JACKSONVILLE – Welcome to the debut of O-Zone Late Night.
The idea is to answer a few questions for the late-night crowd after a Jaguars game – those folks who maybe just can’t get to sleep after a game and can’t wait for the O-Zone the next morning.
This won’t take the place of the Monday morning O-Zone. It’s briefer, by design. The Monday in-box, no doubt, will be just as angry and just as ready to burst at the seams usual.
It’s just a little bonus, from us at jaguars.com to you.
We didn’t expect it would be following a 28-2 season-opening loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but win or lose, this is the plan. So, here it is.
Let’s get to it . . .
Paul from Lohrville, IA:
People will call me crazy, but I have to say that time will tell that the Chiefs’ defense is just that good...
John: There may be a lot of truth to what you say. The Jaguars did not expect their offensive line to not allow the offense to function. That was a surprise, so it may well be that the Chiefs’ defensive front is just that good. Even if that’s true, the Jaguars’ front has to play better. That’s supposed to be an area of strength. That was what a lot of the hopes for an improved offense were built around. On Sunday, it was not a strength.
Andy from Tyler:
If they don’t figure out a way to protect Blaine, it’s going to be a long season.
John: No doubt. That was the biggest surprise and the biggest disappointment. The offensive line was supposed to be a strength. On Sunday, it wasn’t. And it hurt . A lot.
Matt from Washington, DC:
Manuel: 17/26 passing, 141 yards, two touchdowns, 104.8 passer rating. Gabbert: 16/35, 121 yards, two interceptions, 30.8 rating. Helps us understand why we shouldn't be frustrated?
John: When did I say fans shouldn’t be frustrated? Gabbert has to get better. All of the talk about the offensive line and receivers aside, that remains true.
Jeremy from Andover, KS:
A lot of people are blaming the game on Gabbert and saying that he is terrible. The offensive line overall played horrendous, it appeared. MJD had no room to run so does he stink, too, because he didn't have great stats? Or maybe people should recognize that the O-Line needs drastic improvement for this offense to do any good at all?
John: I’m not ready to say Gabbert had a great game, because that’s far, far, far from the case. But you’re right that the line has to play better. It can happen this season, but it has to happen. That’s it. I’ve written enough about the line. I don’t know what more there is to say.
James from Hephziba, GA:
No protection or pressure. That's what I saw. Also receivers dropping sure first downs. Is that what you saw?
John: Pretty much.
Nick from Austin, TX:
Let’s take a deep breath here. That was terrible, but it was mostly on the o-line and special teams. The Chiefs didn't do much when they had to start back in their own territory. Defense got decent pressure but needs to get better at finishing. Gabbert could have been better but man did the offensive line get dominated. And hey, remember how everyone expected the Chiefs to take a major leap? Maybe they were right. It’s only Game 1 for a young team. I think the Raiders will be a better gauge of where the team stands. It’s a bit too early to write off the season.
John: Yes, it’s early, but Sunday won’t do. I can’t argue with fans writing in angry. People close to the team have an easier time understanding why, that the Jaguars are starting a build and time will be needed, but fans are tired of hearing it. Yes, deep breath, but the Jaguars need to take that breath, recover and play better.
Maggie from Annapolis, MD:
John, you have my sympathy today. Inbox has got to be overflowing with real ugly and nasty emails. Keep your chin up.
John: Thanks, Maggie, but you know what? Ugly and nasty emails don’t bother me. Fans have a right to be upset. That wasn’t pretty.
Oscar from Palm Coast, FL:
After this performance by Blaine Gabbert
it’s obvious that Henne should be the starter. BG didn’t get anything going he was plain awful. In comes Henne: last minute of the game and we are at the 10-yard line. If Henne started we would have won. It doesn’t take a pro to see Blaine Gabbert looks good in practice but can’t bring it on game day. COME ON MAN.
John: “If Henne started we would have won.” Gabbert wasn’t good Sunday, but to think that’s a Jaguars victory with Henne playing . . . well, I can’t say I’m all in on this one.
Kristian from Dublin, Ireland:
That was pathetic. It was an ugly disgrace to all of football. It made panda babies cry. Now let's move on.
John: That’s what we’ll do Wednesday.