Carolina Panthers at Jaguars - Week 17
The Jacksonville Jaguars are facing competition for the AFC South title this season. They still have control of their destiny, but the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts are only one game back heading into the business end of the campaign.
This is a game the Jaguars will identify as a must-win. The Carolina Panthers have endured some torrid fortunes this season and rookie quarterback Bryce Young's confidence has gone to an all-time low despite the player's resolve in front of the media.
Trevor Lawrence is toughing things out with a high ankle sprain. He might not be at 100 percent in this one, but his mere presence on the field warrants respect. Especially considering the weapons available for the once-generational quarterback prospect coming out of Clemson.
It's Carolina's final road game of the 2023 campaign, so a big effort is needed. There will also be no expectations on their shoulders. This allows for more relaxed play and an additional level of freedom compared to Jacksonville in their quest for playoff football.
Prediction: Loss (2-14)
Expecting the Panthers to come away victorious from this particular game would be foolish. The Jaguars have too much firepower even without wide receiver Christian Kirk. They also have the postseason in sight to give them some added incentive.