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Know Your Foe: Jacksonville Jaguars 

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CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers head south to take on their final AFC South foe, the Jacksonville Jaguars, on New Year's Eve.

The 1:00 pm (EST) kickoff will pit the Panthers (2-13), coming off a close loss to the Green Bay Packers, against the struggling Jaguars, who are riding a four-game losing streak.

This is a young rivalry, with the two teams facing off only seven times since 1996. Carolina is 4-3 all time versus Jacksonville, but 1-2 on the road. Learn more about the series history here.

Here's what to know about them.

Questions Abound at Quarterback

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a former No. 1-overall pick, has not missed a start since being drafted in 2021. That streak could be in jeopardy on Sunday. Lawrence has a sprained right shoulder that is being evaluated throughout the week. The injury occurred during the Jaguars' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Christmas Eve. It's the latest in a string of injuries that have plagued Lawrence through Jacksonville's losing streak. Throughout the month of December, the quarterback has suffered an ankle injury, entered in concussion protocol, and now, is waiting to see if his shoulder will allow him to play versus the Panthers.

If Lawrence can't go, the Jags will turn to veteran C.J. Beathard. He went 11-14 for 95 yards and one touchdown in the loss to the Buccaneers.


Offensive Firepower Cooling Off

As the Jags have suffered through their four-game losing streak and Lawrence's various injuries, two of their most notable offensive weapons have hit a plateau. Running back Travis Etienne was averaging 66 yards per game on the ground, through the first 11 weeks, and 94.4 yards per game total through that same time. In the past four weeks, Etienne has averaged 30.8 yards on the ground and 60.3 total, becoming a balanced weapon for the Jags, but one that has seen significantly lower averages per touch.

The Jaguars' 2022 prized offseason acquisition, wideout Calvin Ridley, has seen his impact stabilize in recent weeks, but lack the explosiveness that was marking every couple of games through the first three quarters of the season. Ridley boasted three games of triple digits earlier in the season. His past four games have seen him average 52 yards per game and 10.7 yards per reception.


Keep an Eye on Josh Allen

Linebacker Josh Allen can wreck a backfield and has made a habit of doing so this season. With 13.5 sacks through 15 games, he's fifth in the NFL. The lankly linebacker has also added an interception and two forced fumbles.

The Jaguars struggling in recent weeks has hampered Allen's ability to get into throwing lanes, as teams have been able to grind out the clock on the ground. An offense in obvious passing situations though will have to deal with the problem that is Josh Allen.

Carolina is 3-3 against Jacksonville all-time.

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