Jaguars will need all hands on deck to stop Chargers wide receivers
Had wide receiver Mike Williams been available in free agency earlier this year, he would have been in high demand. However, the Los Angeles Chargers recognized his value and gave him a three-year deal worth $60 million. The Jacksonville Jaguars will need to contain him in Week 3 if they want to beat the Bolts. Head coach Doug Pederson met with the local media Wednesday and said that “it will take all hands on deck” to stop him and teammate Keenan Allen (if he suits up).
“Two really good players, two big physical guys too, Pederson said. “It’s gonna take all hands on deck in our secondary. Whether we end up doubling the guy, or sometimes you just gotta lock up man-to-man and play, maybe on third down. But our guys will battle. They’ve got to watch the tape this week and they’ve got to study their opponent and study those one-on-one matchups. But these two guys respect, two really good receivers”.
Pederson added that he’s pleased with the way cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Tyson Campbell have been playing.
Allen sat out the Chargers’ Week 2 game against the Kansas City Chiefs with a hamstring injury. However, he hauled in four receptions for 66 yards against the Las Vegas Raiders in the season opener, so having him back against the Jags would potentially give the Bolts’ offense a huge big boost.
Williams is coming off a game in which he caught eight passes for 113 yards with one hand. As Pederson said, Jacksonville will look for ways to slow him down. However, they can’t devote too many resources to stop him. Otherwise, they run the risk of letting either running back Austin Ekeler or wide receiver DeAndre Carter uncovered.
The Chargers won’t be lacking offensive weapons vs. the Jaguars
Quarterback Justin Herbert’s status for the game remains in question. He fractured rib cartilage against the Chiefs but there’s a good chance he will be available against Jacksonville. Doug Pederson knows what it feels like to play with a rib injury and says that it’s not fun nor comfortable. He added that it hurts to sit down, cough, or laugh.
But whether Herbert suits up or not in Week 3, Los Angeles has enough firepower to go against the Jaguars’ secondary. The Chargers’ offense currently ranks 11th in points scored and 10th in total yards, and that was without Allen playing in Week 2.
On the other hand, the Jaguars’ defense is fifth in yards given up and third in takeaways with six. They were able to shut out the Colts’ passing game but the Chargers will present a bigger challenge.
The Jaguars are at the top of the AFC South but if they want to keep their lead in the division, they must beat the Chargers. For that to happen, they will need to keep Williams in check.