The San Diego Chargers haven’t lost seven consecutive games since the beginning of this century (2001). The 4-7 Chargers travel to the 3-8 Jacksonville Jaguars for a Monday night football match-up. The Jaguars just fired coach Jack Del Rio while Bolts coach Norv Turner may be on his way out as well. San Diego’s playoffs chances are slowly disappearing and desperately need a W. Here are my keys to the game in order for the Chargers to beat the Jaguars.
Pound the Rock
Philip Rivers drop off this season has been as dramatic as decline ever. The Jaguars pass defense has been very solid this year ranking 4th best in the NFL. Therefore, San Diego must run the ball early and often. Mathews was a big-time performer a week ago against Denver with 22 times for 137 yards. If Mathews and Tolbert establish a solid running game it will give Rivers plenty of good opportunities down the field. Running the ball will let the Chargers control the clock and force the Jaguars mediocre offense to capitalize on their chances more often than usual.
Stack the Box
Maurice Jones-Drew’s 1,040 rushing yards ranks 2nd in the NFL to LeSean McCoy. The Bolts run defense was exposed against Willis McGahee and expect Jones-Drew to continue the trend. The Chargers must force struggling rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert to win the game through the air. Don’t be surprised in San Diego’s defense crowds the line of scrimmage with as many as nine people to attempt to stop MJD. The Bolts can’t let MJD surpass the 150 yard marker if they want to win.
Prediction: Chargers over Jaguars 27-21