“Minshew Mania” invades Charlotte in the NFL week 5 Jacksonville at Carolina free pick but it’s “Allen Enthusiasm” that may win out in this one. Yes, the Jaguars and Panthers still have two of the better defenses in the league, but they’re also getting great play out of young quarterbacks. Carolina is looking for their first home win, but also their third win overall since Kyle Allen took over under center. Jacksonville is hoping Gardner Minshew can continue his accurate passing and pull off some more magic in a road victory.
Jaguars Efficient Behind Minshew
It appears all was not lost when Jaguars QB Nick Foles was injured in the opener vs. Tennessee. His loss opened the door for rookie Gardner Minshew who has invigorated this Jacksonville offense. In Minshew’s three starts he led a comeback vs. Houston that ultimately failed 12-13 when the Jaguars decided to go for the 2 point conversion but also back-to-back wins over Tennessee and Denver. Minshew has gone 23/33, 20/30, and 19/33 in his three starts with 5 TD but 0 INT.
What makes the Jaguars a tempting play in the NFL week 5 Jacksonville at Carolina free pick is that they found a running game last week in Denver. Leonard Fournette bowled over the Broncos for a career high 225 yards on 29 carries. Denver does rank 30th in the league vs. the run though, whereas Carolina has a top 5 total yard defense (24th vs. rush). Fournette had just 113 total rush yards in the two games prior.
The Jaguars defense also has a big test Sunday. Carolina has won two road games since making their own switch at QB for the injured Cam Newton. The Jags D looked great in a 20-7 win over the Titans in week 3, holding Tennessee 91 rushing yards. Denver also had just 68 yards rushing on 16 attempts as Jacksonville now ranks 12th vs. the run.
Can Allen Continue His Own Impressive Run?
If the Panthers can get their first home win of the season in the NFL week 5 Jacksonville at Carolina free pick, their may be a full blown QB controversy in Charlotte. This is because since taking over for Newton, Kyle Allen has led the Panthers to two straight wins. Allen was 19/26 with 4 TD and 0 INT at Arizona and went 24/34 last week vs. a tough Texans defense. Two quality road victories.
The Jaguars have a stout run defense, but Carolina has an equalizer in Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers RB has 246 yards on the ground in the last two weeks. McCaffrey also had 10 catches last week vs. Houston which will serve as a great safety blanket for Allen.
Can the Panthers defense shut down the suddenly multi-faceted Jacksonville offense? Carolina is allowing 25 ppg in their two home games this season and also gave up 121 yards on the ground on 22 carries to Arizona. The Texans also had 22 rushes for 136 yards last week. That’s a lot of rushing yards to surrender with Fournette coming to town.
NFL Week 5 Jacksonville at Carolina Free Pick
The Panthers have been on the road the last two weeks and have scored a couple key victories in the process. That should pump some energy into the Carolina crowd for Sunday. Minshew has proven he can go on the road though, losing by 1 at Houston and beating Denver last week. The Panthers are 3 point favorites in this one with an O/U of 40. Those points look nice on the Jacksonville side in what could be a 1 point game.
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars +3