Chargers vs Jaguars Preview |Wildcard Weekend| LA Looks For Revenge Of Week 3 Beat Down

In week three the Jags dominated the Chargers, now they meet in the playoffs. A look at how the Chargers can move on to the next round.

Quarterback Justin Herbert Photo Credit: Ryan Young | Los Angeles Chargers
Quarterback Justin Herbert Photo Credit: Ryan Young | Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers have an exciting game ahead of them against Jacksonville next week. Even though they were able to clinch a playoff berth two weeks ago with a win against the Colts, they still struggled to end the year on a positive note. They could have finished off the season with another win if not for Russell Wilson‘s late-season resurgence.

Jacksonville will certainly look to replicate what the Broncos did well against the Chargers and gameplan accordingly. Let’s preview next week’s wildcard weekend matchup between the division-winning Jacksonville Jaguars and the wildcard Chargers.

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Matchups to Watch

Chargers Run Defense vs Travis Etienne

The last time these two teams played, the Jags gashed them on the ground for nearly 5 yards a carry from their running backs. This time the main difference will be James Robinson who led the team in rushing at the time is no longer on the Jags. Travis Etienne is their version of Austin Ekeler and he will be used as such. He’s got nearly 1500 total yards on the year so expect their offense to run through him first. I’d expect to see a lot of screens and creative ways to get him the ball as well as using him as a check-down option.

Chargers Secondary vs Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Evan Engram

A big reason for the Jaguars’ success in the second half of the season has been the emergence of their passing attack. Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Evan Engram were seen as questionable free-agent signings by many but they’ve led a passing game that has helped the Jags win some close games. Those three along with the way that their offense uses Etienne in the passing game should be a pretty big threat for the Chargers’ secondary.

Stats to know

The Jaguars have won 6 of their last 7 games

Jacksonville has had the 10th fewest amount of rushing attempts per game over their last three games.

LA is 8-3-1 ATS in conference games this year and 2-2 in games without Mike Williams this season

As the away team, the Chargers are 5-4

In terms of offensive points per game, Jacksonville averages just .6 more points than LA

The Chargers have allowed the 2nd fewest passing yards per game in the NFL in their last three games

Opponent Improvements

This is a new segment particularly due to the matchup here. The Jags beat the Chargers to a pulp earlier in the year and I’m sure the LA coaches are already looking at things that they could have done better.

Something that they can immediately do better is run the football. Their leading rusher was Sony Michel the last time. Ekeler and Joshua Kelley have been more solid running the football as the year has gone on and I’d expect they’d be able to get more than 22 yards from their leading rusher this time around.

Jacksonville themself have improved as a team and should be ready for the prolific passing attack that LA has to offer. Trevor Lawrence has been playing some of the best football of his career and the front seven has shown flashes of potential. Jacksonville is playing some well-balanced, well executed football and has gotten hot at just the right time.

One of the main differences on the roster would be the fact that LA was without Keenan Allen and Mike Williams the first time around. Justin Herbert and the offense have shown improvement when healthy and they’ll likely be without Williams the second time around. Having Allen will certainly be a huge help with Palmer playing the WR2 role.

Quarterback Justin Herbert Photo Credit: Ryan Young | Los Angeles Chargers
Quarterback Justin Herbert Photo Credit: Ryan Young | Los Angeles Chargers