The Los Angeles Chargers fell victim to the tough defense of the Jacksonville Jaguars and lost 38-10 at SoFi Stadium.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert made 25 passes for 297 yards and one touchdown. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence made 28 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns.
Bolts wide receiver Joshua Palmer made six catches for 99 yards. Jags wideout Zay Jones had 10 receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown. Veteran wideout Marvin Jones Jr. mentioned how Jones and Lawrence had a good connection throughout training camp.
“Those two make great plays together and the wide receivers in general,” Jones Jr said. “Having that trust with [Lawrence], that it doesn’t matter what play it is, we know somebody’s gonna catch it.”
The Jaguar defense held the Charger’s rushing game to 26 yards. They also pestered Herbert with six quarterback hits and nine pass deflections. Although the Charger’s defense had more tackles (52-37), the Jaguars had more plays with 75 compared to the Bolts’ 58.
Herbert noted how wide receivers like Palmer and DeAndre Carter stepped up during the contest.
“They had a good game plan. Unfortunately, we didn’t move the ball as well as we would have liked,” Herbert said. “[Wide receiver Mike Williams] had a nice catch on one of the go balls near the end zone. But just had to get everyone else involved … I just had to find the other guys and do your best to move the ball.”
Herbert, who suffered a ribs injury against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, decided to play in a game-time decision.
“This injury is going to be there for a while. If you guys know the injury, it’s not like it’s going to feel better next week or the week after that,” said head coach Brandon Staley. “This thing is going to be present for a while. [Herbert] felt good today. We’re going to continue to manage it the best we can.”
While the Jacksonville defense denied the Chargers a first down throughout the first quarter, the Chargers protected the endzone from the Jaguars.
When Lawrence led the Jags to the Chargers’ red zone for the first time, the Bolts forced them to punt for a field goal.
The Bolts made two turnovers in the second quarter that gave Jacksonville a 10-point benefit. After Herbert was picked off by linebacker Devin Lloyd, the Bolts’ defense again forced the Jaguars to kick, putting Jacksonville up 6-0.
Herbert also fumbled on a third down, which set up the Jaguars for their first touchdown of the game.
When the Bolts offense returned, passing plays advanced them down the field. Although he was double-teamed throughout the matchup, wide receiver Mike Williams secured a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Jacksonville secured another field goal to end the first half with a 16-7 lead.
Herbert’s passes to wideouts Joshua Palmer and Jalen Guyton would advance the Chargers to a first in goal early in the third. Incomplete passes would have them settle for a field goal.
The Charger offense struggled soon after while the Jaguars continued to score. Jacksonville made two touchdowns in the phase, one being on a 50-yard rush by running back James Robinson.
“Our defense did a great job of holding up and really just not giving up anything,” Lawrence said. “To see our offense respond and put together three scoring drives, and our defense on the flipside to stop them all the time, it was awesome.”
Jacksonville’s final touchdown came from the Fontana native Jones Jr. who noted how several of his family members attended the game.
“I got people that live two miles away from [SoFi Stadium] and people who live two hours away,” Jones Jr. said. “It’s always good to come back home and at the end, top it off with a touchdown. I definitely needed that.”
This loss has been the toughest home loss for the Chargers since their 45-0 defeat by the New England Patriots in 2020.
The Chargers will travel to battle the Houston Texans on October 2 in NRG Stadium at 10:00 A.M. PST.