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O-Zone: Talk talk

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jonathan from Blackfoot, ID

It's funny to me that some fans cannot see that we are obviously trending up. Doug said it would take time and fans don't believe him. We've been in every game this year. That was my biggest wish for the team this offseason. Also, Trevor is going to be fine. What does the Wizard of O think?

I think you're mostly correct, but it's not surprising that fans are frustrated in the wake of a 34-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday. The Jaguars except for one season have mostly lost – often badly – for more than a decade. For that reason, it's totally understandable that three consecutive losses feel like more of the same. And while Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson indeed said that the Jaguars would not be an overnight fix, the heady rush of two impressive victories in Weeks 2-3 understandably had fans and observers optimistic that the fix might be quicker than originally expected. Bottom line: The Jaguars won four games over the past two seasons and lost 10 games by double digits last season. I've repeated that statistic enough in recent days that I imagine loyal readers – and he knows who he is – are tired of it, but the point is pertinent: There are issues that take more than one offseason to fix and some of those issues were very serious. A lot of bad drafts left the roster without core, veteran players. The Jaguars appear to have made some serious progress this past offseason. There appear to be some good, young players who could be core players. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is better this season than last season and should get better as he gains experience in this offense, and as the team gets continuity – and better – around him. Remember, too: Even as the Jaguars struggle early this season, they are in games at the end. That's different from last season. They are moving the ball offensively. They have been a play or two away from winning two (or three) more games. There is still a very good chance they trend up by season's end. They have work to do to make that happen. They must make plays to win close games. It's not a given. But it's attainable.

Khalin from Jacksonville

O, I am 20 years old. From the time, I was born I have been a Jags fan getting home from church and turning on the television. When Wayne Weaver sold the team, I was scared that the Jags were going to move out of Jacksonville. Thankfully that didn't happen thanks to Shad Khan. I'm grateful he wants to keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville. But under his ownership, we have not been good expect for 2017. I'm not trying to be a negative fan, but after years of watching games on CBS that end with losses I'm just wondering how long will it take for us to be good. I'm tired, O. I'm just tired.

Your weariness is understandable, Khalin. It's not supposed to be as hard to be a fan as the Jaguars made it in recent seasons. You're also not supposed to have to hear about new regimes and building and growth as often as you have heard it in the last decade. The Jaguars can't change the past and I can't guarantee the future. There are some things to like about this Jaguars team and some things that make you think they can build for the future. But there are also things that need to get fixed and might not be completely fixable during the season. I personally believe that the fact that they have lost four close games means they have a chance to keep playing close games and start turning those games around. I believe Pederson knows what he's doing and I think players believe that. I believe that gives this team a chance to improve from here and start making big plays late in games that teams need to make to win close games. We'll see.

Mike from Jacksonville, FL

Here we are again. You are the general manager. So, are you drafting cornerback, wide receiver, defensive line or offensive line?


Paul from Saint Johns, FL

Is Fatukasi's absence the reason our defense doesn't look good anymore?

Jaguars defensive end Foley Fatukasi is important to this defense, particularly against the run. But the Jaguars didn't struggle defensively Sunday against the run nor did they really struggle because of Fatukasi's absence. They struggled because Colts quarterback Matt Ryan did a nice job getting the ball out quickly to negate the Jaguars' pass rush, and because the Colts' wide receiver got consistently open on crossing routes against man coverage. Stunningly consistently.

James from Neptune Beach, FL

I can't imagine too many teams out rush their opponents by almost 200 yards and still lose.

It's weird, but maybe not as weird as you might think. The Jaguars (243-45), New Orleans Saints (228-75) and Baltimore Ravens (211-83) all rushed for 200 yards and held opponents under 100 and lost Sunday.

John from Oldsmar

Explain why that one run where he rolled over on the defender and only hands and feet touched the ground was not a touchdown, please.

You're referencing a 27-yard run by running back Travis Etienne Jr. Sunday that he almost turned into a 75-yard touchdown. Etienne was tackled on the play by safety Rodney Thomas at the 48-yard line. Etienne continued running to the end zone because it appeared initially that he rolled on Thomas and regained his feet without being down. But he was down because his elbow hit the ground.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King of all Funk, another game lost where the Jags needed to make a play to win, but didn't. In all four lossses we have had a chance to win, so that's a clear sign of improvement. It's two steps forward and one back this season, it seems. Progress, but frustrating to live through it this season.

This path is not easy. This is a young team that still makes maddening plays at crucial times. It's also a team with few – if any – veteran, established playmaking stars. They have very good players but haven't yet had a lot of players making plays "above the Xs and Os." That makes winning close games difficult. It's a playmaking league.

Dave from Orange Park, FL

That loss is all on the defense. No sacks, can't stop the short passes ... pitiful.

It sure wasn't good.

Sierra from Jacksonville

Do you think the Jags chose that crazy final play because they felt it had a higher chance of success, or because they had concerns about Trevor's arm in a Hail Mary situation after last week?

I think the Jaguars chose their final play Sunday because they were on their own 41-yard line, which would have meant Lawrence throwing the ball about 65 yards in the air – so yeah, there probably was a concern about him getting the pass to the end zone. Could some quarterbacks have gotten it there? I suppose. I think they also chose the play because there aren't that many great plays in the playbook for first-and-59.

Ben from Cuba, MO

Obviously couldn't watch the game, so I have two questions. One, was the roughing-the-passer on Travon Walker legit? Am I wrong to say we need to invest in a quality cornerback next year whether draft or first/second-tier free agency?

Yes. No.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Except for the loss to the best team in the league - the undefeated Eagles, the Jaguars have been tied or held the lead late in the fourth quarter. In the three other losses they gave up the winning score on average with less than two minutes left in the game. "Good" defenses don't do that.

Defense in the NFL these days is less about total yards than points allowed and what the defense does in big moments. It's about sacks in big moments and turnovers in big moments. The Jaguars on that front have not been elite and they were not good on that front Sunday.

Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL

Did you know that Trevor is the first quarterback in league history to lose a game posting 90 percent competition, accounting for total three touchdowns and no turnovers?


Are We Having Fun Yet? Jaguars Purgatory

Why even bother with all of the Coach Speak and Player Speak nonsense? What would I rather them say? Nothing at all. Just get on the plane and quit playing the broken record. Or just come out and say " we are the Jaguars. What did you expect?"

Players and coaches speak after the game because it's their jobs to do so – and because this is entertainment. And because even as guarded and as players/coaches can be after games, there also is information gleaned postgame that helps shape the game and fans' understanding of the game.