How can the Carolina Panthers contain Lamar Jackson in Week 11?
By Dean Jones
How can the Carolina Panthers attempt to contain star quarterback Lamar Jackson when they visit the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11?
Confidence is growing gradually within the Carolina Panthers. Interim head coach Steve Wilks is getting a tune out of this roster after Matt Rhule’s firing, which was evident once again after an impressive victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football.
A daunting test awaits the Panthers and Wilks in Week 11. Carolina travels to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday for another testing contest, with John Harbaugh’s men fresh off their bye week and with legitimate playoff hopes within reach after a strong start to the campaign.
It also helps that the Ravens possess one of the most electrifying players anywhere in the league. Lamar Jackson is undoubtedly the NFL’s best dual-threat quarterback with rare athletic traits that can instantly change the course of a game on any given down.
Carolina Panthers have their work cut out with Lamar Jackson
Jackson is a superstar. Something the Panthers have lacked under center since Cam Newton was at the peak of his powers.
The former first-round selection out of Louisville turned down a bumper new contract before the season, with guaranteed money reportedly being the reason behind the refusal. Jackson’s performances in 2022 mean more dollars could be added to his demands, so it’ll be interesting to see if common ground can be reached once the campaign concludes.
That won’t matter to the Panthers. Although it might if the Ravens become receptive to a potential trade offer in the not-too-distant future.
Wilks’ primary focus this weekend is limiting Jackson’s influence. A riddle that most haven’t yet been able to solve almost from the moment he arrived from the college ranks.
Just how the Panthers go about this remains to be seen. And whatever they strategize, it might not be enough when it’s all said and done.
One thing is for sure, Derrick Brown and Brian Burns must be at the top of their game in Week 11. Both defensive linemen are playing exceptional football this season, but they’ll need to go up yet another level to counteract Jackson’s supreme skill set.
Setting the edge and keeping Jackson in the pocket seems like the best chance Carolina has.
The quarterback is an accomplished passer these days. But with a depleted wide receiver corps and Mark Andrews’ health in question, making Jackson win the game with his arm is the only opportunity to keep things competitive on the road.
Making tackles count is also essential. Jackson is notoriously difficult to bring down, so those at the second level must hit hard and with conviction if the dynamic force gets out on the move.
If Jackson generates early momentum, the Panthers can kiss goodbye their chances of gaining success in this one. It’s going to take a monumental effort from all involved, but keeping Baltimore’s offense off the field entirely is another way to attain a potential shock.
The Panthers are putting together a physical offense led by running back D’Onta Foreman. Baker Mayfield’s presence under center for the injured P.J. Walker adds another fascinating dimension, but the bread and butter will be the former Texas star and whether he can do enough to keep the clock ticking over.
Nobody is anticipating the Panthers making a game of this. The Ravens are heavily favored by sportsbooks to win this encounter comfortably, but if Brown and Burns turn up and Carolina’s offense controls the time of possession, it might be closer than some in the national media envisage.
Of course, it could go the other way. And if the Panthers aren’t fully prepared, Jackson will make them pay.