The Jaguars were slightly underdog to start Saturday’s game against the Chargers and heavily underdog at halftime, but they will advance to the divisional round of the playoffs.
Riley Patterson kicked a game-winning 36-yard field goal on the final play of the game as the Jaguars cruised to a 31-30 victory in a game they once trailed 27-0 in the first half. It’s the third-biggest comeback in postseason history.
A creative play by Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson set up the winning kick. The Jaguars lined up with three runners on fourth-and-one and gave the ball to Travis Etienne down the right side of the line. Etienne got the corner and ran 25 yards to set the stage for Patterson’s kick.
The comeback came after Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw four interceptions, but the first overall pick in the 2021 draft showed his resilience. He threw for touchdowns on four straight possessions, and the Jaguars defense turned on the pressure on the Chargers to put the game back within arm’s reach.
Chargers kicker Cameron Dicker missed a 40-yard field goal to aid the return effort and the Jaguars made the most of it.
Lawrence finished 28 of 47 passing for 288 yards and his four touchdowns came to four different receivers. Etienne had 20 carries for 109 yards, while Christian Kirk and Zay Jones each had eight catches over the course of the game.
After the fourth of those touchdowns, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after he slammed his helmet into the grass while arguing a penalty on Jaguars tackle Jawaan Taylor. That allowed the Jaguars to go for two and be in position to win the game with a field goal.
While the Jaguars will go on to play another game, the Chargers will have to pick up the pieces of a massive meltdown. Head coach Brandon Staley had a shaky record in close games going into Saturday and his job could be in jeopardy after giving up a 27-point lead.
Those two trajectories didn’t seem to be on the cards at halftime, but the Jaguars didn’t and the NFL got a classic finish in Jacksonville.