Jacksonville, FL — It was a wild one in Florida this week as the Los Angeles Chargers came into town to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chargers got off to an early start by scoring on a touchdown pass from quarterback Philip Rivers to wide receiver Tyrell Williams. Then, with just over over five minutes left in the half they scored again, this time with a 3 yard run by Chargers HB Melvin Gordon.
With the score 14-3, the Jaguars knew they had to get more points up on the board before the half and on the first play of their drive they did just that. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles delivered a pass to his all-star wide receiver Allen Robinson, who then took it 48 yards for the Jaguars first touchdown of the game. The Chargers lead was now cut to four.
On their next possession, the Chargers began the drive on their own 25 yard line and 4 plays later Gordon would again get into the end zone. This time he juked two defenders then took off on a 54 yards touchdown run and just like that the Chargers regained their 11 point lead. But, that lead didn’t last long as the Jaguars answered right back with a touchdown of their own. This time it took three plays for Bortles to find Robinson up on the left side of the field. Robinson broke away for a 54 yard touchdown, his fifth of the season and second one of the game. The touchdown once again cut the Chargers lead to four with 1:58 remaining in the first half.
After that touchdown, the Chargers started their drive on their own 25 yard line. The Jaguars came out strong, hoping to get the ball back. On first down they forced Rivers to throw the ball away, then on the 2nd and 10 the pressure forced Rivers to throw his sixth interception of the season. He was picked off by ex Dallas Cowboys strong safety Barry Church, he would end up taking it back 35 yards for a touchdown and incredibly the Jaguars, who were trailing 14-3 earlier in the game, were about to take a 21-24 point lead into halftime.
However, as we know, no lead is safe in this league. With 1:42 remaining, Rivers and the Chargers managed to march 64 yards down the field, down to the 11 yard line. The Jaguars defense, was
bending, but it did not break as they held the Chargers to a 4th and 5 on the 6 yard line. The stop forced the Chargers to settle for a field goal, which knotted this game back up 24-24 with 41 seconds remaining.
With the score all tied up and the teams combining for 48 points in the first half, you would think that was it till the second half, well you’d be wrong. The Jaguars had all three of their time outs and were able to make some plays that got them to the Chargers 45 yard line. With 13 seconds remaining, the Jaguars elected to try a 62 yard field goal. Kicker Jason Myers lined up on the left side of the hash marks to try what would be the longest kick of his young career. With the wind against his back clocking in at 11 MPH, Myers’ kick was up and good, giving the Jaguars a three point lead as they headed into halftime.
Trailing in the third, the Chargers would start the second half with the ball and thanks to a 41 yard run by Gordon, the Chargers were in the red zone with 5:36 left in the 3rd. Four plays later the Chargers retook the lead thanks to a touchdown catch in the end zone by tight end Sean McGrath. The drive took a total of eight plays, for 75 yards and a perfect 4 for 4 passing from Rivers. The Chargers four point lead was back up on the scoreboard after allowing 14 unanswered points.
The way this game went, only a fool would think that lead would stand long. The Jaguars answered right back on their ensuing drive with a touchdown. This time the damage came from their running game as HB Chris Ivory ran the ball into the end zone on a 30 yard run. It was Ivory’s first touchdown of the season and following the extra point, it gave his team a 31-34 lead. Surprisingly that would be all the points these two clubs would put up in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began with a 1st and 10 for the Chargers on the Jaguars 22 yard line. Rivers was unable to connect with his receivers in three tries, forcing the Chargers to try a 39 yard field goal. Chargers kicker Younghoe Koo lined up on the left side of the ball and as he goes for the game tying kick, Jaguars corner back Jalen Myrick came off the line of scrimmage faster than a speeding bullet to block Koo’s kick. Leaving the Jaguars three point lead intact.
That blocked field goal proved to be huge as the Jaguars would score another field goal eight plays later to extend their lead 31-37. The block seemed to not only pump up the offence but the defense too. The Jaguars defense didn’t allow the Chargers to do anything on their final possession of the game, forcing the Chargers to turn the ball over on downs following a stop on 4th and 2 with under two minutes remaining. The Jaguars put up three more points in the last minute of the game, giving them a 31-40 lead in this wild high scoring game.
So, for the Jaguars the win moves them to an AFC South best 7-2 and they’ll be on the road next week to take on the Cleveland Browns. For the visiting Chargers, the loss drops them to 3rd place in the AFC West with a record of 4-5, they will be back at home next week to take on Buffalo Bills.