This Sunday, the Carolina Panthers will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first game back at the Bank of America Stadium since the disappointing defeat on Thursday Night Football to Tampa Bay 2 and a half weeks ago.
Carolina find themselves back at .500, responding to losing their opening 2 games with impressive wins on the road – putting on an offensive show against Arizona before a great defensive display led them to victory against Houston.
In order for the Panthers to get to 3-2 before travelling to London next week, there’s a few things they’ll need to take care of…
1. Protect Allen at all costs.
Last week, Kyle Allen lost 3 fumbles as a result of pressure from the Houston Defensive Line, and we could have a tougher test on our hands this week in terms of blocking this group of Jaguar pass rushers.
Not only do they have a deeper, more talented overall group of Dlinemen, but Carolina is currently facing a crisis at their already weak Offensive Line with injuries to multiple starters.
Offensive Co-ordinator Norv Turner should look to play more out of full house sets as we look to keep Allen clean and let him do his thing on Sunday.
2. Be prepared to cover for extended time.
With Head Coach Ron Rivera taking more charge of the Defense, it looks like the group have found new life, helped in no small part by rookie Brian Burns being one of the best players on the team so far this year.
Though the Panthers will hope to continue the form that has them, by many metrics, as the best pass rushing team in the league, Jaguars QB Gardener Minshew has shown so far this season his ability as a scrambler.
For the Panthers to put together a complete Defensive display this week, the group of guys in coverage will have to stay alert and alive for when Minshew is extending plays. James Bradberry & Co will have a big job on their hands.
3. Get more skill players involved.
Last week, Christian McCaffrey had 179 yards and a TD off 37 touches, with people even before that game expressing a concern at whether he was being given too much of a workload.
Nobody can deny that it’s a joy to watch CMC when he has the ball in his hands. But with the amount of other talented players we have on offense, it seems unnecessary to lean on McCaffrey as aggressively as we do.
With Jaguars Cornerback Jalen Ramsey out for Sunday’s game, the Panthers wide outs should be able to get themselves into positions to make plays, most notably Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore.
If Kyle Allen is ready to fling the ball around like he did vs Arizona, we should see a strong contribution from both of those players