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Experts Make Week 17 Predictions on Panthers vs. Jaguars | Final Analysis

Final Analysis - Week 17

JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2023 season, Jaguars "experts" – Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Kainani Stevens – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.

Up this week: The Carolina Panthers at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville.

Tony Boselli, Pro Football Hall of Famer, Former Jaguars Left Tackle and Jaguars Analyst

  • The Jaguars will win if: They win the turnover battle and have a better run-pass ratio offensively. Even after losing four consecutive games and going into the game with the backup quarterback, the Jaguars are still better than the Panthers. But if the Jaguars continue making dumb mistakes – i.e. turning the ball over four times – and don't hand it off to a running back 25-plus times, they could find themselves in a five-game losing streak.  Defensively, just don't give up the big plays and force the Panthers to put together long drives.
  • The Panthers will win if: They get off to a fast start, win the turnover battle and have five or more explosive plays on offense.  The Panthers have struggled scoring all season. Their 30 points last week against the Green Bay Packers was an anomaly.  With a rookie quarterback at the helm, they need help from the defense and special teams to win this game.
  • As Boselli sees it: This is a must-win game for the Jaguars. The Panthers are the NFL's worst team; you would think they're the perfect "get-well" matchup for a team that has the AFC South lead slipping through its hands. I think the Jaguars will and jump on the Panthers early. This  should set up the rest of the game and allow the Jags to cruise to their first victory in a while.

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

  • The Jaguars will win if: They regroup, put the struggles of the past month behind them and play a bit more like the team that started 8-3. The first thing is to take care of the ball. The unforced errors, often in the form of turnovers — sometimes blown coverages — have hurt this team. The Jaguars are better than the Panthers — and they are better than they have been playing — they just have to stop beating themselves. They also must get healthy. Hopefully they get wide receiver Zay Jones back who – with wide receiver Christian Kirk out – is so important to this team. Hopefully left tackle Cam Robinson can return.
  • The Panthers will win if: They have found something with Young, who was very good a week ago against Green Bay in a close loss. They are playing with an interim head coach and have only won twice all year, but last week was a sign of hope.
  • As Frangie sees it: The Jaguars have the better team, are at home, are starting to get healthy and really need this one. This should be the one where they end the four-game skid.

Jeff Lageman, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Defensive End

  • The Jaguars will win if: They start fast, gaining some confidence and getting the crowd into the moment for the last 2023 regular-season home game. Confidence is a fragile thing for a team that has lost four consecutive games, so early success is critical.
  • The Panthers will win if: They get a bunch of takeaways against a Jaguars offense that has been a giveaway machine lately. Carolina has not been very good in this category all season as the Panthers have the fewest takeaways in the NFL with only 11.
  • As Lageman sees it: This game will tell you plenty about this 2023 Jaguars football team. This HOME game is a must-win to control your playoff destiny against the worst team in the NFL. Young is the 31st-rated quarterback in the NFL, but he is coming off his best performance of the season. The Jaguars have a question mark at quarterback with injury and an offense that has only been able to score 19 points in the last two games. It's time for the Jaguars' key players to step up and perform big in a big game.

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director

  • The Jags will win if: They run 25-plus times. Down and distance – and the inability to run effectively and score – have neutralized the Jaguars' run game this month. The Jaguars are 1-7 this season when they run the ball 27 times or less. The Jags need to stick with the run, take some pressure off the quarterback and control the game. If they do that, they win.
  • The Panthers will win if: They hold the Jaguars under 20 points and win the turnover battle by two or more. The Panthers are limited and will need some help in this game. The Jaguars have been willing to help the opponent this month. Carolina can lean on a defense that has been pretty good for most of the season.
  • As Martineau sees it: I was stunned by the Jaguars' performance last week. I really don't know what to expect from this team right now. I'm going to give this locker room the benefit of the doubt. The Jaguars have earned some trust over the last two seasons to show up when they need it the most. They need it now. I don't think this will be easy, but the Jaguars will win, 24-13.

John Oehser, Senior Writer

  • The Jaguars will win if: They get a lead, run at least somewhat effectively and force takeaways. The Jaguars haven't led since late in a Week 13 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. They also haven't run effectively in the last five games. With Lawrence uncertain, the Jaguars' defense must be the turnover-creating force it has been much of the season.
  • The Panthers will win if: They force two turnovers. The Jaguars have committed 10 turnovers in the last three games and 15 in the last seven games. They are 2-5 during that span, with four turnovers in three of those games. The Panthers are playing well enough to take advantage of such mistakes.
  • As Oehser sees it: This figures to be a tough matchup for the Jaguars because any matchup is tough considering the mistakes they have made the last four weeks. If the Jaguars play cleaner and tackle better than they have recently, they should win. Otherwise…

Brian Sexton, Senior Correspondent

  • The Jaguars will win if: They win the turnover battle. During their four-game losing streak, they have turned the ball over ten times and taken it away just five. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored touchdowns after three of the Jaguars four turnovers this past Sunday. Win the turnover battle, win the game.
  • The Panthers will win if: The Jaguars don't bring a higher level of intensity and execution. Head Coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Trevor Lawrence after the loss to Tampa Bay both questioned the team's level of performance relative to what was at stake. The Panthers are led by an interim head coach and a rookie quarterback, but beat the Falcons and pushed the Packers to the brink the last two Sundays. If the Panthers play faster and harder than the Jaguars, they will win.
  • As Sexton sees it: This is desperation time for the Jaguars. They still control their playoff destiny, but it's time to play like the San Francisco 49ers did in a victory over the Jaguars after losing three consecutive games in October. I know Pederson doesn't like to use the word, but this team is desperate and they should play like it. That would make the Jaguars dangerous, and they could use some of that about now. Jags win.

J.P. Shadrick, Senior Reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if: They run effectively and don't turn it over. Plus, winning the first quarter is key. If the Jaguars have early success, it can grow into confidence later in the game. If they struggle early, doubt can creep in.
  • The Panthers will win if: Quarterback Bryce Young has time to run the offense from the pocket. Pressure on the rookie is key this week. If the Panthers get a couple takeaways and plug the Jaguars' run game and get the game to the fourth quarter, then look out.
  • As Shadrick sees it: This feels like a game more about the Jaguars than about how the Panthers are playing – and with the Jaguars battling injuries in key spots, the talent gap of players on the field is not as wide as at the start of the season. This Jaguars team must overcome any confidence issues and put together four good quarters. Remember, they can clinch the AFC South as early as Sunday with a win and losses by the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. Either way, the Jaguars control their destiny to the division title with wins this week and next, no matter what the other teams do.

Kainani Stevens, Jaguars Team Reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if: They stop turning the ball over. It will be crucial for the Jags' offense to not give the Panthers extra possessions.
  • The Panthers will win if: The Jaguars continue to feel sorry for themselves. The Panthers may have the NFL's worst record, but the Jaguars have been playing their worst football in December. If Carolina comes in with confidence and high energy, the Jaguars could be in trouble.
  • As Stevens sees it: While the focus has been on Lawrence's health lately, I think C.J. Beathard will help snap the Jaguars' losing streak. Jaguars, 24-10.

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