Jaguars one step closer to the playoffs after win vs. Panthers: 3 takeaways

• The Jaguars beat the Panthers in what was a must-win game

• They ended a 4-game losing streak and remain in 1st place in the AFC South

• Here are thee observations from the dominant win in Week 17

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Matt Barkley (19) talks with Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Matt Barkley (19) talks with Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA
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2. The Jaguars pass rush duo of Travon Walker and Josh Allen showed up vs. the Panthers

Outside linebacker Josh Allen had been chasing Calais Campbell's sack record for a while this season. Allen was one short of the 14.5 "The Mayor" logged in 2017 since Week 13. However, the record evaded him until Week 17, when he was at last able to tie it, break it, and then add an extra sack while he was at it.

Now, Allen has 16.5 sacks for the season, which is more than the total he posted in 2022 and 2021 combined. Following the game, he credited his teammates for staying with him through the good and the bad. He also made sure to shout out fellow edge rusher Travon Walker, who registered two sacks against the Panthers and is now one short of getting 10 in 2023.

While the rest of the Jaguars' defensive front has failed to consistently bring the heat this season, Josh Allen and Travon Walker have routinely delivered. Sure, Roy Robertson-Harris also logged a sack against the Panthers but he nor any other players on the front seven has the same impact as either Allen or Walker. What makes their success even more satisfactory is that they both entered the 2023 season with unanswered questions.

Allen had played at an elite level at times at his career but he hadn't consistently played like the top edge rusher the Jaguars expected. The team's brass opted to let his rookie contract play out to see if he could put it all together. He did and is now set to earn a massive payday in the offseason.

Walker, for his part, was mostly a non-factor in his rookie season. While he showed flashes, he also struggled with the transition to outside linebacker full-time after mainly playing with his hand in the ground in college. The former Georgia Bulldog finished the 2022 season with just 3.5 sacks but has improved considerably this year.

The Jags still need to round out their rotation but Josh Allen and Travon Walker showed in the win over the Panthers what they can accomplish they hit their stride.