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Schedules favorable

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Scott from Jacksonville:
I just turned down a date with a, well, girl who is known for fun, simply because she is a Titans fan. The teal blood in my veins couldn't let me go out with her because she's a Titans fan. Is something wrong with me?

Vic: Absolutely not; you are obviously a man of high moral fiber and character.

Toya from Jacksonville:
What does the phrase "jar on the shelf" mean?

Vic: In football parlance, it means having something in reserve for when you run out of what you're using. I use the "jar on the shelf" expression to refer specifically to player development. In the salary cap era, getting caught short at a position will cost you a lot of money.

Mark from Jacksonville:
If a drop kick was used in place of a punt, would the ball be live if it were not caught by the punt-returner?

Vic: A drop-kick attempt is a specific technique used with the intent of scoring a three-point field goal, therefore, drop kicks are subject to those rules governing field-goal attempts.

Kelly from Jacksonville:
I'm under the impression football fans and analysts will toss Donovan McNabb's name in the MVP hat this year, but if the Eagles offense didn't really take off until Terrell Owens' arrival, then wouldn't that make T.O. a more valuable player than McNabb? Isn't that the definition of MVP? Where is my logic faulty?

Vic: Your logic is not faulty. I like that kind of thinking.

Jason from Jacksonville:
What was our third-down conversion percentage Sunday? Where does that put us for the year?

Vic: The Jaguars offense converted eight of 15 third-down attempts on Sunday. That leaves them at 14 of 49 for the season. On defense, the Jaguars held the Colts to three for eight, which leaves the defense at 22 of 52 for the season.

J.D. from Jacksonville:
I'm a teacher and finally made it to my first regular-season Jags game on Sunday, thanks to some parents here. Of course, I lost my voice, so, how long on average does it take for fans to get their voices back after a day like Sunday?

Vic: I don't know because cheering isn't allowed in the press box. I've often wondered what would happen if cheering was allowed in the press box.

John from Brooklyn, NY:
What does the Jaguars total defense rank so far in this quarter part of the season? Are you surprised, disappointed?

Vic: The Jaguars defense is eighth overall; 16th against the run and 10th against the pass. Those numbers aren't out of line, though I expected the Jaguars to be better against the run. Even at that, however, the fall is understandable. Losing Paul Spicer really hurt this team. Opponents are running at the Jaguars' perimeter and that trend will continue until the Jaguars shut it down. We all knew the Jaguars were in a desperate state at defensive end, and now it's even more desperate with Spicer lost for the year. What the Jaguars do to fortify themselves at that position will go a long way toward determining their fate this season.

Steve from Williston, FL:
Why was our run-defense so bad in the second half? It seemed they ran everything away from our defensive tackles. Is there a way to stop it?

Vic: You are asking a question that is dominating Jack Del Rio's and Mike Smith's thought processes. Your answer will come in the form of the Jaguars' performance.

Jeff from Westminster, CO:
Given Wilford's performance in the game, are you willing to revise your assessment that he is merely an end-zone specialist?

Vic: He would appear to be ready for an expanded role.

John from Jacksonville:
It appears the Colts have replaced the Titans as the Jaguars' biggest obstacle in the AFC South. What does the rest of the Colts' schedule look like and how do you think they'll do?

Vic: The Colts have come through a very rugged opening schedule. I didn't believe they would finish the first month 3-1, so I give them credit for being where they are. They truly have a great offense; an offense to be compared to the great ones in NFL history. Looking at the remainder of their schedule, I can tell you it's very favorable. So is the Jaguars', especially in the second half of the season. The Colts have to go to Kansas City and Denver, and host Minnesota and Baltimore. You might want to circle those games. The Jaguars host Kansas City and Pittsburgh, and go to Minnesota and Green Bay. You might want to circle those games. Of course, the two teams meet again on Oct. 24, in Indianapolis. I don't think the schedule favors either team. They've both come through tough opening months. For the Jaguars, I believe the concerns are defensive end and left tackle. The Jaguars have to either stop the run or rush the passer with their ends. I don't expect them to do both, but they've got to get at least one of those two. Of course, the Jags need to replace Mike Pearson at left tackle without suffering a drop-off at that position. For the Colts, the issues are a defense that is last in the league and has traditionally gotten worse as the season has progressed, and keeping Peyton Manning healthy. It all begins and ends with Manning. If anything should happen to him, the Colts might have trouble winning another game.

Armand from Atlantic Beach, FL:
When officials are assigned to a game, are any of them from the team's home state or are they impartial?

Vic: NFL officials are professionals. They are beyond the kind of conduct you're suggesting.

Ron from Jacksonville:
I got into a heated discussion with a visiting Colts fan after the game on Sunday because he overheard me say we were still tied for first place in the division due to our 3-1 record. He contended the Colts were in sole possession of first place due to their 2-0 divisional record. Is divisional place determined by overall record or divisional record?

Vic: At this point in the season, it's correct to say the two teams are tied for the AFC South lead because tie-breakers aren't applied until the season is complete. If the season ended today, however, the Colts would be the AFC South champions because they would win the number one tie-breaker, which is head-to-head results, not divisional record.

A.J. from Jacksonville:
What is the Jaguars' current rankings in pass-offense and rush-offense?

Vic: The Jaguars offense is ranked 28th overall; 26th in rushing and 27th in passing.

Romeo from Denver, CO:
Just to let you know, the Chargers are breaking out their powder blue jerseys for this game.

Vic: Oooh, maybe I should get my nails done.

Steve from Jacksonville:
I think the league hypes up the big stars just like the NBA did Jordan and Magic. I'm watching Ray Lewis and I see the players around him tuning out all his shenanigans. What's your opinion? I don't think he's all that anymore; he's just a made-for-commercials raving lunatic.

Vic: I have added you to my list of fans who get it.

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