Panthers at Jaguars week 1 – pick & analysis

Jacksonville Jaguars TT Under 19.5 -113
Last season the Jaguars scored more than 17 points in 4 games:
W 24-6 vs. Cleveland: FG off a RZ fumble, TD off a RZ fumble, TD off an RZ interception. So that’s 17 points off turnovers where they had less than 25 yards to go. They had only one successful drive all game.
L 23-33 vs. Cincy: TD off an interception with 7 yards to go.
W 25-24 vs. Giants: 2 fumble recovery TDs
W 21-13 vs. Titans: Well that’s the only game they scored more than 17 by themselves but there was a 62-yd TD run by Todman. Won’t happen against the Panthers.
So the Jaguars scored more than 17 points by themselves only ONCE in 2014 and that was against the Titans. You always run the risk of turnovers by Cam Newton, but without Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess not being the go-to-guy so far and probably not even playing from what I’ve read, I believe their gameplan will look very conservative. They will try to slam the ball and play some Chess with field position.
Now this looks like a flawed reasoning at first glance, so let me explain:
Julius Thomas, the big time acquisition by the Jaguars, is sidelined and Marqise Lee had like three days of training camp, so Bortles is throwing to Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Mercedes Lewis against this defense. Except the addition of Jeremy Parnell – which I really liked – and TJ Yeldon this is simply the same offense from last season. Blake Bortles was by far the worst QB in the league and this receiving corps starting on Sunday is flat out bad.
I am really high on the Panthers’ defense which is stacked and played the #1 schedule in 2014 according to my rankings, which is why they aren’t eye-catchers in stats sheets. Down the stretch in 2014 they held the Saints and Falcons to a combined 13 points, just for instance. This is a very strong front seven and maybe the best LB corps in the league. DT Kawann Short is a very good pass rusher and DE Charles Johnson as well. Kyle Love will play for Lotelelei and DE Kony Ealy rounds up this line. Ealy was flashing in the pre-season and Love worked solid against the run. Kuechly plays in his own league, Thomas Davis is a beast in pass-rush and coverage and rookie Shaq Thompson seems like a great fit and should bring some coverage-skills to the table. Their secondary is very good. Josh Norman is one of the best CBs in the league, Charles Tillman brings a lot of experience and Ben Benwikere was also a very good Corner last season. Their safety trio Tre Boston, Kurt Coleman and Roman Harper is above average. The Jaguars will miss Fowler who would have been agreat addition to their pass-rush as well as Andre Branch, Ziggy Hood and Sen’Derrick Marks. Ryan Davis is gone. They have a serious lack of pass rush which would have caused some solid field positions against the Panthers. I just don’t know how the Jaguars are going to score against this Panthers defense. I can’t see them scoring more than 10 and I would still be good if Cam Newton throws a pick-six.

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