The Jacksonville Jaguars overcome a deficit, and questionable calls, to take down the Los Angeles Chargers 20-17 in overtime.
How are we feeling Jaguars fans?!? The Jacksonville Jaguars do what they have not done all season and win a close game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The game was not pretty, and it seemed it was lost a few times in the fourth quarter, but the Jaguars fought back and pulled out a gut-check win over the Chargers. The Jaguars trailed for most of the second half, but the team never wavered, and won a game the previous seasons’ team would not have.
After having a fumble-return touchdown taken away on what was an extremely questionable overturn after review, the Jaguars fought into field goal and tied the game at 17 to send it to overtime (I am not usually one to call out bad calls from the referee crew, but Jacksonville was on the receiving end of some truly egregious calls all game).
In overtime, it was the defense who rose to the challenge like they have all season, and made the winning play. After a punt on the Jaguars opening drive in overtime, the Chargers had the ball with a chance to win the game. But when Philip Rivers tried to connect with Travis Benjamin on third down, A.J Bouye skied high to snag an interception and returned it to the one-yard line.
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The Jaguars then just set up the game-winning field goal, running the ball three straight times. Former Chargers kicker Josh Lambo came in, booted the ball through the uprights, and the Jaguars won a hard-fought contest.
A few takeaways from the game:
Offense was sloppy, but never backed down
The Jaguars did not have much efficiency on offense, but the unit never quit.
Credit to the Chargers defense, as they shut down Jacksonville’s running game all afternoon, forcing the Jaguars to play a style of offense they are not suited for. Leonard Fournette had just 33 yards on 17 carries, and was a non-factor in his return.
When the Jaguars had to abandon the run game an go to an aerial attack, the offense stumbled. They found some completions and picked up first downs, but could not finish drives.
Blake Bortles threw for 273 yards, but two late interceptions nearly ended chances for a comeback win. Despite the mistakes, Bortles did engineer a big time drive in the third quarter, going 84 yards on 11 straight passes, finding Marqise Lee for the touchdown and the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14.
It wasn’t flashy today for the Jaguars offense, but they found the plays to keep them in the game the whole way.
Defense wasn’t their normal selves, but showed up when it mattered
The Jaguars defense was not as imposing against the Chargers as we have seen all season, even in holding Los Angeles to 17 points. Jacksonville did not record a sack on Philip Rivers, and two mental lapses led to two Chargers touchdown passes.
Austin Ekeler was a thorn in the Jaguars’ side all game, and had both touchdowns, and 77 yards receiving out of the backfield.
It wasn’t the usual effort we expected to see from the defense, but when it mattered most in the fourth quarter, the team showed up in a major way.
Malik Jackson forced a fumble with less than two minutes to go, which was recovered by Tashaun Gibson on what should have been a touchdown return. But nonetheless it set up the tying field goal to send the game to overtime. In overtime, A.J. Bouye came up with the clutch interception to set up the winning field goal.
It was a slightly sub-par effort by Jacksonville’s standards, but the defense, as they have done all season, rose up and won the game.
Some love to Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo. In a game against the team that released him, Lambo had the tying field at the end of regulation, and the game winner in overtime. It surly felt good for Lambo to put the final dagger in the Chargers himself.
Lambo has not missed a field goal for the Jaguars since joining the team in week seven, and has been a valuable addition to a team with big goals.
The Jaguars have now won three games in a row, and move to 6-3 on the season. Jacksonville keeps pace with the Tennessee Titans, who also moved to 6-3 with a last second win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Jacksonville Jaguars showed a ton of heart on Sunday, and kept clawing back to finally get some much-needed revenge on Philip Rivers and the Chargers.
Pretty by no means, but the team just keeps on winning, and that is all that matters in the NFL.