The Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) won convincingly in Los Angeles Sunday, beating the Chargers 38-10 behind a dominant defense and an offense that kept LA quarterback Justin Herbert on the sidelines for big chunks of the game.
Jacksonville ran more than 70 plays on offense and had the ball for 38:27. That included 11:25 in the first quarter and a drive that took 9:10 off the fourth quarter clock. The end result was Jacksonville’s first road win since December 15, 2019, when they came from behind to beat the Oakland Raiders in the last game played in Oakland.
Jaguars running back James Robinson rushed for 100 yards on 17 carries, including a 50-yard touchdown run. Rookie Travis Etienne had 13 carries for 45 yards.
Trevor Lawrence had himself a day, showing poise in the pocket and not getting happy feet. He has improved each week through the first three and finished the game 28-for-39 for 262 yards and three touchdowns. He did not turn the ball over.
Jacksonville put a good drive together with 5:11 left in the first quarter but had to settle for a 22-yard field goal after a 12-play drive. They would get the ball right back when Devin Lloyd picked Herbert off and set the offense up at the five. Unfortunately, the offense stalled and the Jags had to settle for another field goal, to go up 6-0.
The defense came through again on the next Chargers possession as Dawuane Smoot forced a fumble that was picked up by Foyesade Oluokun. Lawrence took advantage of the short field this time, finding Zay Jones with a 14-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead for the visitors. Jones was targeted 11 times, catching 10 balls for 85 yards.
Despite his rib injury that kept him from the majority of practices this week, Herbert found his groove on the next drive. He led a 75-yard drive, finding Mike Williams for a touchdown. Previous to that drive, Herbert was 3-for-7 for 22 yards through the air.
Herbert gutted it out today, and he did it without wide receiver Keenan Allen. It should also be noted that Joey Bosa went out early with a groin injury. To be honest, none of it made a difference.
The Jaguars’ defense made Herbert uncomfortable and the offensive line, including local kid Jawaan Taylor who kept Lawrence clean and gave him time to find the open guy.
Jacksonville drove down the field again prior to halftime, helped by a 35-yard catch by Christian Kirk. Evan Engram had a catch that was ruled a touchdown later in the drive that was eventually overturned and the visitors had to settle for a field goal, making it a 16-7 game. Kirk finished with six catches for 72 yards.
Los Angeles started the second half with a field goal, cutting it to a six-point game but the Jaguars had a quick answer as Robinson found a hole in the defense and took off for a 50-yard run, giving the Jaguars a 23-10 lead.
After forcing a punt, the Jacksonville offense went on a methodical 14-play drive that took 8:27 off the clock and culminated with Kirk catching a four-yard touchdown. The Jags added the two-point conversion when Lawrence hit a wide-open Engram who was all by himself, backing into the end zone and putting his team up 31-10.
The Chargers would then turn it over on downs, giving the Jaguars the ball and they capitalized with Lawrence finding Marvin Jones in the back of the end zone, extending the lead to 38-10. Not only was the touchdown the dagger, but the overall drive lasted over nine minutes and left Los Angeles 4:54 on the clock.
Herbert being left in to finish the game was a bit surprising given what he has been dealing with, but it is likely he asked to finish things out. He did just that, but it will be interesting to see if he did any further damage.
The team mantra this week and likely for the rest of the season and beyond was ‘So what, now what?’
It was something coach Doug Pederson brought up this week and the team used it all week during press conferences and appearances. It’s basically telling the team and the fans that no matter what happens, win or loss, it’s on to the next game. That’s a good attitude to have, but this was much more than a so what win, and the coach would likely agree.
Yes, the Chargers had some players hurt, but Herbert was hurt all week and many still picked the Chargers to win this one. The defense of the Jaguars had other ideas and they were key yet again to the win.
Jacksonville will be tested next Sunday again when they travel to 3-0 Philadelphia to take on an Eagles team that is absolutely rolling. Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-8 win over the Washington Commanders on Sunday. It will be a great early-season measuring stick for this young Jacksonville team. Kickoff will be at 1:00 p.m.