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Chargers vs. Jaguars, 8:15 ET
Cross-country matchups always are interesting to me. For whatever reason, it always seems like the team traveling doesn’t have their best game. There are moments this season where the traveling team succeeded, and that includes a game where Jacksonville came to Los Angeles. Will it be a repeat, or will Justin Herbert get his revenge?
This might be one of the more interesting of the playoff games – Herbert is in a playoff game for the first time and the Chargers do seem somewhat healthy. They lost on the road in a high-scoring game against the Broncos last week, but it wasn’t something they needed to win. Herbert didn’t even play the full game and most of the skill players were balanced out over the game. This is the second time the Chargers will face the Jaguars this season. In the first game, the Chargers were embarrassed at home losing 38-10. Herbert was decent in the game with 297 yards a touchdown, and one interception. This isn’t exactly the same Charger team though. Whatever issues they were having at the beginning of the season seem to have been turned around. I think one thing is the involvement of Austin Eckler. His role is so important to the offense and I think he can make a big impact on an average rushing defense from the Jaguars.
This is also Trevor Lawrence’s first playoff game and first home playoff game for the Jaguars in years. They have certainly come a long way since Lawrence joined the team – remember last year’s disaster with Urban Meyer? I don’t think this is a replica of the first game between the two teams, but Jacksonville shouldn’t be written off either. If Lawrence can show the poise he displayed in his big college games, I think he should be able to find the holes in the Chargers defense. I do think the Chargers have been better on defense recently, but they still are beatable. Most teams haven’t given up points to the Broncos, but Denver didn’t struggle against them – the Jaguars are a better offensive team than Denver, too. So the two teams have relatively even offenses in my opinion (I’d take the Chargers team) but the Jaguars have a better defense.
I actually think it makes sense to take the Jaguars in this game, but I’m not going to play it that way. (I’ve got a small future on the Chargers, but do think that it makes more sense to take the points at home with Jacksonville.) I don’t really trust either team to coast in this game. I think we are going to see some points between two young quarterbacks that can sling the ball. I recommend the over in this game – the Chargers offense is too good to not score, and the Jaguars should be able to get most of their gameplan against an average Chargers defense.
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