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Five key plays: Jaguars 38, Chargers 10


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Senior writer John Oehser examines five key plays from the Jaguars' 38-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in a 2022 Week 3 game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday

1. Quick kicks. The Jaguars scored twice early in the second quarter, controlling momentum but managing field goals on back-to-back red-zone possessions. After outgaining the Chargers 119-22 in the first quarter, a 22-yard field goal by kicker Riley Patterson gave the Jaguars a 3-0 lead with 14:57 remaining in the second quarter. Jaguars rookie linebacker Devin Lloyd intercepted a tipped pass on the ensuing possession to give the Jaguars 1st-and-goal at the Chargers 5. Three plays netted zero yards, and Patterson's 23-yarder with 13:52 remaining in the quarter pushed the Jaguars' lead to 6-0. "You settle for a couple of field goals, and that's not ideal," quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. Patterson also kicked a 23-yard field goal late in the first half, leaving them with three field goals of less than 25 yards in the first half, which meant some significant points on the scoreboard – and some also left on the field.

2. Smooooooooooot. The Jaguars' early-season takeaway trend continued in a big way in the first half Sunday and was a major reason they took early control. One series after Lloyd intercepted Herbert, veteran defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot got around the edge for a sack/fumble on Herbert. Linebacker Foye Oluokun's second fumble recovery of the season gave the Jaguars possession at the Chargers 28. The Jaguars, after ending their first two red-zone possessions Sunday with field goals, turned this one into a touchdown when Lawrence extended the play by drifting right and finding Zay Jones open in the middle of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown and a 13-0 Jaguars lead with 10:23 remaining in the quarter. "Something we talk about quite a bit is creating turnovers with the defensive unit," Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "We started the game again today with a couple of turnovers." The Jaguars have forced eight turnovers this season after forcing a league-low nine last season. "If they (the defense) keep creating turnovers like they're doing, obviously it helps the football team and it helps the offense so we can score points," Pederson said. "Good things will continue to happen."

3. J-Rob. All.The.Way. Pederson continued his early-season trend of fourth-down aggressiveness Sunday, with a huge play in that vein giving the Jaguars a double-digit third-quarter lead. The Jaguars, after a Chargers field goal early in the third quarter, drove to the 50 and faced 4th-and-1 from there. Lawrence handed to Robinson, who ran through a huge hole in the left side of the line and outraced the Chargers secondary to score untouched. "Just being able to pound the ball on fourth down is a huge play," Lawrence said. The play gave the Jaguars a 23-10 lead with 10:38 remaining in the third quarter. "Typically, on fourth-and-one, it could pop like that," Pederson said. "They were kind of stacking, loading the box up. They had a six-man front, so they ran out a five-man front. Our guys did a nice job of caving that left side down and [Robinson] did an outstanding job of just hitting the edge and going. It happens that way, glad it happened to us."

4. Efficient, efficient, efficient. Such was the convincing nature of the Jaguars' performance Sunday that the last quarter and a half wasn't as much about key plays as overall efficiency. The Chargers still had a chance after Robinson's touchdown run, but the Jaguars forced a punt on the ensuing possession and immediately drove 60 yards on 14 plays for a four-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to wide receiver Christian Kirk. Lawrence added a conversion pass to tight end Evan Engram to make it 31-10, and that drive included a second fourth-down conversion of the period for the offense when Lawrence gained two yards on 4th-and-2 from the 6. The Jaguars' first three drives of the second half produced 198 yards and all three ended in touchdowns.

5. Touchdown for Jones. And Kirk. And Jones. How balanced and efficient was the Jaguars' offensive performance Sunday? Consider that Lawrence threw a touchdown pass to each of the top three receivers – Zay Jones' 14-yarder in the second quarter, Kirk's four-yarder in the third quarter and an 11-yarder to Marvin Jones Jr. with 4:54 remaining. The trio combined for 20 catches and 190 yards in addition to the three scores. Lawrence called Jones' fourth-quarter touchdown "awesome," adding: "It was something we kind of planned in the second half when we got back down there. It was something we wanted to try in that area, and Marvin just does a great job. We saw it last year and this year, [Jones] just going up and making a play. That is when he is at his best, just making the play. It doesn't matter who is covering him or what the coverage is, just going up and making the play. I have a lot of faith in him. It was cool to be able to get him one."

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