After a shocking week one loss to the Chiefs, the Chargers found a way to inspire their fans again after routing the Jaguars 38-14 on White Hot Sunday, at Qualcomm stadium. After blowing a 21-point lead last week, the Chargers found themselves in an almost identical situation against the Jaguars with a three score lead going into halftime, except this time they finished it off. The Bolts kept their foot on the gas, and poured it on in the second half, not letting the Jaguars score until the game was well out of hand.
The Chargers first drive was also similar to last week, sustaining a long drive and ending it with a Melvin Gordon 3-yard touchdown. The Chargers showed they wanted to establish the run early, by running the ball six out of their first eight plays.
After the teams traded punts on their next drives, the Chargers regained the momentum on a big play. Casey Hayward ignited the crowd by deflecting a Blake Bortles’ pass and somehow found a way to keep his eye on the ball and intercepted the ball from his back. After the pick, Philip Rivers capitalized and found Travis Benjamin for a 6-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.
On the next position, Jacksonville started to move the ball and made it down to the San Diego 35-yard line before they went backwards on third down, leading to Jason Myers missing a 54-yard field goal attempt. Once again, the Chargers took advantage. This good field position put them int the position to take a chance and hit Travis Benjamin on a 43-yard pass, to set up Antonio Gates first touchdown of the season.
The Bolts went into the second half up 21-0, and they were on a mission to prove that they would not choke this one away. On the Jaguars first possession they gained a total of one yard, and were only able to gain one first down on their first three drives after the break.
After Danny Woodhead went down in the first half, it felt awfully like when Keenan Allen went down, but this time the second half offense rolled right along. On their first possession they were faced a 3rd-and-12, when Tyrell Williams caught a short crossing route, then turned it up the sideline, losing defenders with his speed, then broke two tackles at the 5-yard line before going in for a 44-yard touchdown. The Chargers effort was shown perfectly when left guard Orlando Franklin sprinted down the field with Williams on his catch, and ended up being the one who pushed him into the end zone, to finish the highlight reel play.
The Chargers didn’t stop there as they finished Jacksonville off with a 45-yard bomb to Travis Benjamin, when he and Philip Rivers looked at each other and saw a mismatch, and exploited it for Benjamin’s second score of the day making it 35-0. The Jaguars would end up scoring twice in the fourth quarter, but never threatened as the Chargers coasted to victory.
The defense was especially impressive today holding the Jaguars to only 69 yards rushing, and only converting two of their twelve third down attempts. One of the more obvious improvements was the way they shut down the Jaguars running backs in the passing game after allowing 7 catches for 129 yards to Spencer Ware in week one. This week they gave up eight catches to T.J. Yeldon, but he managed only ten yards getting tackled for a loss on multiple occasions.
Casey Hayward was another bright spot, making his name known to Charger fans with his huge day terrorizing Blake Bortles intercepting him twice. As a whole the defense played lights out, showing that they could hold a lead if the offense could give it to them.
Even with a huge victory, the Chargers took a couple big losses on the day with injuries to Danny Woodhead, and Jahleel Addae. Woodhead was carted off the field in the first quarter with a knee injury, and we now know that he has torn his right ACL, and will miss the rest of the season leaving San Diego down two of their top playmakers only two weeks. Chargers starting safety Jahleel Addae broke his collarbone on Sunday and should miss 4-6 weeks.
The Chargers travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts, Sunday September 25th, looking to get above the .500 mark for the first time since week one of last season.
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