1. How has Blake Bortles looked so far this year? Last year seemed to be a season of learning and adjusting to the NFL. Has he improved to the point where his future looks good, or is that still murky?
Blake Bortles has flashed maturity and growth, but he's also made some of the same stupid mistakes he was making his rookie year. He can drive the ball, but when it comes to the red zone, defenses have his number. He's only thrown six touchdowns in four games, and against teams like the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts, that number should be a lot higher.
The fact that he's on pace for 24 touchdowns and that it would be a franchise record says a lot about how poor the quarterback play has been for this team.
I think the future looks more good than murky for Bortles. I think the return of injured tight end Julius Thomas will help him immensely. I think T.J. Yeldon's continued growth will help. Same with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Will it solve everything? No. Bortles can certainly get better. But he needs a little help.
2. How do Jaguars fans feel about Gus Bradley? Is there any pressure for him to improve the team quickly after two disappointing seasons?
Honestly, I think he's fired at the end of this season, if not sooner. It'll probably be during the bye week, sadly.
This is a more talented roster than when he got here and it's on pace for less wins. The loss against the New England Patriots -- while damning -- was expected. It wasn't expected to be as dominating as it was, but it was expected. The loss against the Indianapolis Colts (and 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck) was the nail in the coffin. You have a chance to get unquestioned first place in the division and you blow it. Most of us think it's only a matter of time.
We scoffed at the "Gus Bradley is on the hot seat" articles this summer because we knew that the only possibility for him getting fired was a disaster of a season. I don't care how many injuries you have -- if you lose to Matt Hasselbeck with the division lead on the line, it's an unmitigated disaster.
3. Gus Bradley was supposed to bring Seattle's defense to Jacksonville. How has that scheme looked so far? Do the Jaguars have the players to run it efficiently?
The scheme is the same. Low blitzing, the front four need to get pressure, Cover 3 with a mixture of zone and press... it's the exact same scheme. We just don't have enough good players -- especially along the line. And Paul Posluszny is awful in pass coverage, and the middle of the field is not where you want a big gaping hole when you're playing press coverage and you can get pressure with your front four.
But all that said, the defense hasn't been the issue. They've carried the offense in two of our three losses and in the game we won, they made stops when they needed to. Our defense is playing their ass off. It's our young offense and their inability to score that's keeping this team from 3-1.
4. Is there a relatively unknown Jaguars player who could have big impact on the outcome of Sunday's game?
A.J. Cann. He was our third-round pick this year and he's filling in for the starting right guard Brandon Linder, who was put on injured reserve earlier this week.
Cann was a left guard at South Carolina and I don't know if he's ever played the right side. With the Buccaneers weak in run defense, I'd imagine a big part of offensive coordinator Greg Olson's game plan will be to feed T.J. Yeldon the ball. So, I'd watch Cann, especially in run blocking.
5. Can you predict the outcome of the game?
I think it'll be a good day for the offense. I think the defense gets embarrassed by Jameis Winston. I think the Jaguars will win 24-20.