Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Dennis from Jacksonville:
What is the most important thing the Jaguars need to do to beat the Patriots?
Vic: Stop Tom Brady. For New England, it begins and ends with Brady. He's the guy you have to beat. Beat him and you beat them.
Steve from El Dorado, AR:
At this point, we most likely have to win-out to make the playoffs. Am I right?
Vic: You're right.
Kenneth from Jacksonville:
I know the rule about having to come to the ground with complete control, but isn't it getting a little out of control? Even though the rule hurt both teams, I don't like it. Thoughts?
Vic: The receivers have been given every advantage. You can't touch them beyond five yards. If you so much as cast a shadow on them you'll get called for pass interference. At the least, they should be expected to catch the ball. I see nothing wrong with the way the rule regarding possession and control is being interpreted. I wanna see the ball caught and held firmly. If I were a head coach, I would teach my players to dramatize possession and control by handing the ball to an official after the catch.
Joel from Atlanta, GA:
The whole attitude of diminishing the magnitude of the losses to the Texans after the Titans loss is ridiculous. It's the same mentality people have in basketball where all the mistakes and missteps done earlier in the game are forgotten and only the ones in the last quarter matter. Let's get this straight: playing well against the Texans doesn't leave the Jags in a position where the Titans game is of so much importance.
Vic: So what are you going to do, cry about it all season? Do you forfeit the rest of the year because you lost a game you think you should've won? It's a loss. Deal with it. And the best way to deal with it is to win now. The Jaguars are in a position that they'll make it into the playoffs if they just win. This is crunch time. Don't tell me about October. You are defined by how you play in December and January. If you can't win at home against New England in December, then why would you think you could win at New England in January? This obsession with those losses to Houston is boring. It's time to move on. Show me what you have now. Show me what you can do at crunch time. That's when you earn my respect. This is still do-able. Just win, baby.
T.J. from Albany, NY:
What are our offensive and defensive rankings and how do they reflect our record?
Vic: The Jaguars are second in rushing and in overall defense, which are the kind of rankings you would expect of a 12-2 team. The problem is that the passing game is 27th in the league in total yardage and neither quarterback has a passer rating above 79.0. I don't think the quarterbacks, however, should get all of the blame. A completed pass requires the ball to be thrown and caught.
Lance from Orange Park, FL:
I know when it's said and done it all comes down to wins and losses, but I believe, despite the loss, there were many positives to take away from this game. If you take away the turnovers, I'm convinced we not only could have dominated the Titans, but probably any other team in the league on Sunday. Don't you agree? There was some great football being played out there by the Jaguars.
Vic: You can't take the turnovers away. Turnovers are the biggest part of the game. Other than for those plays that resulted in turnovers, the Jaguars played a great game. If this was, say, 2003 and the Jaguars were a young team out of playoff contention, you'd be delighted by a game like Sunday's because you'd look at all of the great things that happened and know the Jaguars have talent for their future. This is not '03, however, and the Jaguars are not out of playoff contention. This was a game that could've put the Jaguars on the verge of clinching a playoff berth and that's why the loss hurts so much.
Jason from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Why hasn't the NFL scheduled any games for Saturday afternoons? There is a big void right now with college being over. They have done this in the past, so why not this year?
Vic: Those games have been moved to NFL Network.
Jack from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
What are the fewest first downs and fewest yards allowed in an NFL game?
Vic: Five teams in NFL history did not record a first down. The most recent example is by Denver against Houston on Sept. 3, 1966. The fewest yards gained in a game is minus-seven by Seattle against the Los Angeles Rams in 1979.
Mack from Houston, TX:
You said to check back with you on Vince Young after this game, so I'm checking. What's your comment?
Vic: You've got to be kidding. What's to evaluate? The Titans only had the ball for 15 minutes and 38 seconds. Young only threw 15 passes and one of those he wasn't supposed to throw. I'm talking about the one at the end, when he was supposed to scramble around and then take a knee but he panicked and threw a pass that fell incomplete and effectively added 40 seconds to the clock. It wasn't far from being intercepted and returned for a game-tying touchdown. He only completed eight passes for 85 yards and only ran four times for four yards. He was a non-factor. I can't help but think his coach made a statement when he opened the game with three dive plays that failed to gain a first down, after taking possession at the Titans 41-yard line.
Scott from Jacksonville:
You are starting a new team and your first running back pick can only be one of these four: Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith. Who do you pick?
Vic: Jim Brown.
Micheal from Beaufort, SC:
Vic, You are the man. You always show true grit after losses, choosing to tackle questions about what everybody saw head on; great Monday column. If Taylor and Jones-Drew can't go Sunday, who backs up Toefield?
Vic: Alvin Pearman is still there. The Jags will be OK at running back. LaBrandon Toefield is healthy and certainly on fresh legs. I thought he looked quick and powerful on Sunday. The Jags need a healthy Fred Taylor/Maurice Jones-Drew combination, but I think Sunday's game is going to fall more on David Garrard's shoulders. Bill Belichick is a defensive genius and it won't take a genius to know how to attack the Jaguars: stop the run at all cost and dare them to throw the ball. That's what any team is going to do when it's facing an opponent that's rushed for 577 yards in the last two games and whose quarterback is coming off a game in which he threw three interceptions and had three turnovers returned for touchdowns. The Patriots have the league's number four rush-defense. I expect the Jaguars will have to make plays in the passing game to win this Sunday.
Johnathan from Jacksonville:
"What happened in Nashville on Sunday is part of the learning experience for a quarterback." About 10 years ago, Mark Brunell and the Jaguars had a similar meltdown: over 500 yards of offense but five interceptions in a tough loss to the Rams. What did the Jags' coaches do back then in the game plan the following week?
Vic: What they did was more of the same. Brunell scrambled seven times for 45 yards and a touchdown, and passed 31 times for 215 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 28-21 loss in Cincinnati. All quarterbacks are going to go through an interceptions phase during their development. Tom Brady has had four four-interception games in his career. It happens. Brunell was an interceptions machine in 1996, his first full year as a starter.
Brian from Orlando, FL:
Do you think it is likely we will have a turnout this Sunday similar to the embarrassing no-show count we had three years ago vs. Houston?
Vic: That wasn't just no-shows. That was tickets not sold and there's a big difference between that and tickets not used. The 2004 day-after-Christmas game against Houston was blacked out in Jacksonville. This Sunday's game is sold out and will be shown on local TV. Do I expect a lot of no-shows? No. The Jaguars' opponent is Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and the playoffs are on the line. It doesn't get any better than that in December. In my opinion, this Sunday's game is the defining game of the season to date.
Chadwin from Oak Ridge, TN:
While watching this game, I got the impression Garrard was making great plays with his feet. As the game went on, I started to question that statement, especially with the turnovers. Was Garrard really making great plays with his feet or was it the receivers not getting open or Garrard being hesitant in the pocket?
Vic: When David Garrard's back foot reached the depth of the pocket on Sunday, his receivers were covered. At that point, the ball has to come out of his hand or the rhythm of the play has been disrupted. Jeff Lageman made the depth-of-the-pocket observation to me yesterday after having spent the whole day watching tape of Sunday's game. What Garrard did was use his feet to buy time for his receivers to run around and get open while their quarterback was running around to avoid the rush. That's not what you want. You want a passing game that delivers the ball on time and to a receiver who is coming open as he is coming out of his break.
Mike from Pittsburgh, PA:
I just realized something about the Jags playoff hopes. They control their own destiny. Cincinnati and Denver play each other next week and the Jaguars own the head-to-head over the Jets. If they win the next two, they are in. No excuses. As you say, just win, baby.
Vic: What more could you want?
Dave from Atlantic Beach, FL:
The worst thing about the Jaguars loss on Sunday is that I had to root for the Colts on Monday night. I feel so dirty!
Vic: Give it a few days. The feeling will pass.