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O-Zone: Very, very hot

JACKSONVILLE – Look-Ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Jz from j-ville -> Huntsville

Well, Zone. It only took about 30 minutes of Douggy P press conferences to make me feel better. I just refuse to believe that man will let this team fail. We have the head coach. We have the quarterback. I'm not sure how the season will end, but I think it'll still be a good one. Go Jags. I'm ready to get hurt again.

No one's certain how the 2023 season will end for the Jaguars. Or how any team's season will end, for that matter. It is certain that pretty much all NFL teams will have ups and downs. The Dallas Cowboys were being discussed as the NFL's best team last week and lost Sunday to a winless Arizona Cardinals team. I agree with you regarding Head Coach Doug Pederson – and not because he was impressive in the Monday next-day media availability following a loss to Houston. Pederson has a history of successfully navigating teams through rough stretches and into the playoffs. He did it multiple seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and he did it last season with the Jaguars. He has a knack for getting this sort of thing right. That's his task now.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Zone, If the season ended as it is now – with Desmond Ridder, Sam Howell, Gardner Minshew, Brock Purdy, Joshua Dobbs and Baker Mayfield having all won as many or more games as Trevor with a total combined salary for all five of them at roughly $12M for 2023 – would you be in favor of paying quarterback Trevor Lawrence four times that total next year and beyond knowing the most recent first extension mega-deals for Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert have resulted in their respective team's current combined record of 2-4, before those teams' salary caps have really even been affected by those deals?

I understand the question, and I understand fans wanting to draw conclusions RIGHT NOW. You don't make megacontract decisions in the NFL based on three games. The regular season will not end "as it is now." It will end in 14 games.

Eric from Columbus, IN

You forgot "past performance is not indicative of future returns." You forgot the one… CYA o-zone!


_Nick from St. Augustine, FL      _

Is next week a must-win? Feels like a must-win John.

The Jaguars play the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium in London in Week 4 Sunday. It is not a must-win game, though winning sure wouldn't suck.

_Richard from St Augustine, FL  _

I don't understand why Jaguar fans don't see the obvious. I understand the Jags have only had two successful seasons since 2007 and I was paying to watch those disappointing years with others at the stadium. However, the Jags have an excellent coach, a very good quarterback, a generous owner who are all in on winning. It is different than before last year. Sure, the Jaguars lost two games in a row from obvious poor play, but Jags are still set up to play competitive football with a chance to play meaningful games in December and January for the near future. Please tell me O great King of Funkiness that I am not wrong. What say you? Jags just have to stick to their assignments for this to happen for the most part. Here's to future improvement of Moodachay on third down! Go Jags. Duuuuvaaal!

I saw the season is far from over and solid pieces remain in place. I say it's a week-to-week league. I saw that Richard, like Don before him, remains "all in."

Mark from Kansas City, MO

This is starting to feel like 2017/2018 all over again.

The Jaguars won the AFC South title in 2017 only to have the season go bad quickly the following season. The Jaguars won the AFC South title in 2022 and had a bad loss Sunday. One bad loss does not a season make. It's up to the Jaguars now to make sure that last statement proves true.

Jake from Scottsdale, AZ

Sometimes I think the Jaguars were created by the NFL in 1995 for the sole purpose of allowing other franchises to stack their win total.


Mark from Archer

Zone, not overreacting. However, I think that we need to pump the brakes on this talk of the Jags being the clear favorites to win the division. They just got manhandled in all three phases of the game and it honestly did not even look like a competitive game to me.

The Jaguars are in second place in the AFC South through three games. Of course we should pump the brakes on talk that they're the clear favorite in the AFC South.

Jordan from Mandarin

After quarterback, the O-line and D-line are largely what determine a team's success. We just aren't good enough in the trenches. Either players start to play dramatically better or this is going to be a very up and down season. I am incredibly disappointed.

The Jaguars haven't been good enough on the offensive line through three games. The defensive line didn't play well enough Sunday against the Houston Texans. Those areas must be better moving forward.

Marcus from Jax

When do we start to ask the question of whether or not the run to the playoffs last season was the fluke, and the real Jaguars are what we are seeing now? DiRocco made a good point this week, that the final stretch of last season wasn't exactly a murderer's row. And while the Chargers comeback was an all-time great, that first half was as bad as the second half was good. Is it possible that the 2022 Jags had an improbable and often lucky run to end the season, but in reality, they're not as good as we thought they were?

I don't know what a "DiRocco" is, but you don't fluke into the playoffs in the NFL. The Jaguars beat two postseason teams in the second half of the 2022 regular season – Baltimore and Dallas – and they also beat a team twice in Tennessee that would have made the postseason had they beaten the Jaguars in one of those games. The Jaguars also won a postseason game. You don't win six of seven games in the NFL by being lucky. The Jaguars this season in addition to two losses also have a victory over the Indianapolis Colts, who are in first place in the AFC South. It's a week-to-week league. The Jaguars played poorly all around in Week 3. They played poorly offensively in Week 2. Let's see how they play moving forward before determining that they're not good.

Marcus from Jax

According to David Garrard, Doug took back play calling duties in the second half Sunday. I suspected as much when I saw his nose in the play sheet more in the second half when they put the camera on him. Is that just an assumption, or has that been confirmed? If so, doesn't that justify all the angst and anguish over the play calling in the first few games? The offense never seemed to get in a rhythm, even in the win at Indy, and fans were dismissed for blaming play calling. But if Doug snatched that back by halftime of game 3, it must have been a real issue that needed to be addressed. What do you think?

I do know who David Garrard is. Pederson did not "take back" playcalling duties in the second half of the loss Sunday. Offensive coordinator Press Taylor called plays the entire game.

Troy from Dover, PA

What is the latest news on Dawuane Smoot and DaVon Hamilton possibly returning to play?

I expect defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot, currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list after an Achilles injury last December, to begin practicing sometime around Week 6ish. I don't expect defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton, currently on injured reserve with a back issue, to return that soon.

Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville

Sunday's game was another example of how important it is that the city and the team come to an agreement on stadium renovation expenses. They announced 61,000-plus tickets sold, but there were easily 20,000 empty seats at kickoff. That number grew higher later in the first half. It is just too hot to sit in the blazing sun and heat and will only get hotter with global warming. Shade does make it bearable during the September games. Until there are renovations approved with overhead covering of some sort to provide shade that will make it less-than-tortuous to sit in the stands, there will not be a full stadium with cheering fans to enhance a home-field advantage for these early season games. The empty seats around the stadium also provide fodder for those who say the Jaguars have poor attendance and support in Jacksonville.

Fair. It's hot in Florida in September. Very hot. That's why this is being addressed in the plans for the Jaguars' Stadium of the Future.