JACKSONVILLE – Each Saturday during the 2019 season, nine Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – will break down the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Los Angeles Chargers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
The Jaguars will win if: They force Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers to turn the ball over. Rivers has been a turnover machine with eight interceptions in his last three games. The Chargers are also minus-10 in turnover margin this season.
The Chargers will win if: They can get to Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II. The Jags have struggled recently in pass protection. If Chargers pass rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have their way, the Chargers will be tough to beat.
As Ballou sees it: Jacksonville will play hard and Minshew Mania will return as the Jaguars snap their four-game losing streak.
Tony Boselli, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars left tackle
The Jaguars will win if: They control Bosa and Ingram on offense and defensively make the Chargers one-dimensional by stopping running back Melvin Gordon. Even with all the excitement around Minshew Mania, they better run the ball — and when they do get in third-and-long, they have to throw extra people at those two outside rushers.
The Chargers will win if: Rivers finds the fountain of youth and carved up the Jags as he has in the past. They still have a good group of skill players led by wide receiver Keenan Allen. If they protect Rivers with a suspect offensive line, they should have a good day.
As Boselli sees it: Both teams are playing for pride with the playoffs as a fading memory and I think the Jaguars being at home give them a slight edge. Both teams are struggling to score points, but with Minshew getting his first start since London the Jags will come out strong and score early. This will allow the front for of the Jaguars to pin their ears back and get after Rivers. For the first time in a while, the Jags will taste victory with a 24-21 victory.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
The Jaguars will win if: They can protect Minshew and create some offense early. But they have to block Bosa and Ingram, two very good ends. They need some confidence early. It is a team with a wounded psyche.
The Chargers will win if: They get running back Melvin Gordon going and stay on schedule. Rivers has thrown a bunch of picks this season, because they rarely have played from ahead. The Jags have lost four in a row; the Chargers, three in a row. Early confidence means everything.
As Frangie sees it: The Jaguars can win if they get off to a good start. If not, they are in trouble because Rivers has been so good against them. The first quarter means everything in this one.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
The Jaguars will win if: They get a boost with the return of Gardner Minshew II at quarterback. The Jags have lost four consecutive games by an average of 20.5 points and need some type of lift to get back to playing competitive ball. It appeared they got a bit of that last week when Minshew came in to lead the offense in the second half.
The Chargers will win if: Rivers protects the football offensively, and defensively Ingram and Bosa control the tempo. Rivers has been a turnover machine, throwing the second most interceptions in the NFL. The Jaguars' tackles struggled last week against the Buccaneers' ends and this is a step up from that. Bosa is technically one of the best pass rushers and Ingram is super athletic.
As Lageman sees it: The Jaguars will get a boost from the mobility of Minshew in the lineup and his ability to make the off-schedule plays, but it may not be enough against a Chargers offense that has weapons across the board.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
The Jaguars will win if: The offensive line has one of its best games of the season. Minshew can run around, but he still needs time – and they have to get the running game going with running back Leonard Fournette. This is all about an offensive line that has really struggled the last month.
The Chargers will win if: They win in the red zone. Rivers has killed the Jaguars in the red zone and in general. The Jaguars have not been good in the red zone. Check the red-zone statistics at the end of this one and they likely will be the difference.
As Martineau sees it: The Sunshine and Rainbows Club has been shut down for the rest of 2019. Maybe Minshew will provide some juice for this team, but I'll have to see it before I buy it. Chargers: 24-16.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
The Jaguars will win if: Minshew provides a lift and the defense comes up with an unexpected performance. Minshew has a chance to prove himself as the quarterback of the future in the season's final month, but he must be more consistent – and less turnover-prone – than he has been in his first 10 appearances this season. Defensively, the Jaguars must play well above the level they have reached during their current four-game losing streak.
The Chargers will win if: Rivers avoids interceptions. The veteran quarterback has dominated the Jaguars during his career, but he has thrown 15 interceptions this season – and that's an area where the Jaguars possibly can get an edge. If they don't, it's tough to find ways the Jaguars score enough to win.
As Oehser sees it: These teams have equal records, but this feels like a tough matchup for the Jaguars. The Chargers have weapons at running back, receiver, tight end and quarterback. That's a lot of balance and explosiveness. The Jaguars haven't proved able to counteract that sort of offense enough this season.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
The Jaguars will win if: They create turnovers and short fields. Turnovers were the key to the Jaguars' victories over Rivers in 2007 and 2017, the only two times the Jaguars have beaten the Chargers during Rivers' time as their quarterback.
The Chargers will win if: They can run. Gordon held out all training camp, the entire preseason and into the regular season; while he was slow to get started, he has shown in recent weeks he can control the game and set up play action for Los Angeles. We all know what the Jaguars' run defense looks like these days.
As Sexton sees it: The Chargers win this game. Whereas Los Angeles is losing close games, the Jaguars aren't even putting themselves in a position to play a close game. I get the Minshew attraction, and I admit to being interested and entertained by the rookie. But I'm taking Rivers, who has thrown 21 touchdowns and only five interceptions against the Jaguars during his career. I just don't trust these Jaguars enough to pick them to win, even against another 4-8 team travelling to the east coast.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
The Jaguars will win if: They can steal some possessions, get some takeaways from Rivers and set up the Jaguars' offense on short fields. If the Jaguars can cash a couple of those into touchdowns, then they should be in business.
The Chargers will win if: They can disrupt Minshew and keep him contained – and if Rivers plays well. The Chargers' pass rushers are very talented, and they can't allow Minshew to escape and make the off-schedule plays. Rivers is 6-2 against the Jaguars, and the only two losses have come to the last two Jaguars playoff teams: 2007 and 2017. He has thrown some picks this year, but if he's on, it could be tough to keep up with the Chargers' offense.
As Shadrick sees it: There are rumors and speculation of change coming. There were reports of players going "toe-to-toe" in the locker room after last week's game. The starting quarterback was pulled last week at halftime. This is a mess, and everyone is tight. If Minshew can find some magic and the Jags catch a couple breaks and get ahead early, then they have a chance. If they're down by a couple of scores or more early, it could be another long Sunday at the 'Bank.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
The Jaguars will win if: The offense is more productive. Let's hope Minshew provides the "spark" the Jaguars have been seeking on offense. We have seen him do it before he is going to have to make some plays with his feet, but I think we will see an improvement on offense against the Chargers and a more interesting game than recent weeks.
The Chargers will win if: The good Rivers shows up. The Chargers quarterback has given this team fits; he has won the past six of seven meetings. Jaguars defensive ends Josh Allen, Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue must get after Rivers early and force him into turnovers. Rivers has 15 interceptions this season. Sacksonville must create more in order to win.
As Sullivan sees it: The Jaguars have given me no reason to think they will win this game, but I think in this game they are able to get it done. Minshew back at quarterback gives me a glimmer of hope the Jaguars will be able to make something happen on offense. It might not be pretty, but I think the Jags snap a four-game losing streak on Sunday.