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Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers: NFL Week Three Game Preview

September 25th, 2011 at 12:17 AM
By Brendan Sonnone

The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) will take on the Carolina Panthers (0-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m. While there won't be much attention from national pundits, this contest has plenty of intrigue. With that, Jaguars 101 will get to some key facts, injury reports, top story lines and predictions for Jacksonville's Week 3 matchup.

Who: Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)

Watch: CBS


Injury Report

Jacksonville:

  • DT Tyson Alualu -Probable (Knee) 
  • WR Jason Hill – Probable (Hip)
  • TE Marcedes Lewis – Probable (Calf)
  • G Jason Spitz – Probable (Calf)
  • LB Clint Session – Probable (Wrist)
  • CB Derek Cox – Probable (Chest)
  • DE Matt Roth – Questionable (Neck)
  • DE Aaron Kampman – OUT (Knee)
  • WR Kassim Osgood – OUT (Hamstring)

Carolina:

  • QB Cam Newton – Probable (Ankle)
  • CB Chris Gamble – Questionable (Ankle)
  • S Charles Godfrey – Doubtful (Head)

Storylines

  1. Blaine Gabbert gets his first start- The Gabbert Era is about to begin in Jacksonville. The rookie quarterback is is taking over for Luke McCown, who threw four interceptions against the New York Jets last week. The plan was to bring Gabbert along a little slower than this, but at this point it's hard to say Gabbert isn't the most talented quarterback on the roster, rookie or not. 
  2. Gabber v. Newton- Two first-round draft picks go at it and that will get some attention from analysts around the league. Newton has been exceptional so far but hasn't received much help around him other than Steve Smith. Expect pundits to make a pretty big assumption about each player based on this one game. 
  3. Maurice Jones-Drew attack- Can the running back get going against a very poor run defense? The Panthers will do everything they can to force the ball out of the All Pro's hands and make Gabbert beat them. 
  4. Dueling tight ends- Carolina's tight end duo of Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen has been a tough matchup for opponents. The Jaguars' defense has been great so far,  but can struggle guarding tight ends. How will it do guarding two?
  5. Eben Britton back in the starting lineup- Jacksonville's lineman could get his first start of season at right tackle (his usual position) or left guard. Britton missed the preseason with a neck injury. 

Predictions

Brendan- Before the season started the seemed like a game that would be closer than many Jacksonville fans would hope for. Carolina had the talent level to get to .500 this season, but injuries to their linebacking corps (Thomas Davis and Jon Beason out for season) definitely takes the Panthers down a notch. Jacksonville has an advantage with not having used Gabbert much this year, meaning the Panthers can't game plan for him as precise as they'd like. Look for Carolina to load the box and force Gabbert to beat them through the air. The rookie should connect on enough passes to eventually open things up for Jones-Drew. Cam Newton will get some big numbers for the Panthers and will make this a tight game. As long as Jacksonville's secondary can make one or two picks to slow him down, the Jaguars should be fine. Jaguars win 24-17.

Michael Hall- 27-17, Jaguars win. Cam Newton throws for 289 yards, 1 TD 2 INTs and and national media gives the Jags no credit for stopping Newton, citing him beeing "just a rookie."

Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Maurice-Jones Drew, NFL

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