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O-Zone: Warrior code

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Zone, I'm worried. The offense has not looked good and it doesn't look like it's going to start looking good. Did we all overestimate this team?

I always struggle when asked about how the entire Jaguars fan base sees the team. Fans see the team through different lenses and therefore have different expectations. I did sense many fans in the offseason expected 14 or 15 victories in 2023, dominance from the start and an easy walk to the AFC South title. I wrote and said repeatedly that I expected around 11-to-12 victories(ish) – and that while I considered the Jaguars deserved AFC South favorites, I didn't expect winning it to be easy. I also wrote that while the Jaguars had potential to join the elite teams of the AFC, they had not yet proven they were in that group and needed to improve from late last season. They were not yet a consistent team as they surged to the AFC South title; they were a resilient team that overcame a lot of deficits, played with guts and proved really good in clutch moments. The Jaguars' task through two weeks remains what it was at the beginning of the season: To show they can be more consistent, particularly offensively, and show they belong among the league's elite. Remember, though: While the offense has not been great through two games, there's no reason to believe it won't start looking good. It's a long season. The talent is there. The offensive scheme is sound. I expect the group will look better against the Houston Texans at EverBank Stadium Sunday. Stay tuned.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it feels like it's been a while since we scored a touchdown on our first possession. Scoring fast was an issue last season and so far, it's rolled into this season.

The Jaguars scored a touchdown on their opening drive in a 31-3 victory over the Texans in Week 17 last season. But they have only scored on four of 19 first possessions since the beginning of last season. It's not an end-all issue. You can win games not scoring early. But it has been an issue, one the Jaguars absolutely wanted to improve this season. And it absolutely has lingered into this season.

Mike from Cortland, NY

Humor me. Any time a team has first-and-goal at the 1 and they sneak four times. What's the percentage of touchdown rate vs any other play call?

I was under the understanding there would be no math.

Jason from Jacksonville

There are other ways to score touchdowns other than using the little area of field near the out of bounds line. They don't always have to throw it so that the receivers have to toe-tap down and possibly get pushed out. It seems like that's all they've tried this season; it worked one week but didn't work the next. Is that possibly a coverage thing? A lot of teams will throw slants close to the goal line, even though there is more traffic in that area at least you know you will stay in bounds.

The Jaguars indeed missed – barely – on multiple toe-tap touchdown passes in a Week 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, which made it seem as if they were dependent on that play. Where a quarterback throws often depends on how the defense defends a certain play rather than being pre-determined, so I don't get the sense that the Jaguars are game-planning exclusively to lean on plays near the sidelines or end line in the red zone. Either way, two games is not a huge sample size. Let's see what the next few weeks bring.

Richard from St Augustine

Overreaction from fans and sports talking heads using words like slump and serious offensive problems! Sure, third-down struggles, inaccurate throws, dropped passes, missed assignments. But hey … the Jags scored 31 points Week 1, the Jags only have one loss and it is only week 2. C'mon, man! The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers are 0-2. A lot of teams are not gelling maybe like they were expected! Welcome to the world of limited practice time where every year it takes three-to-four weeks for teams to get it together. Tell O, great king of all funkiness, am I not over the target? What say you about all this Week 3 panicking! Bunch of Nervous Nellies if you ask me. But we do need to moodachay more! Go Duuuuvaaaal!

I say it's Week 3 and there's no reason to panic.

Joey from Denver, CO

What is more important? Trading for depth at pass rusher or interior offensive line? I sure hope Baalke isn't afraid to toss a late-round pick or two for a couple veterans who can still contribute.

It's Week 3, so I don't know that we know if either of these areas are important at all. Either way, General Manager Trent Baalke will be perfectly willing to make an in-season trade if necessary. The Jaguars have the salary-cap space to do so.

Josh from Lakewood

Has left tackle Walker Little been the best part of the O-line so far?

For the most part, probably.

Robert from Elkton

Calling only the good plays is huge, but the Jags should hire my wife as a tactical game day coach. Whenever a ball carrier gets in the open, she screams "RUN FASTER, RUN FASTER!" I noticed 99 percent of the time, they score when they fully commit and buy into her great coaching. Can you forward her resume?

She does have a point.

Andrew from Little Elm, TX

In Week 1, the offense scored four touchdowns. In Week 2, they didn't score any and suddenly the play-calling is the worst of all time and the offense is terrible. Sometimes good teams have an off day. I'll be worried if this happens over the next few weeks but I expect them to bounce back this week.

I do, too.

Sascha from Cologne, Germany

Hey, John. Curious to know what's your feeling for the game. Do you think it will be a close game like the Colts game or will it be a big win for the Jags?

I expect the Jaguars to win Sunday. I expect it to be competitive at least through halftime, with the Jaguars for the most part in control through the latter part of the game and perhaps winning by eight-to-10-ish.

Jim from Duuuval

Mighty O. Is this a must-win game Sunday at the Bank against Houston? It looms large to this 16-year season tix holder. Going down 1-2 and losing to a hated rival this early in the season is huge in my opinion. I don't think my heart can take another miraculous season ending run to win the division. What say you, O?

I say it's an important game. I say there will be cause for concern if the Jaguars lose because the Jaguars are playing at home against an 0-2 team that's building with a rookie quarterback. I say it's not a must-win game because it's Week 3.

Alan from Pilot Mountain, NC

Watching Jaguars rookie right tackle Anton Harrison last week just shows he needs to adjust to the speed.

As do the vast majority of NFL rookies in the first month of the season.

Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX

When a coach says execution is the issue, he's putting blame on the players and absolving him and his coaching staff, right? When an analyst demands consistency, they fail to understand that the opponents change every week, right?

Life isn't always either or and/or extremes. When coaches discuss execution, they often are saying there were mistakes made after the play call and they are often saying at the same time coaches could have coached better to make sure players understood roles and options during the play. I can't speak for all analysts. Do they all understand everything and is analysis always spot on and in context? Probably not.

Hugo from Portland

Obviously, the NFL doesn't want to set a precedent where its billionaire owners pay for the multibillion dollar mega-stadiums. Why would the NFL want their owners to be financially responsible for their own businesses when they can keep stealing money from the taxpayers?

NFL owners do contribute to multibillion-dollar stadiums. They do so in varying degrees that are often based on how much they can hope to recoup from those contribution. The fact that owners don't pay for stadiums bothers many people. It can bother people all they want, but it's unlikely to change. Assisting funding for these stadiums is the price of being in the NFL. It's often a hefty price, particularly for small markets.

Marji from DeLand, FL

If Taylor Swift writes a new song, I hope it includes something about football. Wouldn't that be cool?

Would the world stop spinning on its axis? Maybe. Maybe not. But that would be it for me. This old rock-and-roll warrior could die happy.