Remember when the Jacksonville Jaguars were the laughingstock of the National Football League for, well, forever?
Well, they’re the one’s laughing now after Saturday night’s thrilling wild-card round victory.
Trevor Lawrence threw four interceptions in the first half, and three of them in the first quarter. They trailed 27-0 to the Los Angeles Chargers at one point.
They won 31-30, completing the third-largest comeback in NFL playoff history.
The Chargers turned all three of Lawrence’s first-quarter picks into scores: two Austin Ekeler touchdowns and a field goal. In fact, nothing went right for the Jaguars in the first half. Up 24-0 with just under six minutes to go in the half, the Chargers punted the ball away, but it was muffed by Jacksonville and recovered by Los Angeles, who turned it into a field goal and went up 27-0.
However, from then on, the Jags outscored Los Angeles 31-3. When the Chargers were up 30-20 in the fourth quarter, they went on a 14-play drive that killed lots of clock – however, Cameron Dicker missed the 40-yard field goal, giving the Jags life, and they took advantage of the opportunity. They drove 70 yards down the field, and Lawrence found Christian Kirk for a score. After the touchdown, the Chargers were called for an unsportsmanlike conduct, which moved Jacksonville up on the PAT – so they opted to go for two, and Lawrence ran it in, making it a two-point game with 5:25 to go. The Jaguars forced a three-and-out and got the ball back with 3:09 to go.
Jacksonville faced a 4th and 1 with 1:28 to go in L.A. territory, and they handed it off right to Travis Etienne, who ran it for 25 yards to put them in winning territory. After running the clock down to three seconds, Riley Patterson knocked down the walk-off 36-yarder as time expired, officially completing the comeback.
Oh, and with the victory, Lawrence still has not lost on a Saturday since 2014.
Lawrence totally redeemed himself by throwing four touchdowns after turning the ball over four times. He threw for 288 yards, with Evan Engram leading the way with 93 receiving yards on seven catches, one of them a touchdown. Kirk has eight for 78 and a score, while Jones also had eight receptions – he had 74 yards and a touchdown.
The Jags defense held Ekeler in check, as he had just 43 scrimmage yards, despite his two scores (thanks to decent field position). Justin Herbert completed 25 of his 43 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown. Gerald Everett caught six passes for a game-high 109 yards and a touchdown.
The Jaguars await their opponent for the AFC divisional round, but after back-to-back comebacks to put themselves in the playoffs and then advance, they sure have some momentum.