JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Panthers cornerback Josh Norman pointed at quarterback Blake Bortles as he walked around the end zone, then waved bye-bye before he crossed the end zone.
In fact, Norman was gone – as was Jacksonville’s possibility of knocking off the two-time defending NFC South champion.
Norman ran back the interception for a touchdown, and Carolina did simply enough to beat the Jaguars 20-9 on Sunday.
Carolina held Jacksonville to 75 yards in the second half, mainly because of two interceptions and four of its five sacks.
Norman gave Carolina the distinct advantage right on time in the third period when he ventured before a pass planned for running back T.J. Yeldon and went untouched down the sideline for a 30-yard score.
The enormous defensive score helped counterbalance the misfortune in Carolina’s second in a row season-opening win. It additionally gave support to an offense that oversaw only 263 yards as it hunt down somebody to supplant No. 1 beneficiary Kelvin Benjamin.
“A ton of good things happen when you win the takeaway fight,” Carolina mentor Ron Rivera said.
The Panthers appeared to rally after the loss of star linebacker Luke Kuechly, who left in the last moment of the first half with concussion like symptoms.
Luke Kuechly wobbled to the ground subsequent to hitting T.J. Yeldon taking after a short pick up. Kuechly attempted to stand up yet dropped to the ground once more. He was quickly escorted to the locker room, and it was later announced he would not return.
Cam Newton hooked up with Jerricho Cotchery in the end zone in the second quarter for Carolina’s only non defensive touchdown of the game.
“It wasn’t beautiful now and again today, however we demonstrated flashes of what we’re equipped for doing,” said Newton, who coordinated a 15-play, eight or more moment drive late in the final quarter that basically fixed the win.
It was a messy afternoon all around for the Jaguars, who have lost four successive openers.
Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and newbie Rashad Greene hurt Jacksonville with their hands of stone. Hurns also turned the ball over . Kicker Jason Myers must of had some rookie jitters, missing an extra point and a field goal.
What’s more, Bortles was off throughout the day. He completed 22 of 40 for 183 yards, with a touchdown and two picks.. His initial one was the fifth pick-six in his young career.
“It’s without a doubt shocking,” Bortles said. “In any case, it wasn’t what they did to us. It was what we did to ourselves. We had various things where we simply shot ourselves in the foot. It’s fixable stuff. It’s not the way you need to turn out and begin the season. We’re not going to sugarcoat it. It wasn’t adequate and we must be better.”
Keep an eye out for my preview on the next Jags game as they prepare to face off against inner state rival and big brother, the Miami Dolphins.