Jaguars vs Panthers 2015 pits two proud expansion franchises against each other to start the season. This battle of jungle cats promises to be an exciting measuring stick for the two franchises, both coming off of losing records.
While the Jacksonville Jaguars are coming from a 3-13 season and the Carolina Panthers are coming in after an unlikely playoff appearance after finishing 7-8-1, this game should still be one of the better ones to watch.
But we’re not going to talk about that here.
Instead we’re going to focus on the causes for concern in this Jaguars vs Panthers matchup.
Let’s dive in.
Aug 28, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback TJ Yates (13) is tackled by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Ryan Davis (59) at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars pass rush
The Dante Fowler Jr. injury has already been felt in the 2015 preseason and it’s only going to get worse as we dive into the regular season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were miserable at rushing the passer through the preseason and one of the few exciting guys, Cap Capi, managed to get most of his pressures and sacks against third and fourth string players. Capi didn’t even make the team.
A pass rush featuring Chris ‘Father Time’ Clemons, Chris Smith, and Ryan Davis isn’t scaring anybody.
I’m hopeful about Chris Smith and have faith in Ryan Davis as a key rotational guy, but this isn’t the edge rushing group that quarterbacks have nightmares about.
Hopefully the Jags will be able to manufacture a pass rush against a relatively weak Carolina Panthers offensive line. A lot has been made about Michael Oher bouncing from the Tennessee Titans so quickly and now starting for the Panthers, but even he should be able to stand up to the pass rushers the Jaguars are putting forward to start the season.
Hopefully the Jags will be able to work in wrinkles that include versatile defensive end Jared Odrick and otto linebacker Dan Skuta getting after the quarterback. In my mind, they represent the best opportunities to bring down Cam Newton in Week 1.
I would love to be surprised and see Chris Smith prove his worth, Ryan Davis continue his highly efficient rushing, and even Chris Clemons creating some pressures, but right now it’s tough to see the group as anything but a concern.
Next: Can the team get some interceptions!?