Christian McCaffrey ran wild as the Carolina Panthers beat out Gardner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars, 34-27, in Week 5 of NFL action.
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Today it was all about Christian McCaffrey. The Jaguars simply couldn't tackle him in space, as his effortless cutting led to Jacksonville defenders grasping at air on seemingly every touch. An Injury did appear to end his day prematurely, but his performance was the main reason Carolina was able to pull out the win.
This was not Kyle Allen‘s best day, as he missed a number of throws on bad overthrows. He was bailed mostly by the elusiveness of McCaffrey, but Jacksonville's tight coverage had him trying to force difficult passes throughout the game.
Filling the free safety position has been an issue for Carolina for a few years, and Tre Boston remains an issue on the backend. He’s an inconsistent tackler and lacks the ideal range to cover the middle of the field. The Panthers are lucky to have Eric Reid’s versatile skill set, and they help hide some of Boston’s limitations.
Gerald McCoy has always been an impactful interior pass-rusher, but his efforts against the run have always been mixed. However, he seems keen to stamp his authority on every down in Carolina, clogging running lanes and stacking up double teams more effectively. Throw that into the mix with his pass-rushing repertoire, and you have a nasty combination. The Panthers just keep coming at you with defensive lineman, and their depth, as well as specialist nickel unit, are scary.
Gardner Minshew continues to thrive in the Jaguars’ offense, despite a risk-averse approach. He made a handful of good throws against Carolina, not least the crossing route to D.J. Chark Jr. to open the scoring for Jacksonville. Minshew’s game remains highly flawed, particularly with regards to sensing pressure in the pocket and finding his secondary and tertiary reads, but his ability to throw teammates open is key to life in the NFL.
To be fair to Minshew, he continuously fears pressure because of inconsistencies upfront. Jacksonville’s left side had a particularly difficult night against Carolina’s pass-rushers. Cam Robinson has struggled throughout life in the pros, and Andrew Norwell has fallen a long way since his peak in a Panthers uniform.
Pursuit was a significant issue throughout the day for Jacksonville, leading to McCaffrey's monster day. Myles Jack, in particular, was caught out of position a number of times and struggled to tackle the Panthers' star running back in space.
Despite the monster day on the ground, Calais Campbell was his usual self inside. Carolina's interior offensive linemen struggled to hold their own against him at the line of scrimmage, and he was able to make a number of run stops.