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The Jacksonville Jaguars overcame a 27-0 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 on Super Wild Card Weekend. After a rough start, Trevor Lawrence and the Jags went on a 24-3 second-half run, capping the comeback with a 36-yard field goal by Riley Patterson as time expired. It noted the third-largest comeback in NFL postseason history.

It was a tale of two halves for the Jaguars and Lawrence about as rough a first half as you could get. In his first 16 pass attempts, the quarterback completed four to his teammates and four to the Chargers. The former No. 1 overall pick was intercepted four times in the first half. Asante Samuel Jr. scored three. Lawrence became the fifth quarterback to score three touchdowns in the playoffs since 1991, but he was the first to do so. first quarter. However, Lawrence came out of the break rejuvenated.

Lawrence led off with three straight touchdowns, the last of which included a two-point conversion, to cut the deficit to just two points with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter. After the Jaguars defense forced a three-and-out, Lawrence got a chance to write his own ending. On the ensuing drive, he drove 61 yards down the field in 10 plays, setting up Patterson to send the ball through the uprights as the clock hit triple zero.

Lawrence completed 28 of 47 passes for 288 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions, while his college teammate Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for 109 yards on 20 carries. Evan Engram was the Jaguars’ leading receiver with seven catches for 93 yards and one touchdown. Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Marvin Jones Jr. also made the cut.

For the Chargers, Justin Herbert completed 25 of 43 passes for 273 yards and one touchdown. Austin Ekeler was largely ineffective as he rushed for 35 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries. Gerald Everett led the Chargers in receiving with 109 yards and one touchdown on six receptions.

So what in the world happened in this game? Let’s take a look.

Why did the Jaguars win?

Short memory. That’s something all defenders need to be successful at. But how can you have a short memory after four interceptions in the first half?

Have we ever seen this in the NFL? A quarterback who looks like he needs to be benched turns it around and is nearly flawless in the second half. In Lawrence’s first seven drives, he completed 5 of 18 passes for 35 yards and four interceptions. On his final five drives, he completed 23 of 23 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns. It was remarkable.

Lawrence’s turnaround will be the talk of the game, but the rest of the Jaguars deserve credit as well. The offense ran as did its quarterback as Engram, Etienne and others made important plays down the field. And then the defense played aggressively in the second half, stopping the Chargers on three of their four drives.

Meanwhile, should we be surprised that the Jaguars pulled off this comeback? They have now done so in their last five home games.

  • The Jags fell behind by 17 points in Week 9 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Jacksonville came back to win.
  • The Jags fell behind by nine points in Week 12 against the Baltimore Ravens. Jacksonville came back to win.
  • In Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys, the Jags fell behind by 17 points. Jacksonville came back to win.
  • The Jags fell behind by 10 points in Week 18 against the Tennessee Titans. Jacksonville came back to win.
  • The Jags fell behind by 27 points in the AFC wild-card game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Jacksonville came back to win.

It’s always been Jags!

Why did the Chargers lose?

The Chargers looked like the better team in the first half. The offense scored points on four of its first five possessions while the defense forced five turnovers. The turnovers stat is the key, of course, but the Chargers defense did a great job of making Lawrence uncomfortable, then stood up on third down. The Jags went 7-for-3 on third downs through the first two quarters. And what happened?

LA lost its way in the second half. The Chargers were playing not to lose, as opposed to winning the contest that ultimately ended their season. Defensively, the Chargers took away all down routes and pressured Lawrence for most of the first half. However, that same unit played on its heels throughout the second half, allowing the Jaguars offense to score points on all four of their possessions after halftime.

Offensively, it was no better. Herbert threw for just 134 yards and zero touchdowns in the second half, while Ekeler did not complete a single yard on the ground in the final two quarters. The offense scored just three points in the second half, compared to 27 points in the first half. Just look at their drive charts after the break.

  • 7 plays, 37 yards, punt (2:32)
  • 7 plays, 45 yards, field goal (2:13)
  • 14 plays, 58 yards, missed field goal (6:57)
  • 3 plays, 5 yards, punt (2:16)

This was a major collapse in more ways than one. No one play or decision decides the outcome of a game, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Joey Bosa’s penalty kick. The star pass rusher slammed his helmet to the ground and drew a flag after Lawrence hit Christian Kirk for a touchdown to cut the lead to four points. That penalty made it easy for Pederson to score twice, and Lawrence punched in his own to cut the lead to two points. After all, that’s what made Patterson’s field goal a game-winner field goal five minutes later.

Turning Point/Game Play

Pederson called the Philly Special in Super Bowl LII for the Philadelphia Eagles. On Saturday, he called “Duval Special” – from “T!” While the play wasn’t anywhere near as flashy as the Philly Special, it put the Jaguars in a position to win their game.

Facing a fourth-and-1 with 1:28 left in the game, Pederson lined up three players behind Lawrence. It has become commonplace in today’s NFL to rob the QB from behind. It was fair to assume that was what was going to happen, but Pederson called Etienne instead.

This play went 25 yards and effectively won the game for Jacksonville.

What’s next?

Barring an AFC upset on Sunday, the Jaguars will play the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead next weekend. Earlier this season, the Chiefs defeated the Jaguars 27-17 to open Week 10.


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