5 Storylines to Watch: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Carolina Panthers
Sunday is another tough road test for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After an exciting and emotional win over Denver last week, can the Jaguars do it against the Carolina Panthers? With two teams forever linked to NFL history, this is one game Jacksonville must have before coming home to face the New Orleans Saints.
Fans of the Black and Teal should watch for these storylines to unfold during the game.
Prove it Again – It doesn’t seem like the hype surrounding Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II will be coming to an end soon. Just coming off being announced as AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month, Minshew will look to add onto his so far productive year.
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Despite Minshew’s success, he is still a rookie and will no doubt face struggles throughout the season. Carolina’s number one ranked passing defense could do just that. Only allowing 156.8 passing yards per game, Minshew will have to prove once again that he is special.
Keep The Run Game Going – With Carolina’s top ranked passing defense, Jaguars Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo will look to pound the rock more, especially with running back Leonard Fournette coming off the best game of his career, where he rushed for 225 yards.
Carolina currently ranks 24th in rushing yards allowed per game at 130.8, so expect Fournette and rookie Ryquell Armstead to get a heavy dose of carries.
Stop Christian McCaffrey – On the other side of the ball, the Jaguars defense will suit up against one of the best running backs in the game: Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey currently leads the NFL in rushing yards with 411, along with 218 receiving yards – third best among running backs.
Jacksonville will have their hands full with the dynamic hybrid back, but if the team can crack the code and somehow stop Run-C.M.C, then Kyle Allen will be forced to beat the Jaguars, which bodes well for the team.
Another Jalen Ramsey-less Game The Jalen Ramsey saga continues for the franchise. Ramsey will not play in Carolina as he is still struggling with a back injury, so cornerback Tre Herndon will get the start again.
We all know how that turned out in the game last week in the thin Denver air.
Herndon was picked on by Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco, so expect times when Allen attacks Herndon, especially early on. Carolina boasts youthful and talented receivers in Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore.
Despite being without Ramsey, cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and D.J. Hayden have excelled. If Herndon can step up and make a couple plays, it will be a good day against the backup quarterback.
Just Win, Baby – Duval County is riding on a wave of momentum that has come as a shock with the recent disasters in Nick Foles‘ injury and the Ramsey drama. With an easier slate of games these next couple of weeks, it’s imperative that the Jaguars capitalize now.