Thanks for reading my preview of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers game to be played on Sunday September 25th 2011 in Charlotte. This will be a battle of rookie quarterbacks as Cam Newton will be facing Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Gabbert’s first NFL start.
In my preview of the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Carolina Panthers I will explain what I think needs to happen for a Panther win. To check out some stuff on the Jacksonville Jaguars you can visit Roger Gonzalez’s Jag Journal.
There are three keys to the Carolina Panthers beating the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. And to be honest two are keys to winning most NFL games but this one in particular.
Key to the Panthers beating the Jaguars- Time of Possession
Both the Jaguars and Panthers have the edge over their opponents in time of possession during the previous two games in the 2011 NFL season. Teams with young quarterbacks like Gabbert and Newton need to win the time of possession battle. To do that it indicates a lack of turnovers and a successful running game for the offense. With the injuries on the Panthers defense this is key for a Carolina win. Beason and Davis are out for the year and Charles Godfrey will miss the Jacksonville game.
Key to the Panthers beating the Jaguars- Turnovers
So far in 2011 the Panthers are -3 in turnovers while the Jaguars are at -2. Whoever wins the turnover battle will also win most NFL games. With two rookie quarterbacks like Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert playing, you can expect some turnovers. Turnovers often cause a shift in a game’s momentum and also can give your offense a short field to work with.
Key to the Panthers beating the Jaguars- Stop Maurice Jones-Drew
Maurice Jones-Drew has 185 yards so far in 2011 and is averaging a nice 4.4 yards per carry. Jones-Drew will be the focal point of the Jaguars offense as he can take the pressure off of Gabbert. The fact that Carolina is banged up on defense and letting opponents run for 4.8 yards per carry does not bode well for the Panthers stopping Maurice Jones-Drew.
I feel that the best chance Carolina has of stopping Maurice Jones-Drew is to get an early lead and keep it. The Panthers need to force Jacksonville into passing mode and make Blaine Gabbert beat them.
The Carolina Panthers must improve their Red Zone offense and capitalize on any scoring opportunities early to beat the Jaguars. My prediction is that Cam Newton and the Panthers get their first win of the season by the score of 27 to 21.
Thanks for checking out my preview of the Jaguars and Panthers game please feel free to leave a comment. All stats mentioned come from NFL.com.