback Patrick Mahomes twice. Had the Jaguars' offense committed one or two giveaways rather than five, and had they turned one of two trips inside the five-yard line into points, that was a different game. As far as the team getting away from running the ball … yes, it was curious. They were running effectively. I assume it had to do with being down to two running backs with T.J Yeldon still playing through an ankle injury. The position must be addressed. Combine the running-back situation with the Chiefs taking an early lead and you have a formula for 61 passes. That's not a winning formula.

James from Destin, FL

John, why did Blake throw the football at that bug on Cann's helmet?

Fair question.

CD from Fleming Island, FL

Are the Chiefs just a better team than us? Right now, it seems as if they are. One thing seems certain: we can't win with Blake running for his life so often. We've got to get the O-line situation figured out. One small positive is I think the wide receivers took a step forward today. D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook looked impressive.

The Chiefs were better than the Jaguars Sunday. That does not mean they will be better than the Jaguars if they play again. The Jaguars absolutely must get the offensive line figured out. And the running game. Considering the injury situations, those are tall orders. And yes, the Jaguars' wide receivers had some moments. I think there's a chance Chark, Westbrook and Keelan Cole could be a very good core moving forward, but this team won't be at its best if they're the key to the offense this season.

Paul from Ponte Vedra, FL

Never mind the cascading, most-ill-timed penalties killing off any momentum we build. Never mind passes bouncing off receivers' shoulder pads. Never mind head coaches that leave 12 points on the board against an historically prolific offense. Time to play Blame Blake ... as usual!

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone called Sunday's loss a "team effort." That was accurate. But if you're going to credit Bortles with playing well for much of the last season and parts of this season, then you must also acknowledge when he plays poorly. Sunday was a struggle on that front. Big time.

Merc from Section 225

Glad we still have a lot of the season left. But it would have been nice to get the win especially with the Titans falling to the Bills.

Yeah, winning Sunday would have been cool. The fans would have liked it.

JohnnyD from Cedar Rapids, IA

Can't sit there now and say that BB5 gives us the best chance to win! When does the coach say enough and put in the backup? Really couldn't hurt at this point, I mean man BB5 was really bad today.

Bortles gives the Jaguars the best chance to win. Him not playing well doesn't change that.

David from Orangedale, FL

Well I'm sure everyone will want to put this on Blake, but how many times was he hit or hurried! Couple that with the defenses inability to get a stop and the outcome was never in doubt. Bright side is this team appears resilient enough to recover.

This team is resilient. It will need that resilience in the coming weeks. This is a beat-up team – particularly on offense but enough on defense for it to be a concern. The coming weeks will be critical. The Jaguars may need to gut some games out. They're capable of doing it, but there could be some nervous moments.

Brian from Atlanta, GA

It looked like there were multiple times that right guard A.J. Cann and right tackle Jermey Parnell had no idea who they were blocking.

It may have looked that way. I don't doubt it. I haven't had a chance to look at the video and plan to do so Monday. I anticipated Parnell having a tough time blocking Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford, though I didn't expect it to be a game-ruining matchup. I didn't anticipate the Jaguars' entire offensive line struggling to the degree it did. I guess you can't anticipate everything.

Jerell from Columbia, SC

Do you see this Blake Bortles experiment ending at the end of the year? He is clearly a joke and shouldn't be the starting quarterback of any team let alone one with false hopes of a super bowl.

I'm shocked you feel that way, but no – I don't see the Jaguars moving away from Bortles as the starting quarterback after the season.

JP from Jacksonville

That game was ugly. But not as ugly as I presume your high school yearbook was. And look how you turned out. So, I guess what I'm saying is that it's not all hopeless, yet.

That's a poor analogy, and a frightening one for the Jaguars. But of course it's not hopeless. The Jaguars are 3-2, not 0-5. They have the same record as the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans. There is plenty of hope. The Jaguars need to win games and they may need to depend on the defense for a short time to do it. That's OK. This team was built to win that way.

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