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Big Cat Country Q&A: Are the Jaguars actually good?

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Are these the same old Jags?

NFL: International Series-Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s answer some questions ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ matchup against the New York Jets!

Troy from La Crosse, WI

Q: Are the Jaguars actually #good, or are they going to crush my heart again?

A: This is the question of the week. I don’t know — and I hate that being my answer. The defense is good, near elite status even. But the offense, and specifically Blake Bortles, is such a wild card that I’ll need a few more games.

Zach from Knoxville, TN

Q: Is Kelvin Beachum any better and do you think Yannick Ngakoue or Dante Fowler can get a sack on him

A: I don’t think that Beachum is bad by any means. I would have put him in the lower tier of starting left tackles, but still somewhere around No. 20-25 out of 32 teams. However, Yannick and Dante are both playing at such a high level that a sack by either of them (or both) would not surprise me in the least.

Joshua from Jacksonville, FL

Q: If Blake Bortles keeps up this level of play and we finish the season upper middle (10-6/9-7) do you still think we draft a quarterback (if available) or do we go skill player?

A: Here’s the thing about Bortles’ current level of play — he has no current level of play. He had one game where he was nearly invisible, followed up by an awful one, followed up by probably his best career performance. There is no level. There is no plateau. He is boom or bust and if we can get more boom than bust and we get a playoff spot (and a draft pick in the 20’s) then yes, I think he’s re-signed and we go offensive line in the draft.

Desmond from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Do you think Josh McCown will be the third quarterback to be benched against the Jaguars?

A: Hahahaha... I hadn’t really put it together, but our defense really has benched two out of three quarterbacks this season, haven’t they? But no, I don’t think McCown is benched. He’s actually played at a higher level than either of Tom Savage or Joe Flacco and I think this Jets team is sneaky better than their record. It won’t be an easy Sunday.

Jay from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Q: Will the Jaguars disgrace the American flag this Sunday?

A: The Jaguars displayed an incredibly high level of patriotism, Constitutional freedoms, and American values last Sunday in London. Why would they disgrace an American flag that symbolizes all those things in New York?

Mark from Monmouth, NJ

Q: I'm going to the game these weekend, and rarely get to see them play on television, let alone in person, and given a different perspective by attending the game in person, is there anything I should pay close attention to?

A: Watch what Blake Bortles does before the snap. Watch center Brandon Linder too. Watch who they point to and then if those areas of the field or players correlate to where they go with the ball during the play.

Jef from Midland, TX

Q: Do you think I'm being a optimistic fan in believing we will go 9-7 and the last game of the season against the Tennessee Titans will be for the division title?

A: Nope. I’m starting to think that’s how it will play out too.

John from Boston, MA

Q: Is there any conceivable scenario where we lose this week and Blake Bortles is not the reason? Basically is there any other player or coach capable of screwing up bad enough to overcome the talent gap between these teams?

A: Good question! The offensive line. If they don’t continue to play at a high level, they could lose it for us. Same goes for the defensive line — they’re getting a ton of pressure early and helping the offense build insurmountable leads. It all starts up front.

Andrew from Thibodaux, LA

Q: Can we brag just a little bit yet?

A: Absolutely.