The Jacksonville Jaguars got a much-needed win when they faced the Carolina Panthers in Week 17. Heading into the game, they were riding a four-game losing streak and were at risk of getting eliminated from playoff contention. Finding themselves against the wall, they played with a sense of urgency. It showed in the final 26-0 score, but outside linebacker Josh Allen says it all began in practice.
"It started with the preparation that we came in on Monday. If we had a backup, if we didn't have the backup, that's the way we had to play," Allen told the media after the win. "Not relying on anybody, relying on ourselves, relying on each other, to handle our business because we know teams that don't score, they don't win. That was something that we could control, but we all had to believe that again, and we had to find trust, we had to find faith."
"It started in practice. We had a talk as a defense, a much-needed one. That sparked the let's get back to what we do. We came on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We came on Wednesday. Thought it was one of the best practices we had all year, Thursday. We followed it up with it Friday and executed the calls Saturday clean. Then, on Sunday, we did all the work: Let's go ahead and play, that was our mindset coming into the game."
The team's effort was visible against the Panthers, with Josh Allen accounting for three sacks. Of course, other players showed out and ultimately played a role in the win. With that in mind, here are five Jaguars who stood out in Week 17.
5. Josh Allen, defensive end
On a day in which the Jaguars missed their star quarterback, outside linebacker Josh Allen took his game to the next level. He entered the bout needing one sack to tie Calais Campbell's record of 14.5 sacks in a season. Not only did Allen tie the record but added two additional sacks to his tally, giving him 16.5 for the year.
On top of that, Allen led the team with six total pressures. Allen had previously shown he could play at a high level but he hadn't done it on a consistent basis. That's changed in 2023.