Herbert and Staley reflect on what went wrong as a result of the Jags collapse

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. Justin Herbert sat silently at his locker for about 15 minutes, looking into the distance. He had taken off his boots, but was still wearing most of his grass-stained uniform.

It was a defining scene for a team devastated by a crash no one could have foreseen. And it made it clear that Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers weren’t going to recover from this loss — the third-biggest missed advantage in postseason history — anytime soon.

The Chargers did little in the second half, allowing Trevor Lawrence after four interceptions with four touchdown passes to rally Jacksonville to a 27-0 deficit. They lost 31–30 when Riley Patterson hit a 36-yard field goal in the final game.

“Of course it wasn’t easy for us,” Herbert said. “On offense, we need to do more in the second half and you know that falls on us both on offense and as a quarterback. I needed to perform better.

“I have to give them more than three points in the second half and that’s why I feel terrible on defense because of the incredible effort they put in today. But you have to be better as a team.”

Most will point to Lawrence’s heroism as the reason for returning with 27 points. He completed 24 of his last 31 passes for 258 yards with four touchdowns. He connected with Evan Engram, Zay Jones, Marvin Jones and Christian Kirk and then scored a 2-point conversion that saw the Jaguars (10–8) lose 30–28 and give them a chance to win instead of a draw. field goal.

Even then, the Chargers (10-8) did nothing to slow them down.

“Every time you win 27-7 at halftime, you have four shots and you end up winning by a 5-0 lead, that’s going to be killer,” said Chargers coach Brandon Staley. “I hurt for everyone in this locker room. This is a special group of guys, and this is the most difficult way to lose in the playoffs, and, of course, given the way we started the game.

“I know this is the team we’re capable of and in the second half we just didn’t finish the game.”

It didn’t help that cornerback Michael Davis left the game with a chest injury that forced rookie Ja’Ser Taylor onto the field. No wonder the Jaguars hit on him.

It didn’t help that striker Joey Boza lost his cool and earned a second penalty for a personal foul.

“I think he was disappointed,” Staley said. “There were a bunch of things that accumulated throughout the game. And he tried to negotiate this with the officials. But we can’t lose our temper like that. We need to make sure we stay on top. And you can’t hurt the team that way.”

Herbert threw for 273 yards and touched down with no interception, but the Chargers’ offense was largely ineffective after a 62-yard TD drive that made them 24-0 midway through the second quarter. Los Angeles finished with 320 yards and 18 first downs and scored just three points on four possessions in the second half.

Staley will certainly be questioned for being too conservative on both offense and defense – he took a field goal in the middle of the fourth quarter that Cameron Dicker conceded – and for not trying to control the ball anymore. . Los Angeles had 23 rush attempts for 69 yards, averaging 2.9 yards, while Herbert threw 43 times.

Herbert went over all this in his head as he sat silently by his locker.

“In terms of offense, we need to move the ball better,” he said. “Through the air, on the ground, you just need to move the chains, and we have not done enough. We didn’t score enough in the red zone.

“When we scored three points in the second half as a violation, this is our merit. Not hitting, not hitting third down when needed, some penalties. But tough, tough.”


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