Well this one was a heartbreaker for the Jaguars and Blaine Gabbert. The Gabbert era got underway today in Carolina for the Jags and while he didn’t play great Blaine did do a decent job against the Panthers. The defense on both teams played really well during a game that featured an extremely hard down pour right about half time.
Running the ball became the motive for a while in this game until the rain let up. In the end though, Cam Newton came through with a touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen to give the Panthers the lead for good.
Blaine gabber was handed the reins to the Jaguars offense this week, and he showed some jitters at first but didn’t let it affect him the whole game. Blaine finished the game 12/21 for 139 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception and had a 73.3 QB rating. He was sacked on the first drive of the game for the Jaguars for a safety. His first career touchdown pass came in the 2nd quarter on a 36 yard pass to Mike Thomas.
Maurice Jones-Drew had 122 yards rushing on 24 carries, but did not score a touchdown in the game. Mike Thomas was again the teams’ leading receiver with 4 catches for 55 yards and the only TD of the game for the Jags. MJD also had 3 catches for 45 yards. The big story of the day though was the offense not having good time management at the end of the game as the team was driving into Carolina territory had time run out on them on an incomplete pass and had Gabbert, Jack Del Rio and fans wondering what happened.
The defense played really well this week as well, coming into the game Cam Newton had consecutive 400 yard passing games in two losses, but was held to just 158 yards passing and 27 yards rushing, but did have the game winning touchdown pass to Greg Olsen that put the Panthers back in the lead to stay. Outside of that touchdown the defense held the Panthers to just 8 points through the majority of the game.
The Jaguars held the Panthers to just 265 yards total for the game. The Panthers defense held Jacksonville to 257 yards of offense today, and had two sacks to Jacksonville’s zero. The Panthers forced 2 turnovers and again Jacksonville had none, but the Panthers should have had more as the Jaguars fumbled 8 times but only lost 1. If the Jaguars hope to have a solid year sacks need to happen as well as actually getting some turnovers.
This is a game that the Jags could have won but couldn’t get the offense moving well enough to put the ball in the end zone. This game could have been worse for Jacksonville as well because of all the fumbles but they were luck to not have any more recovered by Carolina. Things don’t get any easier, because the New Orleans Saints are coming to Jacksonville next week, and if you can’t force turnovers or get pressure on Drew Brees it’s going to be a very long day for the defense.
Hopefully the Jags can turn things around and find a way to put pressure on Brees and keep the game close. Right now though it’s just time to put this loss behind them and focus for next week.