Young QBs in spotlight as Panthers host Jaguars

Kyle Allen's emergence as the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers has been a nice story.

Perhaps some of the attention that might have focused on Allen has been trumped because of his counterpart Gardner Minshew of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Two teams with mostly unproven signal-callers who have provided sparks of excitement will meet Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said young quarterbacks today are better equipped to enter the NFL and experience flashes of success due to the pro-style offenses common in college football. Minshew and Allen fit that mold.

"They're throwing anywhere between 50 and 70 balls (per game) in college," Rivera said. "They're just putting the ball in the air. ... You're getting guys who are a little more ready to handle those situations."

Both teams are 2-2 after opening with consecutive losses. Carolina bounced back with a pair of road victories, while Jacksonville is coming off a last-second road win over the Denver Broncos.

Allen has started the past two games with Cam Newton sitting out with a foot injury. While their styles are different, it would be a mistake to underestimate Allen's abilities.

"I'm not sure if people quite understand how athletic Kyle is," Rivera said. "He has got some skills, and his strength."

Minshew, a sixth-round rookie out of Washington State, took over in the first half of the season opener when Nick Foles suffered a broken clavicle.

"We've all been around long enough to know how difficult it is to play quarterback in the NFL," Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said of Minshew. "I know he has changed with the way I look at things. ... Is it remarkable? I would say it is. Is it something that's becoming expected week-in and week-out? Yeah, it's starting to."

Allen has completed 71.7 percent of his throws with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Minshew has connected on 69.4 percent of his passes, tossing seven scores and one pick.

"Now you're looking for it all the time," Marrone said. "Expectations rise. It's still early. Early in the season, early in his career. Early in a lot of guys' careers."

The Jaguars have formed an identity that might be similar to Carolina.

"Being resilient, being able to work, and being able to play together," Marrone said. "Right now, that's the identity of this team. We'll keep working on the other factors."

By defeating Denver 26-24 on a last-play field goal, the Jaguars discovered success on the road. That's something they'll try to repeat this week.

"We're never going to count ourselves out even if things don't go our way early," Minshew said. "We have belief in ourselves. It shows we can do that any week and we can rely on each other that much more."

Allen has been prone to sacks and fumbles, so the Carolina coaching staff has been working on his movement in the pocket.

"There's some things that he has to adjust," Rivera said.

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is the second player in NFL history -- the other is Jim Brown in 1963 -- to have 175 or more yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in three of his team's first four games of a season.

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who has requested a trade, didn't play last week for the Jaguars and is uncertain for Sunday.

Rivera enters with a 73-58-1 regular-season record, tied with John Fox for the most wins in franchise history.

The Panthers have won the past two meetings with Jacksonville, though the teams haven't met since 2015.

--Field Level Media