Texas

Lawrence rallied the Jaguars from 27 to defeat the Chargers 31-30

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Trevor Lawrence followed up with four interceptions and four touchdown passes – one of the most incredible turnarounds in NFL postseason history – to lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 31-30 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night.

Lawrence set up the game-winner shot, highlighted by Travis Etienne’s 25-yard run in the fourth-and-1 game, and put the Jaguars in position for Riley Patterson’s 36-yard field goal in the final game. It ended with a 27-point comeback, the third-highest in playoff history.

“Couldn’t you write a crazier script,” Lawrence said. “We said in the dressing room that this is how our season goes. We never get out of a fight… To be honest, I was speechless just to see what faith can do and see when a team believes.” in each other, what can you achieve.”

Patterson’s shot barely stayed in the right stance and sparked wild celebration for a franchise that had won just four games in the previous two years. The Jaguars (10-8) won their sixth game in a row and fifth in a row at home, all five in a come-from-behind style.

Nobody could see it. Maybe not even Lawrence. But he was a firm hand in the lead after a first-half rout. He completed 28 of 47 passes for 288 yards, which is shocking considering how he started.

Lawrence was terrible when he started the first playoff game in Jacksonville after losing the 2017 AFC title game. He became the third quarterback in the Super Bowl era to throw four steals in the first half of a playoff game, joining Detroit’s Gary Danielson and Denver’s Craig Morton.

But he bounced back like no other in NFL history.

“I had no choice,” Lawrence said. “If we are going to win this game by digging ourselves into a hole like this, you have to score a lot. By doing this, your quarterback should be playing well. So I didn’t really have much of a choice.

“These guys have sacrificed too much for me to cause us to lose an opportunity. That’s what I was thinking. I know that I will put on plays. I just have to get back on the right track. The guys around me were playing. It’s not just me.”

The Jaguars, who also flipped the ball when a punt hit Chris Claybrook’s helmet, became the first team in the Super Bowl era to win a playoff game by a rev margin of minus five or worse. Teams with this turnover deficit were 0-19.

Lawrence misfired early and often and was booed long before halftime. His confidence seemed to be shattered. His swagger is gone. All the progress he made in his first season with coach Doug Pederson looked like he would be wiped out in the team finals.

But Lawrence never hesitated. He linked up with Evan Engram, Marvin Jones, Zay Jones and Christian Kirk for touchdowns, which increased the team’s confidence in their quarterback and his return.

Lawrence added one of his biggest plays when he jumped for a 2-point conversion from 5:25 to a game that made the score 30-28 – and put the Jaguars in position to win rather than tie.

In response, the Jacksonville defense fired Justin Herbert and then hit with a punt. From there he was succeeded by Lawrence with considerable help from Étienne.

“I feel like I’m running backwards when it comes to this point in the game, you have to be closer,” Etienne said. “The coach believed in me in the fourth and first that I will give the ball. I had to do something for my teammates.”

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 (10–8) finished with 320 offensive yards and 18 first downs and scored just three points on four second-half possessions.

GAME CHANGING PENALTY

Jaguars rookie Travon Walker, who received the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, was flagged for unnecessary rudeness after being fired from second overall in the fourth quarter. Instead of facing third and 13th, the Chargers were given 15 yards and an automatic first try. This helped set up a field goal attempt, but Cameron Dicker missed a 40-yard shot that turned out to be huge.

It seemed that this would be the third time this season that Walker had taken a costly penalty late in the game.

He was cited for a rough pass in the 3rd and 12th game – an incomplete pass – that helped Indianapolis beat Jacksonville in Week 6. A week earlier, he dropped Houston quarterback Davis Mills to the ground long after the whistle, scoring a 15 for being unnecessarily rude and turning the game from the third and 20th to a first down. Houston found the end zone seven draws later and won.

MAJOR INJURIES

Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter and left tackle Jamari Salier left the game with ankle injuries. Chargers cornerback Michael Davis suffered a chest injury. Lawrence cut the tip of his left thumb in the fourth, but wrapped it up and continued playing.

NEXT

Chargers: This offseason will be tough to deal with.

Jaguars: Look out for your road division rival, who is likely to be Kansas City’s top seed next weekend. The Chiefs won the regular season.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL.

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.



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