JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it ….
Biff from Jacksonville
Can the Jaguars upset the Bills? I thought about it and my dream was broken. I clutched at images like dying breath.
The Jaguars can beat the Buffalo Bills Sunday at TIAA Bank Field because of course they can. It's the NFL and any team theoretically can beat any other in professional football. My unsolicited and semi-amateur, quasi-professional opinion is a Jaguars victory Sunday would perhaps be the biggest upset in franchise history – ranking with a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1995 expansion season. Perhaps others would compare, but the list is short. I would rank it there because the Jaguars have struggled mightily this season with their only victory coming over a struggling Miami team. The Bills look like a Super Bowl favorite – and it's a stretch to believe a team playing as the Jaguars have played this season could beat a Super Bowl favorite. Yes, the Jaguars pushed the Cincinnati Bengals – and to a lesser extent the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans – but pushing and winning aren't the same thing in the NFL. So, keep clutching to those images. But I just can't tell you that dream will come true. Not this week. Here's hoping I'm wrong.
Gus from Valrico
Agnew has the hands, footwork and speed. He is going to be our Jimmy Smith. Run 15 yards come for three yards and catch the ball, then take the receiver deep for 50 yards.
I hope for the Jaguars' sake you're correct. I hope this for wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew's sake, too, because he's a likeable guy whose NFL story thus far is ultra-impressive. You're talking about a player who entered the NFL as a defensive back who has turned himself into a functional NFL receiver. That's extremely difficult. I can't in good conscience say he's going to be nearly as good as former Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith, who was among the top two or three wide receivers in the NFL in his prime. I also don't know that Agnew can develop into a No. 1 or even 2 receiver. He's 5-feet-10 – and even with elite speed, it will be a tough ask for be elite. But can he be productive? Can he help this offense? Absolutely.
Oscar from Palm Coast, FL
Hey, O. Your thoughts on the referee's calls against the Jags? Seems to be no respect.
All fans think referees make horrible calls against their teams, and most fans agree that leagues hate or disrespect their teams. I don't see officials as biased or disrespecting the Jaguars. I understand fans disagree. Oh well.
Keith from Duval
When will we have another winning season? This is getting ridiculous. What's the chance of us going to the playoffs in the next three years?
I don't know when the Jaguars will have a winning season, and you're correct that one season over .500 in a decade isn't good enough. I think there's a decent chance the Jaguars make the postseason in the next three seasons, though it's fair that a lot – a lot – must get right around rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence for that to happen. A lot.
Michael from Jacksonville
Wide receiver Jeff Cotton was aggressive in preseason. Is he still on the team?
He is on the practice squad.
Johnny from Westside vie East Palatka
As a follow up from Thursday's O-Zone, do the Jags practice playing football during the week? It seems like maybe they're practicing Colecovision or something.
The Jaguars practice each week. They practice heavy on Wednesdays and Thursdays, lighter on Fridays and have a walkthrough practice Saturday. All NFL teams have essentially the same schedule each week. Promise.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach
As a lifelong Jaguars fan, I would not rank the most recent loss to the Seahawks as even being in the Top 5 of the most embarrassing losses by the Jaguars. My Top 5: 30–3 loss to the Tennessee Titans at home in 2010, 41-3 loss to the Chicago Bears at home in 2012, 37-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at home in 2013, 44-0 loss at the Detroit Lions in 1999 and 41-0 loss at the Seahawks in 2009. I hope there is not a new addition to this list after the game on Sunday with the Bills.
The 44-0 game to which you refer was in the 1995 expansion season rather than the 1999 season, but other than that … good list. What was disturbing about Sunday's loss to Seattle was more how they lost – the avoidable mistakes and sloppiness – than the score, but that's nitpicking. Whatever. It was in the conversation.
Charles from Riverside
Hello, John. For what it's worth the Jags are still the latest expansion team in the NFL – that distinction being shared with the Panthers. Since 1995, Carolina has won 190 games and we have won 170. That is just over one more win per season for the Panthers since inception. Didn't even check the likes of the Bucs or Bengals on their first 25! Sixteen teams have winning percentages under .500, some going back over a thousand games! The NFL planets must align for any team to have a great run, franchise QB, great coach, regular successful draft, decent plug and play veterans. Our growing pains are nothing new. Our time will come.
The Houston Texans were an expansion team in 2002.
Red from O-Zone Comments Section
Serious question John; Why is Taven Bryan still a Jaguar? Is he even part of the defensive line rotation lately?
Defensive lineman Taven Bryan remains with the Jaguars because the team believes he's more capable as a backup defensive lineman than other available options. That doesn't mean he has fulfilled his potential as a former first-round selection. It doesn't mean the team believes he should be starting or that he will be great. It means that the team believes he is capable in his role.
Brian from Gainesville, FL
Big O, I get why fans are frustrated and despondent with the Jags. I'm a fan. I'm frustrated. And I'm despondent. But, dang, there is literally no joy in the Zone anymore. C'mon fellow Jaguar fans! This team was among the worst in the history of the NFL. It's what got us the guy who appears to be on his way to being a franchise QB. That means in a couple seasons, we won't be this bad again for a good long time. The coaching staff is not only new, but they took over administration of a team that is in the conversation of worst teams in history. Can we all just give a little time for development and roster building before we immediately want to start over all again?!? I promise you this: Urban Meyer has winning imprinted in his DNA. He's going to figure this out.
Hey … one fer Meyer …
Royce from Jacksonville
Mr. O. Meyer said this week he learned a lot during the bye week and that the time for excuses are over, so how can the team look this bad?
… and one not fer.
JT from Palm Coast, FL
The 2022 NFL draft is up, and the Jags are on the clock. The choices of pick is between an "elite" college wide receiver and an "elite" offensive lineman. Which do you choose? I used to always believe take the lineman, but after this last draft, the Bengals decided on Chase instead of Sewell. Many thought that was a mistake, but it doesn't look like it now. So once again, who do you choose and why?
This depends on multiple factors – and the true quality of both players – with the answer at least in part depending on Jaguars rookie offensive tackle Walker Little. He was drafted with the idea of being a potential starter. If he indeed is that, then I would take the elite wide receiver. But I might even take the elite wide receiver anyway. That wouldn't have been the answer a decade ago. But the league is changing. If you don't have the elite playmaking wide receiver it's a tough go.
Carl from Waukegan
O-Zone, do you have an opinion on the NFL's relatively rapid move to support betting on its games? Do you see this as a slippery slope??
The NFL's move to support gambling on its games is the investable result of many states moving toward legalizing gambling, an inevitability that stems from the exorbitant money the NFL and other professional sports leagues stand to gain from gambling interests. As for me, I'm not particularly for or against the NFL supporting gambling – perhaps because I never have had much of an interest in gambling. I do recall once betting Kim Dallas at ol' Jacksonville Episcopal High School that Kentucky would beat Duke in the 1978 national title game – and if memory serves, that's the only bet I ever made. Kentucky won, Kim paid up and I was five dollars richer for it. One-and-oh, bay--beeeeeeeeee!