Sep 13, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers running backJonathan Stewart
(28) is brought down by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackleJared Odrick
(75) during the second half at EverBank Field. The Panthers defeat the Jaguars 20-9. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Is the defense making progress: NO (sort of)
Another theme from 2014 sliding into 2015, at least for week 1, is rationalizing a defensive performance that looks respectable in comparison to how the offense performed.
The offense was horrific, but that doesn’t mean the defense played great. If not for a costly drop by Ted Ginn Jr. early in the first half, the Jaguars would have been down big right away in this contest.
Given the question marks at wide receiver and offensive line, the Jaguars should have been able to keep Cam Newton in check. They did that for the most part through the air, but they let Newton scamper for multiple first downs on a backbreaking 4th quarter drive that epitomized the problems the team has had over the last 2 years.
I’m not going to put the defense on blast for this performance, but I certainly wouldn’t say there was significant progress from 2014. The “NO (sort of)” qualifier here is because the defense at least put the offense in a position to win the game.
Next: Overall progress...