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Jaguars still struggling as Chargers QB Herbert shines in first career win.

John Watson, Sports Editor

Featured Image: Kyusung Gong | AP

When I moved to Jacksonville after the Jaguar’s 2017 AFC championship team season, I had high expectations for the team after they had accomplished so much in that year with a promising team. After yesterday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Jaguars look to be searching for answers of how to return to postseason form once again.

It seems as though the self-proclaimed “Sacksonville” defensive motto does not simply exist any longer. This has been apparent the last few games and continued into last night’s game. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert seemed to have free range in the pocket and even had some fun scrambling on multiple occasions. Herbert led the Chargers in rushing yards.

While Herbert threw for 347 yards and completed three touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown, it seemed as though the Jacksonville defense was almost non-existent. While the defensive line was able to record a single sack on the day and was able to contain the Charger’s rushing attack, it was not enough to secure the win. 

Chargers running back Joshua Kelley struggled with 12 carries for 29 yards.

As the Jaguars rush defense had a solid game against Kelley, the Jaguars offense seems to be improving and showed many glimpses of excellence. Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew seemed to be in control of the passing game and was able to throw two touchdown passes. While 173 pass yards is not too impressive, Jaguars running back James Robinson had a stellar game with 22 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

Aside from not being able to contain Justin Herbert in the air or on the ground, the Jaguars’ one notable highlight from the game was a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown by Daniel Thomas. This play would give the Jags the lead early in the third quarter and they looked promising as they have only a few times this season. 

But, this is Jacksonville and leads are like TV’s on Black Friday. Vanishing instantly.

Herbert was able to complete a 70 yard touchdown to receiver Justin Guyton and the game was tied at 29 apiece. Manageable right? Nope, Dede Westbrook fumbled on the kick return and the Chargers recovered the ball deep in Jacksonville territory. This would lead to Herbert showing his athleticism and rushing for a five yard touchdown with five seconds left in the third quarter to put the Chargers up by seven points. 

All momentum was lost for the Jaguars in the fourth quarter as they were not able to get anything going and the Chargers were able to hold on for their second win this season. The Jaguars however have lost their sixth straight game and move to 1-6 on the season. The Jaguars are heading into a bye week and face the Houston Texans on Nov. 8th after an extended break following yet another loss.

The Jaguars will once again look to bounce back from another rough defensive performance and get back in the win column in roughly two weeks. While success is most likely to take time in Jacksonville, the Jaguars showed glimpses of a team that wants to return to the AFC championship game.

While it may be awhile before we see that happen, it’s nice to see a ray of hope through what seems to be, at times, dense fog.

___

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Jaguars still struggling as Chargers QB Herbert shines in first career win.