What We Learned Against the Panthers

The Jaguars played "not to lose" and ended up losing to the Carolina Panthers, 16-10. Find out what went wrong and how our keys to victory played out.

Offensive Keys to a Jaguars Victory

1. Control the line of scrimmage. The Jaguars outgained the Panthers on the ground and overall, and they also won the battle at the line of scrimmage. Still, the team played entirely too close to the vest and one interception, a few untimely penalties and a dropped punt cost them the game.

2. Block Charles Johnson. The talented Panthers defensive end had a nice day as he recorded three tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and forced a pair of holding/illegal hands to the face penalties. Johnson was better than Eugene Monroe on this day.

3. Catch the football. To catch the football you must first throw the football and the Jaguars didn't do much of that. Still, there were big drops by Jason Hill and Mike Thomas and Cecil Shorts never really got open. Through three games it's pretty safe to say that the Jaguars have nothing that resembles a number one wideout and the corps as a whole is as bad as any in the league.

Defensive Keys to a Jaguars Victory

1. Stop the run.The Jaguars allowed 107 yards on 28 carries (3.8 ypc) but didn't really yield too many big plays on the ground. There were a few poor run fits, especially when Carolina ran at Austen Lane but overall the Jaguars won the battle at the line of scrimmage.

2. Confuse the young quarterback. The Jaguars didn't bring any real exotic blitz packages but they nearly intercepted about six of Cam Newton's throws.

3. Make someone other than Steve Smith beat you. The Jaguars certainly did that as they held Smith to just two catches for 15 yards. Instead they let their own coaching staff beat them with the safest game plan perhaps in franchise history.


- With the game plan the Jaguars ran they should've just ran a full wildcat with no quarterback. The worst part about it was that Blaine Gabbert showed an ability to make some throws and the team wouldn't risk him making them.

- The Jacksonville defense played very well for the third consecutive week and Rashean Mathis made Steve Smith all but disappear. Those calling for Mathis to get benched really need to realize he's been the best player Jacksonville has in their secondary.

- Games are no longer won in the NFL by running the football on 1st, 2nd and 3rd downs. We are aware of the fact that Blaine Gabbert is a young quarterback and the wide receivers aren't very good but Gabbert isn't going to improve much by handing the ball off 30 times.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

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