JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It was a recreation the Los Angeles Chargers had no enterprise shedding, however there they stood on the sideline at TIAA Bank Field on a cold January evening, helplessly watching as kicker Riley Patterson drilled a 36-yard subject aim to elevate the Jacksonville Jaguars to an inconceivable 31-30 come-from-behind victory in a wild-card playoff recreation Saturday evening.
“I’m hurting for everybody in that locker room,” L.A. coach Brandon Staley mentioned after the defeat. “This is the toughest way that you can lose in the playoffs.”
The Bolts intercepted quarterback Trevor Lawrence 4 occasions within the first half. They received the turnover battle 5-0. But in addition they watched as a 27-0 lead vanished, sending them packing into the offseason.
“It’s really tough because we think really highly of our team, and that’s a special group of guys in that locker room,” Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert mentioned. “They deserve better, and it didn’t go our way, and that’s the unfortunate part.”
The Jaguars’ comeback amounted to the third largest for a win within the NFL playoffs and the fifth largest in league historical past, if together with the common season.
“It’s embarrassing,” L.A. defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day mentioned. “It feels really bad, and it just sucks.”
At the outset of the sport, the Chargers wasted no time in setting an aggressive tone.
On the Jaguars’ second play from scrimmage, linebacker Drue Tranquill intercepted a cross from Lawrence. Two performs later, working again Austin Ekeler transformed the takeaway right into a landing.
On the Jags’ ensuing drive, cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. grabbed a decide of his personal and adopted with two extra within the first half, changing into the primary participant in NFL playoff historical past with three first-half interceptions.
The Bolts additionally pressured a first-half turnover after recovering a muffed level.
They transformed 4 of the 5 takeaways into factors and led 27-0 till, with 44 seconds remaining within the first half, Lawrence linked with tight finish Evan Engram for a 9-yard landing.
From there, Lawrence threw a landing cross on three consecutive drives to open the second half, and the Chargers’ meltdown — throughout which they had been unable to get a cease or develop any rhythm on offense — was in full impact.
“We just didn’t play clean enough football in the second half in all three phases,” Staley mentioned. “We didn’t score the ball or possess it well enough on defense. We had far too many penalties in the second half that really hurt us and didn’t play well enough in the red area, didn’t perform well there in the two minutes at the end of the game. Just didn’t play a good second half of football as a team.”
Herbert, within the first postseason begin of his profession, accomplished 25 of 43 passes for 273 yards and a landing.
“As an offense, we need to move the ball better, through the air, on the ground,” Herbert mentioned. “We just have to be able to move the chains. We didn’t do that enough. We didn’t score in the red zone enough. Only put up three points in the second half. So as an offense, that’s on us.”
The Bolts led all through, till Patterson transformed the successful subject aim as time expired.
“The way we started the game, that’s the team that I know that we’re capable of being,” Staley mentioned. “In the second half, we just didn’t finish the game.”