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O-Zone: Swamp music

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Johnny from Westside 5-2 side

Hey, Zone. You're definitely "awesome." No doubt. Anyways, don't we "have" to get another pass rusher? I mean, we are a tweaked hammy from (collectively) six sacks in seven games. I understand I don't understand the salary cap, but Shirley, we can make it work. Maybe Danielle Hunter is out of reach, but someone ... Josh can't do it all.

Outside linebacker Josh Allen leads the Jaguars in sacks this season and is consistently pressuring the passer. He is having perhaps his best career season with seven sacks through seven games. But while he is the best Jaguars defender in terms of sacks, he is not "doing it all" in terms of the pass rush. Allen talks a lot about the Jaguars having a pass-rush plan, and what he means is that the team rushing well as a whole is critical to his numbers – and critical to the team overall affecting the quarterback. The Jaguars as a whole rank among the NFL leaders in hurries and pressures. That pressure is allowing them to be really good defensively for long stretches and to be among the league leaders in takeaways. I'm not saying the Jaguars won't pursue another pass rusher as Tuesday's trade deadline approaches. I am saying all is not necessarily lost if they don't.

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

Just watched Thursday Night Football, I know it's the NFL but if we don't roll the Bucs Week 16, I'll be disappointed. Actually, just win. But they look beatable. I'm with all the other longtime fans, it's hard to believe. But they should roll the Bucs, fair or unfair?

It's a week-to-week league so always use caution predicting future results on past performance. Also: Thursday Night Football is often a poor way to judge a team. It's a short week in which injuries and lack of quality preparation often affect results.

JT from Palm Coast

Our "hope" defense is going to shut them down and wipe their butts with their little yellow towels! Yeah, it's full on HATE THE STEELERS week.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens this week referred to the Jaguars' defense as a "hope defense." It was a weird comment.

Offense from Unknown

No question. Just think offensive coordinator Press Taylor deserves a raise for his masterclass in play-calling. Not being sarcastic at all. He's the best!


Jason from North Pole, AK

Our rookie right tackle, Anton Harrison, has his work cut out for him this week. He has been good this year, but Chris Jones gave him trouble. Any cause concern over the safety of our franchise quarterback this week?

Harrison, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, has improved steadily throughout his rookie season. The Jaguars played the Kansas City Chiefs and All-Pro defensive lineman Chris Jones in Week 2, and Jones made some plays on Harrison. I expect Harrison will play well Sunday when the Jaguars play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa. because he has played well consistently in recent weeks. That likely won't be enough to keep Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt from ever affecting or hitting quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Watt is an All-Pro who can beat double teams and chips. As for Lawrence's safety … he has been playing football a long time. He has been sacked and hit often. I don't sense any more concern for his safety than I would in any week.

Matt from Keystone Heights

They messed up making Trevor mad. As if he needed any more motivation.


Deane from Daytona Beach, FL

Yo O-Zone! Thanks for the reminder of DaVon Hamilton and his inevitable return to the starting line up! You are the KOAF! My question is do you see Hamilton playing against the Steelers, even if it is only for a few series? Or would it be more beneficial to give him the extra rest going into the bye week? Go Jags!

I expect Jaguars nose tackle DaVon Hamilton to play Sunday after missing the first seven games with a back issue. He said Friday he expects to play.

Jay from So-Cal

It's hilarious to hear the Steelers' fans get upset over Trevor Lawrence's acknowledgment of knowing about the Steelers "terrible towel" as a "little yellow towel." He went on to say great things about the team, stadium and organization. Utter ridiculousness to hear that the Steelers faithful seem disrespected by his towel comment! I hope we have some Jag's fans bring some "Terrible Teal Towels" to the game and put these "disrespected" fans in place! C'mon man!!!

Fans fan. It's what they do. This is not exclusive to Jaguars fans.

Omar from Cordele

I think the trade deadline comes too early in the season. There are a lot of teams who are still in contention and less inclined to trade away certain players who they feel help them win and make the playoffs. If the trade deadline were later more than more teams would know their fate and be more active at the deadline. Your thoughts?

You're probably right that more teams would trade more with a later trade deadline. If you move the deadline back, you could have contenders adding players from out-of-contention teams in the final weeks of the season. There needs to be an element of winning with what you got and not accumulating players in the final weeks to buy a title. Or something like that.

Doug from Jacksonville, FL

Crazy times when most expect the Jags to win a 4-2 Steelers game in Pittsburgh. I of course want the Jags to win but pressure on the quarterback has been the Achilles heel for this team (with the exception of the NO game) and Pittsburgh rushes the passer well. Jags win this game on the road before the bye to go 6-2 would be great!

Yes, it would.

Adam from Allentown, PA

Ok, so sacks don't define everything in the NFL. But what they do define are big moments, and big moments define games, seasons and championships.

Sure, and if you don't play good defense in the 65-to-75 plays that aren't sacks you never get a chance to get the sacks. Sacks matter. Pressure matters. Getting teams in third-and-8 compared to third-and-2 matters. Other things matter, too. The game is more than highlights.

Nathan from Utah, US

Zone, why is the segment titled, "Sound of the Game"? Practically all I hear is NFL films music and play by play commentary. With close to zero actual sounds from players and coaches "in the game", shouldn't the title read, "Sounds of the Lame"? It's too bad it's not good.

Sounds of the Game is cool. Most people like it. There's a lot of free content on the interweb.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, I've never lived in a different NFL city or had a rooting interest in a different franchise, so maybe you can answer this for me. Does the prominence of college football in the south give NFL fans a skewed view of wins and losses? In college football there are style points, because there is a reliance on rankings that are somewhat subjective – unlike the NFL that is strictly results based. Do NFL fans in college football dominated areas struggle with close wins because they are accustomed to their teams needing to win big in order to move up the rankings, or is it just the reality of fandom everywhere?

My thought is it's a little of both. It does seem at times that Jaguars fans expect being good in the NFL to means "comfortable" victories rather than plain "victories." Perhaps this is because style points come easier and matter more in the college football than in professional football. But my guess is fans would complain about winning whatever their collegiate rooting interest. Fans fan. It's what they do.

Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL

I am casting my meaningless vote for the Week 10 San Francisco 49ers-Jaguars game to not be flexed. I would rather push a good West Coast team to play at 1 p.m. Eastern, which is 10 a.m. Pacific. The history for West Coast teams at that time isn't great. Not to mention, I am seeking to protect the inflexible routine preferences of certain senior writers. Let them move the Lions-Chargers game. What say you?

One p.m. home games always get this vote.

Al from Orange Park

Like you, I'm not much bothered by what the national media types have to say. I do enjoy the chuckle I get when they say/write something asinine. This week, "the Jags defense has been too reliant on takeaways." Say what? The only better result that a defense can have on any given play is to score too. Do you think this "criticism" is as funny as I do?

As the late great Charlie Daniels said when relaying to the world what those awful Crayton boys did to greedy 'ol Lucious Clay, "There's some things in this world you just can't explain…"