Chargers blow 27-point lead, Jaguars advance in AFC playoffs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Regardless of constructing a 27-0 first-half lead, the Los Angeles Chargers noticed their postseason disintegrate within the second half because the Jacksonville Jaguars stormed again for a 31-30 victory Saturday night time.

It was the third-largest comeback in playoff historical past. The Jaguars now advance to the AFC divisional spherical after their first playoff win since 2017.

Jacksonville Jaguars

There are many methods to explain the Jaguars’ efficiency of their wild-card win over the Chargers at TIAA Financial institution Subject, however ridiculous just about covers it.

What different approach to describe Trevor Lawrence throwing 4 interceptions within the first half — together with three within the first quarter — after which the Jaguars rallying from a 27-0 deficit to beat the Los Angeles Chargers on Riley Patterson’s last-second 36-yard discipline purpose?

Nothing summed up simply how poorly the Jaguars performed within the first half greater than a punt bouncing off Chris Claybrooks’ helmet that the Chargers recovered and became a discipline purpose and a 27-0 lead with 5 minutes remaining. Certainly, nothing went proper for the Jaguars within the first half-hour.

That was Jacksonville’s fifth turnover of the half, and it seemingly put the staff into too huge of a gap to beat, although the Jaguars made a surge within the second half to chop the Chargers’ result in two factors with 5:25 to play.

The final time a staff turned the ball over 5 occasions within the first half of a playoff recreation was within the 1999 divisional playoffs — the Miami Dolphins did it towards the Jaguars on this identical discipline. The Jaguars gained that recreation 62-7 and despatched Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino into retirement.

The Chargers, in the meantime, rolled up 180 yards and Justin Herbert accomplished 15 of 24 passes for 139 yards within the first half. They acquired a brief discipline on two of Lawrence’s 4 interceptions, and the Jaguars managed to strain Herbert on solely 4 of his dropbacks.

Now the Jaguars, who’ve gained seven video games in a row, will await the result of the Sunday video games to search out out in the event that they’re headed to Kansas Metropolis.

QB breakdown: Lawrence performed the worst half of soccer of his NFL or faculty profession within the first half. His first cross was intercepted and he would go on to throw three extra within the half, which made him the third quarterback within the Tremendous Bowl period to throw 4 interceptions within the first half of a playoff recreation (Gary Danielson and Craig Morton had been the others). Lawrence turned the primary quarterback within the Tremendous Bowl period to throw three interceptions within the first quarter of a playoff recreation, and at factors within the first half had passer scores of 0.0 and 0.6.

Greatest gap within the recreation plan: The Jaguars ought to have been capable of assault the Chargers’ protection on the perimeter within the run recreation with operating again Travis Etienne Jr., who averaged an NFL-best 8.3 yards per carry outdoors the tackles; Los Angeles allowed 9.3 yards per stick with it such runs, rating final within the league. However that went out the window with the large deficit, although the Jaguars did attempt to run the ball between the tackles sometimes within the second half whereas going to the hurry-up offense.

Los Angeles Chargers

Forward of the Chargers’ first playoff look in 4 years, questions swirled in regards to the job safety of second-year coach Brandon Staley.

These questions seemingly will not be disappearing after a complete meltdown towards the Jaguars.

L.A. acquired off to a promising begin, with cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. grabbing three of 4 interceptions Lawrence threw within the first half and operating again Austin Ekeler changing two of these takeaways into touchdowns, rapidly silencing an amped-up TIAA Financial institution Subject crowd and enabling the Chargers to take a 27-7 lead into halftime.

However, behind Tremendous Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson, the fourth-seeded Jaguars adjusted popping out of the break and went on a 24-3 scoring run, sending the fifth-seeded Bolts into the offseason, the place many questions — about Staley, Tenth-year common supervisor Tom Telesco and the course of the franchise — await.

Two halves: The Chargers went on a 27-0 run within the first half, powered by 5 turnovers — together with 4 interceptions and the restoration of a muffed punt. However the Jaguars responded with a run of their very own, scoring a landing to shut out the primary half after which including 24 extra factors for a historic comeback.

QB breakdown: After warmups, the 24-year-old Herbert jogged off the sphere and pumped his fist towards screaming Chargers followers, giving each indication he was able to make his first NFL postseason begin. Herbert, with out star extensive receiver Mike Williams, who was dominated out Friday due to a small nonsurgical fracture in his again, performed an almost flawless first half. He led 5 scoring drives to transform every takeaway.

Within the second half, Herbert — with out Williams after which additionally DeAndre Carter, who left the sport due to an ankle damage — was unable to develop a constant rhythm.

He completed 25-of-43 for 273 yards and one landing.

Stat that issues: The Chargers held a lead on each offensive play within the second half and misplaced.