JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2022 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media Analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 38-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif., Sunday
- The Jaguars headed to the West Coast for a matchup with the Chargers that would let them know where they stood amongst the ranks of the elite. The Chargers' star-studded roster featured All-Pro-caliber passers, pass rushers and playmakers as general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Brandon Staley have assembled one of the best rosters in the league. If the Jaguars can go toe-to-toe with an opponent expected to vie for a title, they would walk away from the contest knowing that they are on the right track toward becoming a playoff contender. After beating the Chargers in impressive fashion, the Jaguars announced to the football world that they are an emerging force in the AFC. The Jaguars' size, speed and physicality overwhelmed the Chargers in a game that was not nearly as close as the score indicated.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- At the urging of a coaching staff intent on instilling a championship culture, the Jaguars beat up the Chargers from the first snap to the final whistle. The Jaguars' physicality and toughness overwhelmed the Chargers in the trenches on each side of the ball. The Jaguars bullied the hosts at the point of attack and the cumulative effect of the consistent pounding resulted in the Chargers waving the white flag in the fourth quarter. With the Jaguars amassing 151 rushing yards while holding the Chargers to 26 yards on the ground, the team's ability to run the ball and stop the run set the table for a dominant performance on the road.
- The second-year pro is starting to come into his own as the Jaguars' franchise quarterback. Lawrence's confidence is soaring after another strong performance in which he picked apart a defense with pinpoint throws and efficient play. Part of Lawrence's success can be attributed to Head Coach Doug Pederson scheming up easy completions through motions, shift and formation adjustments that result in one of the Jaguars' veteran playmakers running free on the perimeter. Lawrence took advantage of the easy "pitch-and-catch" game Sunday with 28 completions on 39 pass attempts for 262 yards and three scores. As Lawrence and Pederson continue to build trust, chemistry and continuity, the football world will continue to see the young quarterback's game improve each week.
- Wide receiver Zay Jones flies under the radar as a key contributor but his value as a WR3 was on display against the Chargers. The sixth-year pro caught an assortment of bubble screens, quick routes and crossers to tally 85 receiving yards and a score on ten catches. Although Jones' totals did not jump off the stat sheet, the steady production and timely playmaking from the veteran helped the Jaguars pick apart the Chargers' defense.
- Credit Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor for putting together a balanced offensive game plan that kept the Chargers on their toes. The Jaguars attacked the Bolts with a variety of runs, quick passes, screens and vertical shots that prevented Staley from getting into a rhythm as a defensive play caller. In addition, the Jaguars' diverse game plan featuring multiple playmakers touching the ball early and often kept the Chargers from honing in on a designated player in critical situations. With the board wide open for his play calls and playmakers, Pederson toyed with the Chargers in an impressive win on the road.
- Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell's defense continues to beat up opponents at the line of scrimmage. The Jaguars' beefy defensive line dominated the trenches and made life miserable for Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in the pocket. Although the impact was not reflected in the team's sack production, the all-star quarterback never found a rhythm due to the constant harassment in the pocket. On the perimeter, the Jaguars held up against a talented collection of playmakers. Jaguars rookie inside linebacker Devin Lloyd was the star of the day as a tackling machine who also displayed outstanding instincts, awareness and ball skills. The rookie standout continues to impress as the centerpiece of a defense that is stingy and downright nasty on game day.