Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Jaguars look sharp vs. Panthers in snapping losing skid

todayDecember 31, 2023


By Hays Carlyon

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson has talked for weeks about the team needing to “eliminate the BS.”

The self-destruction.

The unforced errors.

Handing points away.

Finally, Pederson got his clean game.

The Jaguars didn’t commit a turnover and only were called for one penalty in a 26-0 rout over lowly Carolina on Sunday at EverBank Stadium.

The Jaguars (9-7) survived without injured starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence (shoulder) because they played in a professional manner.

It’s one thing when the other team out-athletes you. That’s going to happen in the NFL. But the Jaguars four-game losing skid was littered with self-inflicted mistakes.

That snapped on Sunday. Now, the Jaguars can take home a second consecutive AFC South crown with a win at Tennessee (5-11) in the regular-season finale.

They also now know they can play a 60-minute game without glaring gaffes.

If they can do it with backup quarterback C.J. Beathard, they can do it with Lawrence. Trevor needs to take that to heart and will.

Beathard was efficient, completing 17 of 24 passes for 178 yards with no touchdowns and of course no interceptions. He also contributed 24 rushing yards.

Carolina, who at 2-14 will finish with the worst record in the league, made plenty of mistakes. Rookie quarterback Bryce Young was abysmal. The Panthers had 124 yards on 53 plays and were 1 of 13 on third down.

Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen was a force, recording three sacks for 21 yards to give him a franchise-record 16 ½ sacks on the season.

I credit the Jaguars for not playing down to their competition, especially in a game of this magnitude. It’s important to remember that had the Jaguars lost, they would’ve been out of playoff contention with both Indianapolis and Houston winning on Sunday to keep pace at 9-7. Since the Colts and Texans play in the finale, one of them will finish 10-7.

The Jaguars own the tiebreaker if they beat the Titans by finishing 5-1 in division play, so they retained control of their destiny.

Everyone deserves credit.

The last month made things look bleak.

The players gathered themselves at the perfect time.

Pederson got the team to respond with a backup quarterback.

Now, momentum can be back in our fair city in another week.

If the Jaguars beat the Titans, they will enter the tournament with a home game in the wild-card round feeling pretty good about themselves.

It’s not too late for this to be a special season. It’s not too late to start playing your best football.

The Jaguars showed guts on Sunday. Not by winning a street fight or displaying unbelievable athleticism.

They showed resolve by playing with focus.

Playing with focus requires incredible mental discipline. That takes guts.

Hopefully, Sunday was start of something. If the Jaguars don’t turn the ball over and commit one penalty they would beat any team in the league.

The Jaguars are talented. When they aren’t beating themselves, they are be a tough team to best.


(You can email Hays at [email protected] and follow him on X/Twitter @HaysCarlyon)







































Written by: Hays Carlyon

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Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Jaguars vs. Panthers Week 17 live blog

The Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7) take on the Carolina Panthers (2-13) at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday at EverBank Stadium. Follow along here for live updates and key highlights from the game! First quarter Jacksonville received the ball first and began with good field position after Carolina trotted out a linebacker for the opening kickoff (Eddy Pineiro tweaked his hamstring in warm-ups). The Jaguars slowly marched down the field, with a […]

todayDecember 31, 2023