Chargers set to meet Jaguars after tough lost to Kansas City
September 22, 2022
The Los Angeles Chargers will return home to play this Sunday, September 25th, at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both the Chargers and Jaguars are 1-1 for the season, with the Chargers coming off a stunning loss to the Kansa City Chiefs, 27-24 and the Jaguars coming off a dominant win over the Indianapolis Colts, 24-0.
The Chargers were tied 17-17 in the 4th quarter of their Thursday Night game against the Chiefs and following a catch-and-run of 29 yards to tight end Gerald Everett, had a 1st and goal at the Chiefs three-yard line with just over 11 minutes left in the game. It was his second consecutive catch on the drive.
It was clear that after he was tackled at the three-yard line, Everett was gassed and was asking to come out of the game. But the Chargers were in an up-tempo offense and Everett was forced to stay in the game. Normally, the up-tempo offense would be a smart move in this situation because the defense would not be able to substitute, but it was obvious that Everett was tired. Quarterback Justin Herbert quickly dropped back and threw a pass in Everett's direction.
Everett was supposed to move inside on the route but did not move at all and Herbert threw the pass directly into the arms of rookie defensive back Jaylen Watson, a 7th round draft pick from Washington State, who caught it at the one-yard line and took off 99 yards in the other direction for a touchdown. The Chiefs were about to go down 24-17 and suddenly led 24-17. That was essentially the game.
It would have made more sense to run the ball in that situation, since the Chiefs did not have their goal-line defense in the game. Or isolate Mike Williams for a jump ball in the end zone. It might have helped if Everett had just fallen to the ground, with the referees stopping the clock and the game to get Everett off the field. But none of that happened and that play cost the Chargers any chance to win the game.
The Chiefs added a field goal to go up 27-17, and the Chargers added a touchdown late on a gutsy drive from Herbert, who was knocked out of the game for a play with a rib injury with about five minutes to go. Herbert should have been on the sidelines but wanted to finish the game. The next day, it was announced that Herbert had a fracture to his rib cartilage and was officially day-to-day.
The Chargers have two key players that may not be available for the Jaguar game. Wide receiver Keenan Allen pulled a hamstring in the opening day win over the Raiders, sat out the Chiefs game and may not play against the Jaguars. Herbert's availability is also in question for the Jaguar game.
The Jaguars are much improved from last season under new head coach Doug Pederson, who led the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots. The Jaguars lost their opener to the Washington Commanders, 28-22. In that road game, the Jaguars led 22-14 in the 4th quarter before collapsing late in the game.
Last week at home, the Jaguars shutout the Colts and looked very good in the process. There is a lot of young talent on the Jaguar squad, led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, linebacker Devin Lloyd, running back Travis Etienne Jr., running back James Robinson, and linebacker Travon Walker. This team could give the Chargers a lot of problems without their offensive stars, Allen, and Herbert.
Without Allen and Herbert, the Chargers are going to need to run the ball, play good defense, and win the turnover battle. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel will get the start without Herbert and Josh Palmer will replace Allen if he cannot go. The game will start at 1:05 p.m. locally and will be televised on CBS.