Jaguars clinch AFC South, facing Chargers in first playoff appearance since 2017

Jacob Justice, Sports Reporter

With a 20-16 win versus the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, the Jacksonville Jaguars clinched the AFC South division, earning a berth in the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

The Jaguars will be facing off against the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card on Saturday at TIAA Bank Field, the first home playoff game for Jacksonville in five years.

The Jaguars, led by Super Bowl-winning head coach Doug Pederson and second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence, have been on fire in the second half of the season, racking up a five-game winning streak. After a disappointing start, this run allowed them to finish the season strong with a 9-8 record.

Second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence enters 2022 with pressure mounting, as does for any first-overall pick. (Justin Nedrow)

Their upcoming opponent, the Los Angeles Chargers, have also been winning consistently, evidenced by a 10-7 record that secured them a Wild Card spot. 

The high-powered offense of Jacksonville will look to take over in this matchup, as the trio of 4,000 yard passer Trevor Lawrence, 1,000 yard rusher Travis Etienne, and 1,000 yard receiver Christian Kirk are hoping to decimate a lackluster Chargers defense ranked 20th in yards allowed according to ESPN.

Although the Jaguars are a strong team heading into the postseason, the Chargers offense is no slouch in their own right, as the team is favored by 2 points. Holding the ninth-ranked offense in yards per game, Pro Bowl quarterback Justin Herbert is looking to manipulate a Jaguars defense that ranks 24th in yards allowed. 

The weather for this game is expected to be a bit chillier than what Floridians usually enjoy, with forecasts showing a high of 51 degrees and a low of 38 degrees.

Duval County is expected to show up loud and proud on Sunday. With the winner of this game next facing the AFC regular season champion Kansas City Chiefs, the stakes are higher than ever for Jacksonville football fans.


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