Jaguars vs. Panthers: Pressure Bryce Young, other keys to victory in Week 17

• The Jaguars will welcome the Panthers in Week 17

• Carolina is 2-13 but the Jags aren't very good right now

• Here are 3 keys to avoiding an upset

Dec 24, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9)
Dec 24, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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1. The Jaguars must bring the heat, pressure Bryce Young

If you had said earlier this year that the Panthers were a better team than Jacksonville with two weeks to go, you would've probably gotten a blank stare. But that's the reality right now. Carolina is far from a powerhouse but they've won one more game than the Jags in the past month. Sure, it's only one but the point remains.

That said, the Panthers offense isn't great. Part of it is that they lack skill-position players beyond Adam Theilen, who can run crisp routes at the ripe age of 33. On the other hand, injuries have taken a toll on DJ Chark, who's no longer the receiver he was early in his career. Similarly, Jonathan Mingo isn't more than a possession receiver. Not helping matters is that the offensive line cannot block. This has in turn hampered the development of Bryce Young, the first overall pick in the 2023 draft.

The Jaguars defense has to take advantage of this favorable matchup. Young has hardly ever had time to throw and has been sacked a concerning 53 times in 14 games. His 5.6 yard-per-pass average isn't one to write home about. Bookend pass rushers Josh Allen and Travon must set the tone and contain the edge to prevent Young from making plays off-script.

Also, the Jaguars must wrap up tackles. They're coming off a game in which they missed a staggering 15 tackles, and they've at least missed 12 in each of the past four weeks. They need to get back to fundamentals against the Panthers. If they do, they'll get their ninth win of the season.

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