Chargers-Jaguars Preview: Jacksonville to Make Some Noise
We’re looking ahead to Saturday night’s AFC Wild Card matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers as one of the more intriguing playoff matchups this weekend. Each team comes into the postseason riding hot.
The Jags closed the season on a 5-0 run to clinch the AFC South title. We’ll throw out the Chargers’ Week 18 loss because we don’t know if they truly tried, but they won their previous four games to clinch a playoff berth.
Chargers @ Jaguars Game Information
Location: TIAA Bank Stadium | Jacksonville, FL
Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. | TV: NBC
Mike Williams was injured in Week 18 when Brandon Staley unnecessarily played his starters despite being locked in as the No. 5 seed. The star wideout was a DNP on Tuesday and Wednesday practices, so it’s unclear if he can play or how effective Williams will be if he does suit up.
The Chargers have some depth at receiver, with veteran Keenan Allen and Joshua Palmer on the rise to reallocate snaps and targets, but neither is as big a threat as Wiliams. Trevor Lawrence appeared on Jacksonville’s injury report, but he’s been a mainstay there for weeks now, so there’s no concern.
The wagers on this game have been nearly split down the middle despite the line moving a point in favor of the Chargers. Over the past five weeks, they’ve combined to go 9-1, but it’s hard to ignore the beatdown the Jaguars put on the Chargers back in Week 3 when they won 38-10.
Yes, four months have passed, but as the Chargers have improved, so have the Jaguars. We’ll side with the proven playoff experience here with Doug Pederson at the helm to have his team ready. Pederson knows a thing or two about being a playoff underdog. We’ll take the points.
Chargers @ Jaguars Prop Picks on FanDuel
Keenan Allen OVER 73.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
Travis Etienne OVER 78.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
Zay Jones OVER 48.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
Since returning from injury in Week 11, Allen has averaged about 85 yards per game and north of ten targets. Jacksonville’s defense has allowed the fifth most passing yards, and factoring in a potentially limited or absent Williams, he’ll be LA’s go-to guy, and the Jags have no one to stop him.
Travis Etienne has been somewhat inconsistent throughout the year. Still, we see him having an ideal matchup against a poor Chargers run defense, ranked fifth-worst in yards allowed per game, including 100-plus yards to Latavius Murray and Cam Akers over the last two weeks. We’ll ride with Etienne eclipsing his prop mark, as he’s done in three of four weeks.
Zay Jones has had a down three games, combining for 59 yards on eight receptions. We like his chances because of how he performed back in Week 3 when he had ten receptions for 85 yards and a score against the Chargers. It’s a matchup the Jaguars should be able to exploit once again.
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