One thing the Carolina Panthers struggled with this preseason was getting the offense off to a fast start. They didn’t have that issue against the Jacksonville Jaguars as they drove 45 yards on 14 plays and ended with a field goal on their opening drive. The drive could have been better but the team struggled once they got into the red zone.
The Panthers looked to be going in for a score, and actually completed a touchdown a pass from Cam Newton to Greg Olsen. The play was called back though as Olsen was called for offensive pass interference. The next play Newton was sacked and eventually had to settle for a field goal.
The Panthers wide receivers though have not been much help for Cam Newton in the first half. The team struggled with drops in the preseason, particularly Philly Brown. Well that may have rubbed off on some of the other wide receivers as Ted Ginn Jr. had an awful drop in the first quarter that would have been a sure touchdown.
The Panthers wide receivers are hurting without Kelvin Benjamin but they need to make sure they aren’t beating themselves with mistakes like these.
The injuries have begun to pile up for the Panthers’ offensive line. The team was going to be light at offensive tackle with reserve Nate Chandler already ruled out prior to the game and Ryan Kalil on a snap count. The plan was that when Kalil was out, starting right tackle Mike Remmers would slide inside to center and rookie Daryl Williams would play right tackle.
The plan will change as Williams suffered a knee injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. The Panthers don’t have any other tackles on the active roster and most likely Amini Silatolu would have to step in if the need arises.
In the second quarter, guard Trai Turner also suffered an injury and had to leave the game momentarily but was able to return.
The Panthers defense did a good job of keeping the Jaguars offense off the board only giving up a field goal in the first half. However, the team struggled to get a steady pass rush on Blake Bortles who played well in that half.
The Jaguars, similar to the Panthers, do not have the weapons outside to scare the opposition. The team is especially shorthanded with Allen Robinson getting knocked out for part of the game and but was able to return. Meanwhile, Allen Hurns made a costly error in the first half that could have given the Jaguars the lead when he fumbled the ball in scoring position.
The biggest concern for this defense though is when Luke Kuechly will be able to return. At the end of the first half, he took a nasty hit and suffered what looked to be a head injury. It would not be a surprise to see him kept out the rest of the game due to a concussion.
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