McCaffrey, Panthers run over Jaguars in Week 5 showdown

Zach Yearwood, Sports Reporter

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The Jacksonville Jaguars were handed a 34-27 loss by the Carolina Panthers, led by running back Christian McCaffrey.

Despite staying in reach for most of the game, the Jaguars had no answer for Christian McCaffrey. ‘Run CMC’ ended the day with 25 touches for 237 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. 

The Panthers moved efficiently down the field on the opening drive and capped it off with McCaffrey flipping into the endzone on a five-yard run. The third year running back also torched the defense on an 84-yard touchdown run while up four to keep the game out of reach for the Jaguars.

Gardner Minshew II and the Jaguars offense were also firing on all cylinders. Minshew threw for 374 yards and two touchdowns against a Panthers defense that ranked first in fewest passing yards allowed coming into the game. Running back Leonard Fournette also ran for 108 yards on 23 carries.

Here are two takeaways from Sunday’s game:

Jaguars run defense needs work

The run defense for the Jaguars has been a problem for a long time.

The team has allowed 136 yards per game on the ground, ranking 26th overall.

Within the next five weeks, the Jaguars will play against Alvin Kamara, Le’Veon Bell and Marlon Mack: three of the NFL’s premiere running backs.

If the Jaguars’ defense is unable to improve on the ground, it is possible that the Jaguars could lose all three of those games.

The offense is consistently improving

The Jaguars showed in this loss that their offense is able to put up points; something that the Jaguars have been struggling to do for years.

The Jaguars attack was working both in the air and on the ground against one of the better defenses in the NFL.

Fournette, through the last two games, looks like the workhorse the Jaguars want him to be.

Minshew looks as poised as a veteran and has found a number one receiver in DJ Chark.

The biggest issue the team faced was fumbles. Three costly fumbles, including one that was returned for a touchdown and another on a potential game-tying drive made the biggest difference in this game.

The offensive trio has shown that they can be potent and should continue to impress as the season progresses.

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