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The San Diego Chargers travel to Everbank Field to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Week 12 matchup that could mean the first three-game winning streak of the Gus Bradley era. The Chargers were expected to be a true competitor this year, but currently sit near the bottom of the league with a record of 2-8.
While it will be a battle between the two teams on each side of the ball, I'm looking for a specific individual matchup that could potentially make-or-break the game for Jacksonville.
But "individual matchups" does not necessarily mean just two players facing off against each other. It could be Malcolm Floyd vs. Aaron Colvin, Jermey Parnell vs. Melvin Ingram, the special teams of both teams, and more.
Last week's matchup of the Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans game was running back Blake Bortles vs. the Titans defense. The Jaguars won the game 19-13, and although Bortles did not have any type of career game, he threw for 242 yards and tossed the game winning touchdown to Julius Thomas, so I would say he won the matchup.
My matchup of the week is the Jaguars pass rush vs. Philip Rivers.
Jaguars pass rush vs. Philip Rivers:
The Jaguars pass rush has been very inconsistent throughout the entirety of the season. The team's leader in sacks is cornerback Aaron Colvin with four. The team has a total of 23 sacks this year, which is ranked 15th in the league, however they fail to consistently put pressure on the quarterback.
Phillip Rivers, although he is without his No. 1 receiver in Keenan Allen, ranks second in the NFL with 3,211 passing yards. Rivers is smart with the ball and has a very accurate arm, and he will thrive when he has time in the pocket to scan the field.
How this matchup will impact the game:
The Jaguars need to create more disturbance in the backfield and pressure opposing quarterbacks if they want to have any chance to contend this year.
Yes, I am telling you that this team has the talent to be a playoff contender this year. This team has learned how to stay competitive in games, and has the ability to win their (awful) division, or even clinch a Wild Card spot this year. The team is just missing one piece to being a true contender: a pass rush.
The way to beat the Chargers is to establish a consistent pass rush to shut down their biggest weapon -- Philip Rivers.