Travis Johns - @twjohns97
This week, the Jags have an incredibly favorable matchup against a San Diego team that is littered with problems. Offensively, the team should be able to get Yeldon and (hopefully) Chris Ivory rolling against a defensive front with some talent, but also some players who aren’t performing at a high level. Chiefs RB Spencer Ware was able to tear them up for almost 200 total yards behind a worse offensive line than the one that the Jags field. While the Chargers do have a talented cornerback group with Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers that can potentially cause problems for our WRs, Julius Thomas should have a field day against the San Diego LBs, especially Denzel Perryman (who covers worse than Paul Posluszny).
Defensively, the Jags should dominate this game, as the Chargers have lost their best offensive weapon for the season in WR Keenan Allen. Our pass rush shouldn’t have as much of a challenge as it did in Week 1, as they’re facing a worse offensive line with a completely immobile QB in Phillip Rivers. The focus for our defense should be on 3 players: Antonio Gates, the legendary TE, rookie TE Hunter Henry and veteran scatback Danny Woodhead. All three of these players have the potential to punish our defense (specifically our LBs and safeties) just like SD did last year. Woodhead is an excellent receiving back who complements starting RB Melvin Gordon nicely and gives the Chargers’ offense a lot of flexibility. If the Jags can stop these explosive players from going off, this should be an easy day.
Final Score: JAX 27, SD 13
Jordan de Lugo - @jordandelugo
On paper the Jaguars have a much more talented roster than do their Week 2 opponents. But the Jaguars don't know how to win yet, and are traditionally terrible on the West Coast (2-10 all time). The Jaguars offense should be able to put up big numbers against a Chargers D that was torched by Alex Smith and the usually average Chiefs passing attack. The Chargers have a couple of pretty good cornerbacks - Jason Verrett is a really talented guy but likely lacks the size to match up with Allen Robinson, and Brandon Flowers lacks the speed to keep up with Hurns, Lee, Greene and Co. The Jaguars will air it out early and often against a Chargers team that can no longer deploy Eric Weddle, the bane of Blake Bortles existence in his first two career match ups with the Chargers.
Defensively the Jaguars face a tough task, but one that should be much easier than their Week 1 matchup with the best QB in the NFL Aaron Rodgers. Phillip Rivers has traditionally torched the Jaguars D, but this is a new Jaguars defense, one that boasts speed off the edge and a talented group of defensive backs. Rivers will have his moments against the young Jaguars defense, but they will get their shots in too. The heavy footed Rivers will have a difficult time avoiding the Jaguars pass rush than in years past. They need to make sure not to let Danny Woodhead eat them up out of the backfield, but otherwise there aren't a ton of scary weapons on the San Diego offense (they lost Keenan Allen with a torn ACL in Week 1). The Jaguars and the Chargers trade punches for a while, but in the second half the Chargers won't be able to keep up with a potent Jaguars offense.
Final Score: JAX 31, SD 24
Zach Weeks - @zachweeks11
I think the Jaguars are as confident as could be expected considering they just lost a close home opener to the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars lost to the San Diego Chargers in Week 12 of the 2015 regular season, 31-25 and I’d say they are going to exact a little revenge this weekend. The Chargers are reeling after a demoralizing loss to a battered Kansas City Chiefs team that played without perhaps their two best players, Jamaal Charles and Justin Houston. They also gave up 360 passing yards to the game manager Alex Smith. With the loss of star wide receiver Keenan Allen for the rest of the year, the Chargers will be without viable receivers to help out Phillip Rivers and will be unable to move the ball the same way they did a year ago on a much less athletic Jaguars defense.
The Jaguars will need to get to the quarterback more effectively than they did last week. Another key is to keep Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead from getting large chunks of yards and force Rivers and the limited Chargers receivers to convert long third down plays.
The Jaguars will win their first game of the season in a relatively close game.
Final Score: JAX 35, SD 24
Cody Rainwater - @_CodyRainwater
This week Jacksonville goes on the road to face the San Deigo Chargers in a must win game for both squads. Here are my keys to victory.
First, and most importantly is keeping QB Blake Bortles upright in the pocket. If the offensive line can keep Bortles comfortable he could have a big day against a defense that gave up 330 yards through the air just a week ago. Secondly the running game has to be better. Plain and simple. With an abysmal 48 yards on the ground last week, TJ Yeldon and Denard Robinson couldn't get anything going behind an offensive line that was down right bad in terms of run blocking. Both averaged just 2 yards per carry. RB Chris Ivory is back with the team after being hospitalized earlier in the week, but will not play on Sunday. It could be a long day for Yeldon if the run blocking doesn't step up. Lastly on the offensive side of the ball, one or both of the Allen brothers needs to have a good game with the other coming up with some complimentary catches against DB's not named Jason Verrett, who will play Sunday.
On defense, the first key to success is stopping the Chargers running attack which is currently ranked 3rd in the NFL after putting up 155 yards last week against Kansas City. Danny Woodhead accounted for 89 yards on 16 carries and a receiving TD, while Melvin Gordon had 57 yards on 14 carries including 2 scores on the ground. Needless to say Malik Jackson and the rest of the front seven will need to have a good performance both stuffing runs and getting pressure on QB Phillip Rivers. Forcing Rivers out of the pocket and making him throw under duress will be vital in this game. Completing 68% of his passes last week, the Jaguars secondary will need to stop WR Travis Benjamin from having a big game as he remains the lone experienced playmaker on the outside for the Chargers after putting Keenan Allen on IR. With that being said if the Jagas can cover Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry in the middle of the field they should get a win this week.
Final Score: JAX 33, SD 24
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