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Winning is good enough

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

Steven from Neptune Beach, FL:
I don't know why I'm not fully happy about today's win against the Texans. I'm just not in the mood to celebrate the win after the game. Am I weird or something? What do you think?

Vic: Fully happy? What's that? I'd have to go back to Christmas morning 1958, when I got that sled I had wanted so badly, to remember the last time I was fully happy. I think I'll ask my wife tonight if she's fully happy. She'll probably ask me why do I wanna cause trouble? What are you looking for here, Steven? Is a win not good enough? Ask yourself what your perspective would be today if the Jaguars had lost. Would a win be good enough then? Would it make you fully happy?

Ryan from Atlantic Beach, FL:
So how do we get our offense to play like they did in the second half all of the time?

Vic: You don't. It just doesn't happen that way. You do what it takes to win. Half happy is as good as it gets.

Vincent from Jacksonville:
After a great showing by Ernest Wilford, I can't help but ask what's to become of Reggie Williams and Matt Jones?

Vic: That's up to Reggie Williams and Matt Jones. They have been challenged. They will respond with their performances. It's how it should be and it's been much too long since it's been this way at wide receiver.

Michael from Philadelphia, PA:
I've always noticed when watching a game that referees have some type of band or string around their left hand. What is the purpose of it?

Vic: I can't speak for all of them but I know some use a rubber band to remind them of the down. They advance the rubber band along their fingers with the passing of each down.

Billy from Jacksonville:
After the game I read your article about Leftwich and his great play in the second half. Many of those completions were screens or other passes behind the line of scrimmage. My question is how long are you and the Jaguars going to make excuses for this guy and are they going to fire the offensive coordinator again because it can't be the quarterback's fault? Yes, he has improved but he is still not even close to being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Is it the big contract? Is that why the team always makes excuses for him? You want to know why people don't come to the games? Do you really have to ask?

Vic: After Byron Leftwich's performance in the second half of yesterday's game, I thought to myself, I wonder who will have the gall to rip the guy in an "Ask Vic" question on Monday. And there you were. Congratulations! Here's what you've done: You've taken a quarterback who, in the second half, was 11-for-11 for 162 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and a 149.1 passer rating and dismissed his performance as not worthy of a starting quarterback. When someone advances the kind of preposterous opinion you have provided us, he only serves to raise questions about his or her state of mind. What is your state of mind, Billy? What is your specific criticism of Leftwich's performance on Sunday? You can't say he didn't show touch because he really feathered that touchdown pass to Ernest Wilford. You can't say he lacked mobility because he ran eight yards for a touchdown on a quarterback draw. He didn't fumble, he didn't throw an interception and he didn't make an obscene gesture at the crowd for booing him. What is it you don't like about this guy? Be specific.

Tim from Lehigh Acres, FL:
Is the Jaguars' inability to put teams away representative of league parity?

Vic: Sure it is. Elite teams put cellar dwellers away, but the Jaguars aren't an elite team.

Cory from Jacksonville:
Do you think booing motivates players or makes them play worse?

Vic: As the game is proceeding, I don't think booing has much of an effect on players. They have jobs to do and they are usually capable of maintaining their focus on what they have to do. Where the booing has an effect on players is after the game. It can embitter them to the town. Think about it. How would you feel?

Mike from Jacksonville:
Could it be that you were wrong about Wilford? Not too long ago you were calling for him to be a tight end. Now you write an article calling him Keenan's replacement. I think that you were too busy repeating the party line that you failed to see what was in front of your eyes the whole time.

Vic: The reason I suggested he be moved to tight end was because it didn't appear he would get his opportunity to become a full-time player at wide receiver. Wilford's penchant for production has been undeniable since the first game of his career. Of his 19 catches this season, 18 have produced a first down. How's that for production? You have to have that kind of a player on the field, yet, this team has picked wide receivers in the first round in each of the last two drafts and that gave us all reason to wonder where Wilford would fit in the lineup. That was my reasoning for suggesting a move to tight end, but you probably couldn't understand that because you were too busy wanting to hit me with the "homer" tag. You know, Mike, I'm getting real tired of having my credibility challenged. Got a question? Fine. Got an itch? Go scratch it somewhere else.

Donnie from Jacksonville:
I'm tailgating after the game and I hear the people next to me talking about how much Byron Leftwich sucks. I had to fight myself not to yell at them and ask them if they happened to see his stats.

Vic: You did the right thing fighting back the urge. You're not going to reach those people. Their minds are closed. On a day when the Jaguars' running game wasn't very good and the defense allowed touchdown drives of 88 and 84 yards, Leftwich put the team on his shoulders in the second half and carried it to victory. He was the best player on the field.

Eric from Jacksonville:
Would you consider the turning point in the game to be the forced fumble and recovery by the defense, or the Wilford touchdown catch that came as a result of the turnover?

Vic: Consensus of opinion is that the fumble Rob Meier forced provided the turning point in the game, but I think the 39-yard pass from Leftwich to Wilford after the Texans had driven 84 yards to take a 14-7 lead was the most important play in the game. It wasn't until that pass play that the Jaguars had shown any kind of quick-strike ability. That play backed the Texans off. That play, in my opinion, made a statement that carried through the end of the game. From that point on, the Jaguars were the dominant team.

Zach from Tumwater, WA:
I did a little research and noticed the Jaguars have not scored 30 points since week 15 of the 2001 season. They also have not scored 40 since week 15 of the 2000 season and have never in their history scored 50 points (in a regular season game). Do you happen to know what the NFL records are for not reaching these levels of offensive production?

Vic: I don't know and I don't care. This whole 30-point crap is out of control. What does it matter? It became an issue in yesterday's postgame press conference and the time we wasted on it was a distraction. There is no tie-breaker that goes to number of games having scored 30 or more points. It is a totally meaningless statistic. Do you think Bill Cowher was worried about scoring points yesterday as he was trying to expire the clock on the Packers? Just win the game. Why is that not good enough?

Mike from Bridgeport, CT:
Vic, was that you who asked Del Rio in his postgame press conference about pulling Byron?

Vic: Yes, I asked the question. It's what reporters do. They ask questions for the purpose of acquiring answers that might give readers insight into the inner workings of the game. I wanted to know if after the Jaguars' three-and-out to start the second half if Jack Del Rio had given any consideration to making a switch at quarterback. He said he had not.

Kevin from Cocoa, FL:
Where was Winborn? Can you say smokescreen?

Vic: It wasn't a smoke screen. It was a needle and it was intended to jab the Jaguars' outside linebackers into better performances than they had given in St. Louis. I tried to give readers some insight into the situation late last week, in a story on Jamie Winborn that made it clear he would not play much at linebacker because he was still learning the Jaguars' defensive system.

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