Football

The Chargers Run Out of Power, Blowing a 27-0 Lead to Jacksonville

Day one of playoff action was certainly exciting to say the least, but the night game this Saturday can only be described by one word: electric. In what I expect to be a new and upcoming rivalry, the Justin Herbert vs Trevor Lawrence game was like watching a movie-style comeback. The Jaguars ended their season on fire, gaining the fourth seed in week 18 against the Tennessee Titans, in a win or go home bout. The Chargers had a difficult season to say the least, having one of if not the best rosters in the league, and underperforming. While some have reported that the Chargers coach Brandon Staley was playing for his job, it really didn’t look like it in the second half.

The Jaguars started the game with no steam whatsoever. Trevor Lawrence threw four interceptions, three of which were thrown to Asante Samuel Jr. The Jaguars were down 24-0 at the half, and the Chargers looked like they could make a Super Bowl run, and that the pieces had finally fallen into place. Trevor Lawrence was being bashed mercilessly on social media, saying he was not big enough for big time games, but Trevor proved the doubters wrong, just like he’s done all of his career. The Chargers opened up the half with a field goal, showing it was almost all but over, but that’s when Trevor Lawrence showed up. Even after throwing four interceptions in the first half, a big thing all quarterbacks need to be successful is a short memory. Trevor Lawrence went on to have three straight touchdown drives, the last of which ended with a two-point conversion, putting them down two points with five minutes and change in the fourth quarter. The Chargers opened up their last drive by taking a sack, making it second and seventeen. After a quick four and out, it was Trevor Lawrence’s game to win. The Jaguars marched down the field, eating up any clock that was left, just for Riley Patterson to kick a field goal as time expired, not only completing a 27 point comeback, but also advancing them to the next round of the playoffs.

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Trevor Lawrence ended the game going 28-for-47 passing for 288 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions, becoming the first player since Ben Roethlisberger to throw four touchdowns and four interceptions in a playoff game. Lawrence’s college teammate Travis Etienne Jr. also had a big game, rushing for 109 yards on twenty carries, providing big plays when necessary. While Travis wasn’t putting the ball in the end zone, Jacksonville’s receiving core was. Engram ended the game with 93 yards and a touchdown, Christian Kirk tagged along with one, followed by Zay and Marcus Jones. The Jaguars defense came alive towards the end with a huge sack in the Chargers last drive, finishing the game with three total.

Kam Nedd/Jacksonville Jaguars

On the bolts side of the ball, the social media quarterback Justin Herbert went 25-of-43 passing for 273 yards and a touchdown. It would be impossible to put all of the blame on Justin Herbet, he played well and is a force to come in the league. The blame is most definitely on the defense allowing the Jaguars to go on a 31-point run in the second half, as well as it is most likely fired coach Brandon Staley’s fault. We’ve seen a few huge leads blown this year, but already on just the first night of the playoffs we saw a top-five NFL playoff comeback of all-time. While Austin Ekeler did have two rushing touchdowns, his 35 rushing yards on thirteen carries is not enough to get the job done in the playoffs. Asante Samuel Jr. had himself a playoff moment, recording three interceptions off of Lawrence, all coming in the first half. You know what they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and Asante Samuel Jr. is following in his fathers footsteps.

Morgan Givens/Jacksonville Jaguars

Barring any more upsets in the AFC such as the Dolphins defeating the Bills or the Ravens ending the Bengals season, the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to make a trip down to Arrowhead to play the first seeded Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. If today sees the Bills and Bengals win, I’m not sure which is the hardest game for the Jaguars, but if they want to make a run, they will be the underdog no matter what. If there is any man to fill the role of the underdog, it would have to be Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson.

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