The Jaguars were slight underdogs at the start of Saturday’s game against the Chargers and heavy underdogs at halftime, but they will be moving on to the divisional round of the playoffs.
Riley Patterson kicked a game-winning 36-yard field goal on the final play of the game and the Jaguars pulled off a 31-30 win in a game they once trailed 27-0 in the first half. It’s the third largest comeback in postseason history.
A creative play from Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson set up the winning kick. The Jaguars lined up with three running backs on a fourth-and-one and gave the ball to Travis Etienne around the right side of the line. Etienne got the corner and sprinted 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 of the 2021 draft showed off his resilience. He threw touchdowns on four straight possessions and the Jaguars defense turned up the heat on the Chargers to put the game back within reach. Chargers kicker Cameron Dicker missed a 40-yard field goal to aid the comeback effort and the Jaguars took full advantage.
Lawrence finished 28-of-47 for 288 yards and his four touchdowns went 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 slamming his helmet to the turf while arguing for 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 be moving on to play another game, the Chargers will be left to pick up the pieces of a massive collapse. Head coach Brandon Staley had a shaky history in close games coming into Saturday and his job could be in danger after giving up a 27-point lead.
Those two trajectories didn’t appear to be in play at halftime, but the Jaguars didn’t pack it in and the NFL got a classic finish in Jacksonville.