O-Zone: Welcome wagon

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Dan from Las Vegas, NV

I guess we all know who is the starting QB next game.

The inbox unsurprisingly was inundated with various versions of this question/statement/proclamation in the immediate aftermath of Texans 26, Jaguars 3. The inference that Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone now will choose veteran quarterback Nick Foles over rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II has merit. I believe Marrone will go with Foles, who has been out since Week 1 with a broken clavicle and who will be eligible to return in the Jaguars’ next game – a November 17 road game against Indianapolis. But I don’t think this is a done deal. I believe this because Marrone says he will take a few days to move beyond Sunday’s loss, then he will take a few more days to decide between the two players. This is wise because it will allow him to view the decision through a big-picture, long-term perspective rather than the short-term lens of Minshew’s disastrous game – which was indeed just one game – against the Texans Sunday. Marrone said Sunday he likely will make the decision later in the week and inform the two players of the decision next Sunday, a day before the team returns from the bye. I anticipate that the decision will be more difficult than many people believe, because Marrone will give it the deserved thorough thought from all angles. That’s his way. But yes … I think he will ultimately choose the experience and history of Foles. For now.

Cliff from Las Vegas, NV

That was fun. Ready for Nick Foles now.

It feels that way now. We’ll see.

Seth from Denver

The Jaguars' defensive line would seem to have more talented players from top to bottom than it did in 2017. Why do you think it's not getting the same results it did back then?

The Jaguars had 55 sacks in 2017. They were on pace for 58 this season entering Sunday’s game. They didn’t get many sacks Sunday because of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s elusiveness, but it’s a pretty similar pass rush to 2017.

Art from Drexel Hill

What a terrible game on both sides of the ball.

True.

Stan from Jacksonville

Doesn’t appear that the Jags have any sort of advantage based on the experience of previously traveling to London.

You’re correct. It didn’t look that way on Sunday.

Shawty from Orlando via Jacksonville

Wouldn't it be wise to continue having Minshew as the starter for the rest of the season if only to have a shot at becoming the Jags’ first-ever Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Yes, that’s far more important than Marrone choosing the player he believes will give the Jaguars the best chance to win.

Logan from Wichita, JS

Yet again the Jaguars are outcoached and outclassed by a worthless team missing half of their defense. Do not say "this one hurt"... THIS WAS 100 PERCENT PREDICTABLE!!! Our scheme is idiotic conservative to a fault and here we sit hoping the whole team stays in London because the season is OVER! SO SICK OF SUPPORTING THIS DUMPSTER FIRE!!!!!!

This one hurt.

Chris from Mandarin

The season is over. There’s no coming back from this one. Technically, there are seven games left, but it’s the nail in the coffin.

It feels that way now. It probably will feel that way Monday and Tuesday. And you may be right. But what if the Jaguars win in Indianapolis and Tennessee the two weeks after the bye? Wouldn’t it feel different? I’m not predicting the Jaguars will win those games. But if they do, they will be 6-5 and showing up on a lot of those “in-the-hunt” boards on ESPN and NFL Network. If that happens, you’ll have to crowbar those nails out of the coffin.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

My God, John. How are we so bad passing against a team that we were told couldn’t defend the pass against anyone? This was embarrassing. Granted, it went from a should-be first down inside the 5 to a disaster on a field-goal attempt. Sigh.

I was surprised the Jaguars struggled offensively early Sunday to the extent they did. It looked like the Jaguars didn’t want to put the game completely in Minshew’s hands by spreading the field and letting him throw on most downs early. A few thoughts likely played into this. One is that’s not the way the Jaguars typically play. Another is that that’s a difficult thing to ask of a rookie quarterback. A third is that the Jaguars are down at tight end and wide receiver because of injuries, so you pretty much entered the game with DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley and Keelan Cole as receiving options. Still, Minshew appeared really confused on a lot of his drops, and he appeared to move early in the pocket rather than making his reads and trusting what was good protection. The receivers also struggled to get separation much of the game. All of that negated a good pass-blocking performance from the line. That’s probably too simplistic, but that’s how it appeared at first glance.

Unhipcat from Carslbad, CA

Red-zone efficiency. Might not be Gardner's fault, but third-worst in the league isn’t going to cut it. Doug will go with experience.

I expect this to play into Marrone’s thinking, and you may well be right.

Arthur from Glenolden, PA

Do we not have a potential franchise QB anymore?

It’s too early to say that, and I wouldn’t say it based on Sunday. Minshew has had more good games than bad. And while Sunday was perhaps his worst game in eight starts, this doesn’t mean he can’t develop into a good player. Even franchise quarterbacks have rough games – yes, as rough as Minshew had Sunday.

Daniel from Jacksonville

It seems like Minshew was taking check-down options all the time early Sunday when the score was still in doubt. From what you saw, were those plays that Foles probably could hit down field or was the Texans coverage really that good?

When an offense struggles, it’s rarely one thing. Minshew didn’t appear to see things well Sunday; that happens with a young quarterback. Part of what he was seeing was the Jaguars’ receivers struggling most of the game to get open. Foles’ experience likely would have helped Sunday, but the lack of separation still would have made it difficult.

George from Cowford

Bad loss. I think the team is a lot better than that. It seems like they couldn’t make the plays they needed to make. Now it’s Foles’ opportunity to demonstrate the difference between a really good rookie quarterback (for which I’m thankful) and a really good veteran quarterback.

Hope is a good thing, Red.

David from Denver

I know the London game is supposed to be a home game, so why is the NFL logo and Texans logo plastered all over the field? It’s not like that at other home games.

There were no Texans logos on the field Sunday. The NFL logo was on the field because the game is part of the International Series.

Roger from Houston, TX

Memo to NFL officials: If you’re going to allow a quarterback to pass the ball when he’s 90 percent of the way to the ground, you’d better stop calling unnecessary roughness when the quarterback goes down hard. They can’t have it both ways.

I thought this applied multiple times Sunday. While Watson’s escapability and playmaking is phenomenal, he appeared in the grasp with momentum stopped several times Sunday – only to get rid of the ball for positive yardage. These were plays on which a running back likely would have been called for forward progress being stopped. Had an additional defender hit Watson on those occasions, it would have been easy to imagine that defender being called for a penalty. I don’t know how you address it because the league doesn’t want to curtail the creativity of a player such as Watson, but it makes the already difficult task of defending substantially more so.

Bob from Palm Coast, FL

My wife just hollered at me for leaving my mustache hair in the sink. So much for the magic.

Sunday was rough for a lot of people.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

Watching this game was like dying a slow death. Who said we had a home-field advantage playing over here because that’s a load of crap?

I’ve heard people say the Jaguars have a home-field advantage in London. I’ve never really felt they have had one – at least not a significant one, or a consistent one – though they have played well there at times. What I have said and will continue to say is they better figure out a way to make it a home-field advantage because they’re going to be playing games here for a long time.

Bryce from Palmdale, CA

Wow. That might be the ugliest Jaguars game I've witnessed.

Thanks for writing and reading. It’s always good to hear from new fans.

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