By Mike Bonts
JACKSONVILLE (Florida Sports Wire) – Trailing 27-7 at the half, the Jacksonville Jaguars rallied to advance in the NFL AFC playoffs with a 31-30 win over Los Angeles Chargers Saturday night before 70,250 at TIAA Bank Field.
The NFL just finalized the schedule of sites, dates, and times for the Divisional Playoffs. In the AFC the Jaguars will travel to meet the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, Jan. 21 @ 4:30.
Riley Patterson kicked the winning 36-yard field goal with three seconds to play. A 25-yard run by Travis Etienne on fourth and one set up the score. Etienne ran for 109 yards on 20 carries.
Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson was asked about halftime adjustments that spurred the comeback.
“I think one of them was just we had to kind of go up-tempo and be on the ball a little bit more in the second half. When we got down so many scores there, three scores at least, and we just felt like we needed to get a spark and be up-tempo. We were just more efficient in the passing game, and that’s what it takes,” he said.
The Jaguars pulled to within two with 5:25 to play when quarterback Trevor Lawrence found Christian Kirk for a nine-yard touchdown and rushed for the two-point conversion.
Lawrence’s four TDs were the most thrown by any player in franchise history in a postseason game. Of Lawrence’s four TDs, all were to different receivers.
The game looked bleak early for the hosts as Lawrence threw four interceptions in the first half. Lawrence was 28 of 47 passing for 288 yards.
But Lawrence steadied the ship, throwing three TDs and bringing the Jaguars to within 10 points leading into the final period.
Catches by Evan Engram, Marvin Jones Jr. and Zay Jones closed the gap to 30-20. Engram had six catches of 93 yards.
“Definitely one (game) I’ll never forget. First playoff win. Like we talked about, obviously, the ups and downs of the game. I mean, it kind of speaks for itself. It’s special, and there’s something about this team, just the way we’ve been able to stick together, it’s really honestly kind of leaves you speechless sometimes,”Lawrence said.
Jaguars linebacker Foye Oluokun recorded a team-leading 13 tackles in his first postseason contest.
The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler ran for two first quarter scores of 13 and six yards. Chargers QB Justin Herbert was 25 of 43 passing for 273 yards. Tight end Gerald Everett caught six passes for 108 yards.
Cameron Dicker connected on field goals of 22, 23 and 50-yards. He missed one that would have increased the LA lead midway through the final quarter.
With the victory, the Jaguars improved to 8-7 in postseason play and 4-1 in home postseason games.
(SportsDay photo by Nancy DeLander Beecher/Florida Sports Wire)