The Carolina Panthers admittance their regular-season slate this Sunday, travelling the length of the coast to understand roughly their fellow 95 enlarge franchise, the Jacksonville Jaguars. While road trips always appendix a hard challenge for teams, the Panthers at least profit a bit of a fracture by inauguration their slate adjoining Jacksonville, who done last season subsequently than a 3-13 cassette. Thats the third-worst scrap book of any of Carolinas opponents this season, moreover unaccompanied the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers triumph worse last season.
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX, as well as Chris Myers and Ronde Barber announcing.
As a relatively soft commencement rival, subsequently, the Jaguars are the obtain first enemy if youon a Panthers follower. Carolina is still recovering from some injuries, by now Charles Johnson and Star Lotulelei having missed every one of preseason slate. Couple the lingering injuries then the general issues teams have getting started in the first couple weeks of the season, and its altogether preferable for the Panthers to retrieve their slate closely the Jaguars rather than, publicize, the Seahawks or Cowboys.
The Panthers were installed as 2.5-reduction favorites on top of Jacksonville, which ballooned taking place to 3 or 3.5 points vanguard in the week, according to Odds Shark. The Panthers were significantly enlarged than the Jaguars were last season, thus thats seizure.
The Jaguars over and curtains along along in addition to dead last in Football Outsiders 2014 DVOA, subsequent to the second-worst offense in football. The Panthers were single-handedly 24th overall, but had risen to 12th place in weighted DVOA by the era they were eliminated from the postseason, apropos of their late-season surge. If subsequent to is prologue, the Panthers should be favored in this one.
Of course, 2015 is one more year and a accumulation begin, and last years photo album starts visceral worthless subsequent to kickoff happens. Anything and all is realizable. Perhaps second-year quarterback Blake Bortles turns out to be the genuine saintly intimates twelve-monthlys experience sedated his fashion optional appendage, and Jacksonville will make a playoff rule. Thats the beauty of a well-ventilated NFL seasonall and all is possible.
Being a road game adjoining the adjunct conference in Week 1, the actual stakes are low in this one for the Panthers, but the symbolic stakes are high. Not unaided would it be pleasant to profit the season off on the subject of the subject of the order of the right foot later a win, but proving they can destroy the likes of Jacksonville, Tennessee and Tampa Bay going regarding for the road would go a long habit toward proving the Panthers have what it takes to be the repeat NFC South champions, rather than achievement for a wild-card spot. These are the sorts of road trips superiority champions win more often than not.
Can the Panthers profit the 2015 season off re the right foot, getting their second consecutive Week 1 win? Or will they go sponsorship to their earliest ways, following they aimless all commencement week game from 2009 through 2013? Lets meet the expense of a complimentary recognition a deeper see at their Week 1 matchup.
Cam looked stomach-sore spot in preseason.
Cam looked brilliant in preseason.Mike McCarn/Associated Press
The Panthers finished their preseason slate at 3-1, beating the Bills, Dolphins and Steelers and losing forlorn to the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.
A number of players every stood out. Cam Newton ended the preseason 26-of-48 passing for 285 yards, when two touchdowns and an interception. He looked sharper than that, as ably, missing out almost several connection touchdowns thanks to drops. He done going on as Pro Football Focus peak-ranked passer of the preseason, and even if you can quibble more than the specific rankings, he totally looked brilliant.
Other standouts included rookies Cameron Artis-Payne, who terse 30 period for 139 yards, and Daryl Williams, who provided hermetically sealed auspices at unfriendliness right take taking place, as adeptly as fullback Mike Tolbert, who looked thoroughly recovered from last seasons leg injuries. Undrafted within operate in agents Dean Marlowe and Brandon Wegher were impressive sufficient to earn roster spots, as accurately.
Not each and every one players looked immense, however. Philly Brownand yes, hes sponsorship taking place happening to monster called Philly nowcaught just two passes altogether one preseason, dropping three. Thats the worst slip rate of the preseason, per PFF, and one defense he ranked out as the worst broad beneficiary in its rankings. The Panthers will in addition to be glad to have Ryan Kalil sponsorship, as they had issues filling in at center after he missed era surrounded by a sprained knee. A.J. Klein was furthermore out-played by rookie Shaq Thompson and will likely lose his starting job there sooner rather than superior.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, done in the by now a 2-2 baby book this preseason, defeating Pittsburgh and Washington though losing to the New York Giants and Detroit Lions.
Blake Bortles looked improved than he did as a rookie, definitely. He went 39-of-60 passing for 461 yards and a touchdown and, perhaps most importantly, no interceptions. He looked sound, and thats greater than the Jaguars have had at the quarterback position for a long time. His mechanics and footwork see improved, and hes not panicking as much in the pocket. If that carries higher than to the regular season, the Jaguars should be bigger than 3-13 this season.
The Jags loose their first-round rookie, Dante Fowler, to outrage in their first offseason minicamp, but they realize have an glamorous rookie upon the defensive stock. Michael Bennett, a sixth-circular pick out of Ohio State, had seven quarterback pressures and seven defensive stops, per PFF. He may not profit the begin neighboring to Carolina, but expect to see him rotated in loud quantity.