Thoughts on the Jaguars’ 16-10 loss to the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium:
What it means: The Jaguars are 1-2 after losing the first start of quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s career. While they fared much better against another rookie quarterback, Cam Newton, than Carolina’s first two opponents did, they couldn’t beat him like those teams did. Incredible rains had a huge bearing on things, but with Maurice Jones-Drew, who turned 24 carries into 122 rushing yards, they are equipped to handle such conditions.
What I didn’t like: Jacksonville held Newton to 53 percent passing, 158 yards and nothing longer than 18, but still couldn’t beat him. No picks. No sacks. Just one recorded hit on him and five passes defensed. A defense that added five key veterans in the offseason needs to fare better against a rookie quarterback, but the stat sheets shows a lack of plays.
What I liked: It was a somewhat manageable Hail Mary situation, and Gabbert threw his first career touchdown pass just before the half on a 36-yard connection to Mike Thomas. Jack Del Rio shook things up with a news starter on each side of the ball, inserting Dwight Lowery as one of the safeties and a healthy Eben Britton at left guard. We’ll have to wait on reviews of their play.
Good fortune: The Jaguars fumbled five times, but didn’t lose any of them. That’s good luck none were turnovers. But it’s five plays that didn’t have a chance to turn into much.
Poor production: Twenty-one percent on third down for the offense is a huge issue. To win a game with that number, you've got to have some big plays and the Jaguars didn't have enough.
What’s next: The Jaguars host high powered New Orleans, which is coming off a strong come-from-behind win against Houston.