This was a wild one, with swings both ways.
The Jaguars rallied – and rallied again – and showed fight throughout. But the end result in their first game ever in Los Angeles was too much like previous Jaguars games this season.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew II completed 14 of 27 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, rallying the Jaguars from an early double-digit deficit. But a back-and-forth third quarter swung momentum away from the Jaguars as the Los Angeles Chargers rallied for a 39-29 victory at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday afternoon.
"I think every week there's good and bad," Minshew said, adding of the Jaguars rallying from an early 16-point deficit: "That's one thing I am proud of. We've just got to keep working and put a complete game together. It hurts, but I wouldn't say we're discouraged. I think everybody's looking for a solution still.
"It's a fight. It's tough right now. We know that. But as long as these guys keep fighting, we're going to figure it out."
The Jaguars lost their sixth consecutive game after a Week 1 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Chargers won for the first time since a Week 1 victory over Cincinnati.
"I can tell you this: We all feel ---" Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "One thing that's out there on the field is they're playing as hard as they can. We're just not making the plays we need to make. That's on all of us. It starts with me. … If you looked at all of us, I think there's a level of disappointment when you're not able to make plays and do all of that. It's hard after the game to not feel upset when you've worked so hard and put everything into it.
"I've said before: If you talk about frustration and disappointment, I look to myself. I've got to find a way to get this team, coaches, everybody, over the top and to keep plugging away."
Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson keyed an early rally, scoring two second-quarter touchdowns – a three-yard run and a nine-yard reception – to cut a 16-0 Los Angeles lead to two at halftime. Robinson rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and caught four passes for 18 yards and a touchdown.
Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert completed 27 of 43 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns. He threw two touchdown passes and ran for another in a third quarter that featured 34 points from the two teams. The Chargers entered the quarter leading 16-14 and finished it leading 36-29.
The Chargers, who entered the game with eight sacks in five games, registered five sacks of Minshew Sunday.
The Jaguars registered a sack – their sixth of the season – on Sunday; defensive tackle Taven Bryan and defensive end Dawuane Smoot combined to sack Herbert in the third quarter.
The Jaguars did not force a turnover, but the Jaguars turned the game's momentum with a blocked punt early in the third quarter. Rookie safety Daniel Thomas blocked a punt on the Chargers' first second-half possession and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown.
That marked the Jaguars' third touchdown in less than 10 minutes and marked their first lead of the game.
The Jaguars are off on Sunday for their Week 8 bye week.
"We're going to take a good look at things," Marrone said. "I told them, 'We have to put this behind us. We have to learn from it. We have to take a different mentality and a different step going into this next phase after the bye week.' That's what I told players after the game."
Step by step:
*The Chargers took a 3-0 lead with Michael Badgley's 35-yard field goal on their first possession, a score that came on a 77-yard drive that came after the Jaguars went three-and-out on the game's first possession; Herbert's 31-yard keeper keyed the series. The Chargers pushed the lead to 9-0 on a seven-yard run by wide receiver Joe Reed with :05 remaining in the quarter; Herbert's 26-yard pass to wide receiver Keelan Allen gave Los Angeles first-and-goal at the Jaguars 7 with Badgley missing the conversion after Reed's touchdown.
*Herbert's 22-yard pass to tight end Donald Parham Jr. gave the Chargers a 16-0 lead with 10:30 remaining in the second quarter; the Chargers had 201 total yards at that point. The Jaguars responded with one of their most impressive possessions of the season, a 78-yard drive that ended with a three-yard run and two-point conversion run by Robinson. The Jaguars drove to the Los Angeles 29 on their ensuing possession, but defensive end Joey Bosa stopped Robinson for a two-yard loss on 4th-and-1 from there. The Jaguars forced a punt on the ensuing series, then went 67 yards to cut the lead to two when Minshew passed nine yards to Robinson; Robinson started the drive with runs of 14 and 13 yards on back-to-back plays.
*The Jaguars took their first lead early in a wild third quarter when Thomas blocked a punt and returned it 16 yards for a 21-16 lead with 13:21 remaining in the third quarter. The Chargers retook the lead with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Herbert to tight end Virgil Green; the Chargers drove 47 yards after stopping Minshew on a one-yard run on 4th-and-2 on the previous possession. A 28-yard touchdown pass from Minshew to Chris Conley gave the Jaguars the lead again on their next possession, with Minshew completing a two-point conversion pass to tight end Ben Ellefson to push the Jaguars' lead to 29-22 with 2:54 remaining in the third quarter. A 70-yard pass from Herbert to wide receiver Jalen Guyton on the ensuing series tied it 29-29. Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook fumbled the ensuing kick, with Herbert capping the following drive with a five-yard run that pushed the Chargers' lead to 36-29 with :05 remaining in the third quarter.
*Badgley's 35-yard field goal with 6:26 remaining pushed the Chargers' lead to 39-29.
Notable: By allowing more than 30 points Sunday, the Jaguars became the first team since the 1984 Minnesota Vikings to allow 30 or more points in six consecutive games in a single season. … Right guard A.J. Cann missed Sunday's game with a shoulder injury, ending a streak of 35 consecutive games started for the sixth-year veteran; Cann was among eight game-day inactives for the Jaguars with the others being weakside linebacker Myles Jack (ankle), tight end Tyler Eifert (neck), safety Jarrod Wilson (hamstring), rookie quarterback Jake Luton, rookie cornerback Luq Barcoo, defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale and rookie tight end Tyler Davis. Jack, Eifert and Wilson were ruled out Friday. … Rookie Ben Bartch started for Cann. Dakota Allen started for Jack, Brandon Watson started for Wilson and rookie DaVon Hamilton started at nose tackle for veteran Abry Jones after Jones was placed on injured reserve this week.
Injury report: Allen sustained a first-quarter ankle injury and did not return; he was replaced by Quincy Williams at weakside linebacker. … Cornerback Sidney Jones IV was evaluated for a concussion in the first quarter and was cleared of a concussion but ruled out with a back injury. … Westbrook sustained a third-quarter knee injury returning a kickoff and did not return … Jaguars running back Devine Ozigbo sustained a fourth-quarter hamstring injury.
Take a look at images of the Jaguars as they travel to the west coast to take on the Los Angeles Chargers - presented by Atlas Air.