JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Steven from Jacksonville
Looking forward, do you think this fan base will be disappointed if the Jags don't at least reach this point over the next few seasons? It's amazing how quickly expectations can change.
Yes, expectations will change with the Jaguars winning the AFC South in 2022 and advancing to the Divisional Playoff round – and yes, fans will be disappointed and angry if the Jaguars don't advance that far every season moving forward. Hell, they will be disappointed and angry if they don't reach and win the Super Bowl every season moving forward. That's the nature of the beast that is professional sports. It occurred to me not long after the Jaguars' 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional playoff Saturday that this is likely this team's last "satisfying" postseason loss. Not that players and coaches were satisfied. They expected to win and were crushed when they didn't. But most fans correctly are quite pleased with an unreal, unexpected, historical, memorable 2022 season. And there was comparatively little anger in the in-box Saturday night and Sunday. This will be the end of that. Every Jaguars playoff loss moving forward will be accompanied by cries for firings and criticism of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and etc., etc., etc. Those cries won't be accurate. Or fair. They won't be based in reality. But they will come. Because fans fan. It's what they do. Here we go.
Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL
Wow! I'm actually sad the season is over instead of relieved.
This is probably the coolest thing from the last few weeks, and it's maybe my biggest big-picture takeaway from the 2022 Jaguars season. While some fans are naturally angry at Saturday's loss, most Jaguars fans who've contacted me in various ways since have expressed a real sadness that the season is over – because this season was so much fun. The players on this team are so likeable. Head Coach Doug Pederson is so likable. And they were all clearly having so much fun. The fans attached to that and were having fun, too. And all involved – fans, coaches, players – had the feeling for weeks of being part of something special. Think of it: The Jaguars won their last five home games in strikingly improbable, entertaining and exhilarating fashion. Rallying from 17 points behind to beat the Las Vegas Raiders. Rallying from nine points behind to beat the Baltimore Ravens. Rallying from 17 points behind to win on a pick-six in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys. Rallying from 10 points behind to win the AFC South on a fumble return for a touchdown with less than three minutes remaining in the regular season against the Tennessee Titans, completing their first season sweep over that franchise in a decade and a half. Rallying from 27 points behind to beat the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round of the playoffs. The Jaguars never have reeled off five consecutive home victories like that. It's unlikely they ever will again. I expect this team because of Lawrence and Pederson to have a lot of success moving forward. I expect this team to advance further in the postseason in the coming seasons. But it won't be quite like this. So, yeah … it's sad that it's over. Because this was really cool.
Crash from Glen Saint Mary, FL
Johnny O! Bet the Cats sell a lot of season tickets next year.
I bet you're right.
Allen from St C
Awesome season resulting in a foundation for the future. Do we know where the Jags are in the draft order yet?
The Jaguars will hold the No. 25 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. They will select 24th because the Miami Dolphins forfeited their 2022 first-round selection (No. 21 overall).
Pete from Daytona Beach, FL
A costly fumble, dropped passes, an interception, a wide open Travis Kelce, no sacks or pressure on a one legged Patrick Mahomes. Clearly the Jags were not ready for this game. All things considered, I never thought they'd get this far so I'd have to say this was a good year for them.
The issues you cite indeed hurt the Jaguars Saturday. Had those things gone differently, the Jaguars would have had a better chance to win. But remember: The Jaguars were 10-8 and the Chiefs were 14-3. The Jaguars' run to the postseason and their first-round playoff victory were thrilling and never will be forgotten by Jaguars fans, but they were rallying in dramatic fashion to win games at home. They then lost on the road to the No. 1 seed, and a team that has been an AFC power for a half decade. Losing to the Chiefs does not mean they weren't ready for the game. Is it possible they simply lost to a better team?
John from Section 137
Is it true owners are considering neutral site playoff games? That eliminates a huge incentive for maximizing the number of wins, punishes the fan base that supported the playoff team by making them travel regardless of how their team got there and only rewards the neutral site cities that get the hotel and restaurant revenue! This looks like "equal outcomes" rewards so that the top seeded teams get no reward for performing better than No. 6-seeded teams!
I couldn't agree more.
Jeremy from Gilbert, AZ
There are games teams lose despite leaving it all on the field and truly bringing their A game. Then there are games teams lose because of a lack of focus, preparation, intensity or fortitude in the face of pressure. Jags fans' disappoint is because this loss is the latter and not the former.
People are free to interpret games however they choose. Just because teams in the postseason doesn't mean they lacked focus, weren't prepared or weren't intense. Teams plays really good teams in the postseason and really good teams have a way of making their opponents look worse than when they play lesser teams. The Chiefs have played in five consecutive AFC Championship Games for a reason. They're good. They're experienced. They put pressure on opponents to play perfect or close to perfect. That causes opponents to press and make mistakes. The idea that the Jaguars "didn't leave it all on the field?" C'mon.
Cliff from St Augustine, FL
Agnew!!!! We wouldn't have gotten this far without you! Love you brother!!
I got multiple emails along these lines Saturday night and Sunday. Wide receiver Jamal Agnew's fumble that gave the Chiefs possession at their 3 with 5:29 remaining cost the Jaguars a chance to pull to within 27-24. The Jaguars would have had momentum with a chance to tie or take the lead had they stopped Kansas City on the ensuing possession. But you're right that the Jaguars wouldn't have been playing Saturday without Agnew. And they wouldn't have been in the game at that point without Agnew's long returns. My sense watching the game was the Chiefs somehow would have responded on the ensuing series, as they had done on the previous series when the Jaguars had pulled to within three. They had made key plays at key moments all day. That could be wrong. We'll never know.
Josh from somewhere between happy and heartbroken
I know my opinion, but want yours. What did you think about the tripping and the roughing the passer penalties called against the Jags?
You're referencing a tripping penalty on left tackle Walker Little or a roughing-the-passer penalty on defensive lineman Arden Key Saturday. I initially thought the call on Little was a good one. After watching it several times, I am less certain. Little, on his back, perhaps could have gotten his legs down more quickly – but it was borderline enough that I understood why it was called. From the replay I watched, it appeared Key contacted Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne in the head on the play on which he was penalized – and that's a penalty according to the NFL rulebook. As for why Chiefs defensive lineman Khalen Saunders was not penalized for hitting Lawrence similarly … well, that I cannot explain.
Dave from Ontario, Canada
Hi, John. There were numerous instances where a Chiefs player came through the line completely unblocked. I am curious if that was more the fault of the O-Line not picking up the blitz or good scheming by the Chiefs? It seemed when the Jags blitzed the rarely got home and those blitzes were picked up by the Chiefs O-Line.
Pederson on this topic: "We had some communication issues up front. There is a fine line between the communication with the line and the backs. We had a couple of instances where we just missed on that communication, and they were able to get a little pressure on the quarterback."
Jeff from Troutman, NC
First things first, So proud of our Jags. Not happy about losing, but Dougie P turned this franchise around fast.
Indeed he did.