The San Diego Chargers have to be very confident after beating a good Indianapolis Colts team on Monday night. However, they can’t get too confident and expect an easy win as they travel cross country to take on the winless Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars may be 0-6, but have played a tough schedule so far, including games against the Kansas City Chiefs (6-0), Denver Broncos (6-0), Seattle Seahawks (6-1), and Indianapolis Colts (4-2). Last week, they played the Broncos tough for three quarters before falling off at the end.
Behind the arm of backup quarterback Chad Henne (who’s clearly better than starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert), the Jaguars were able to move the ball and were only outgained by 45 yards against Denver. Henne, who unfortunately for the Chargers will start in place of the injured Gabbert, has been better than people give him credit for but has had a problem with turnovers. Against Denver, he threw two fourth-quarter picks, which sealed their fate. However, the Chargers defense has struggled to get turnovers this season – they have just two interceptions and one fumble recovery through six games. If the Chargers fail to create turnovers, the Jaguars could be right in it at the end.
Meanwhile, San Diego’s secondary has struggled all season, while wide receiver Justin Blackmon has quietly been the NFL’s most impressive wide receiver over the past two weeks, averaging 163 yards per game since returning from suspension. Along with one of the NFL’s most talented running backs in Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jags have the playmakers who can possibly keep up with the Chargers offense if Henne is on point.
Of course, if the Chargers can execute one of their two winning formulas – either sustain long drives and control the clock on offense or unleash Philip Rivers and let him throw for 400 yards – they’ll be tough to beat in any game no matter how their defense plays. However, this is by no means an easy win and the Bolts need to focus for four quarters in order to enter their bye week with a winning record for the first time all season.