Most of the 1st quarter was a blur, as both teams traded punts back and forth. Then, when it looked like the Jaguars would be punting for the 3rd straight time, those tricky Jags made an appearance. Corey Grant took the direct snap in the punt formation, and run back and forth through the Chargers special team’s unit for a 56-yard touchdown. While the pandemonium was going on, Josh Lambo missed his first extra point as a Jaguar, only giving the Jaguars a 6-0 lead.
Both teams went on to trade punts once again, this time two between both. The Chargers finally found life late with under 3 minutes in the 1st half, with Philip Rivers completing three passes over 15 yards, including a 28-yard pass to Austin Eckler, who tipped toes down the sideline for a 28 yard touchdown pass. Nick Novak notched the extra point, giving the Chargers their first lead of the game at 7-6.
The Jaguars opened the 2nd half with a three and out, while the Chargers decided the back and forth punting completion was getting old. The Chargers moved down field with ease on a 6 play, 76-yard drive capped off by a 22-yard pass from Rivers to Eckler once again for a touchdown. Novak made the extra point, extending the Chargers lead to 14-6.
The Jaguars got in Chargers territory the next drive, but turned the ball over on downs on 4th and 6 from the Chargers 35-yard line. The call to go for it instead of attempting a field goal, especially since Lambo made a 56-yarder just last week, was questionable to me.
After an impressive stop by the defense on the next drive, Blake Bortles put together possibly the best drive of his career. The Jaguars passed the ball 11 straight times on the drive. However, the most impressive play came early in the drive on 3rd and 10, where Bortles found Marqise Lee for a 19-yard gain to keep the drive alive. The Jaguars ended the 11-play drive with a touchdown pass to Lee, who would also catch the two point conversion, tying the score at 14-14.
The Chargers ended up taking the lead early in the 4th with a 50-yard field goal from Novak, giving the Chargers the 17-14 lead.
Then, insanity ensued.
In an attempt to come back late in the game, Bortles threw his first interception of the day, on a tipped pass by Tre Boston, which was picked off by Casey Hayward.
The Chargers, trying to run out the clock, made a costly mistake when Eckler fumbled the ball, with Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson recovering the fumble, getting up, and taking it to this house for an apparent touchdown. The call was called back however, as the referees ruled that Gipson was down on the 36-yard line.
After a pass interference got the Jaguars on the 22-yard line, the craziness continued. Bortles missed Lee for a touchdown, but Lee was hit late, with the officials calling a late hit. Lee proceeded to dance after the play in celebration, which he was flagged for a taunting penalty. The officials then rescinded the late hit call, so instead of offsetting penalties, it was a 15 yard loss for the Jaguars. Bortles then proceeded to throw his 2nd interception of the day, this time be Tre Boston.
With all three time outs left, the Jaguars forced a three and out, and forced the Chargers to punt, getting the ball back with a minute to go.
This time, Bortles did not throw an interception, in fact, he led the team in field goal posistion. With 7 seconds left, and Tyler Shatley as the long snapper due to an injury to regular long snapper Matt Overton, Lambo hit a game tying 34-yard field goal. This tied the game, and sent it into overtime.
The Jaguars got the ball first in overtime, but were forced to punt to the Chargers. Rivers, in an attempt to make a big play threw the ball downfield, but was picked off by A.J Bouye, who returned the interception to the Chargers 2-yard line. Aaron Colvin was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty, which set the Jaguars back to the 17-yard line.
With the game on the line, Josh Lambo came in for a 35-yard field goal. The Chargers were then called for delay of game, which moved the spot up 5 yards. Lambo went to kick the 30-yard attempt, it was tipped by a Chargers defender, but just barely made it over the goal post, giving the Jaguars a win, and the largest sigh of relief they have ever felt in their lives.
There was no more appropriate way for that game to end.
The Jaguars move to 6-3 on the season, and go to Cleveland to play the Browns next week.
Sometimes you must win games like that folks. Maybe this is a sign of good luck for the Jaguars going forward. A win is a win in this league.
I hope all of you recover well after this game. And if you choose to have a few drinks, well, i can’t say i blame you.