After a complete heartbreaking loss at Arrowhead last week, we now try to focus on the home opener in week two.
I find it very difficult to predict this game after such a complete meltdown last week. I mean, which Chargers will we see? What looked like a brand new 2016 Chargers of the first half or the 2015 lackluster predictable Chargers? Lets get into a few major factors this week.
First major factor: Stopping the Allen brothers from having big games. Last year, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns both had over 1,000 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns. Blake Bortles is a young QB with a live arm and wants to air it out any chance he gets. I imagine Jason Verrett will draw Robinson while Brandon Flowers draws Hurns. Also, the Jaguars are coming into this week without RB Chris Ivory and CB Prince Amukamara.
January 31, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; Team Irvin wide receiver Allen Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars (15) catches a pass against Team Rice cornerback Jason Verrett of the San Diego Chargers (22) during the third quarter of the 2016 Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium. Team Irvin defeated Team Rice 49-27. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Second major factor: I’ve said it once, I will say it again..PROTECT PHILIP RIVERS! The offensive line looked great for the majority of the game against the Chiefs. They will have to keep it up against a young, hungry Jags team. As long as Rivers is upright, we have a chance in any game.
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Third major factor: Melvin Gordon’s success. Melvin Gordon was good in the first game of the new year. He seemed like a completely different RB. Hitting holes decisively and running tough. Although, Gordon was taken out almost entirely in the second half of the Chiefs game, when he was in he was setting up the pass well. Let’s hope Gordon plays the whole game this week and continues his recent success.
Nov 29, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) runs the ball as Jacksonville Jaguars conerback Davon House (31) defends in the fourth quarter at EverBank Field. The Chargers won 31-25. Mandatory Credit: Jim Steve-USA TODAY Sports
My Take: I believe that the Jaguars match up well for the Chargers. A bad offensive line, with a running game that is still in the dark, makes the Jaguars a one-dimensional team. Verrett, Casey Hayward, and Flowers are a solid group of CBs who should be able to take advantage of a young QB who is still good for a mistake or two. The loss of two key starters again puts the Chargers in a good place to capitalize. Rivers is 5-1 versus the Jaguars and on Sunday, I think he makes it 6-1. The Jaguars have a great core of young guys that make the future bright for them on both sides of the ball, but I am taking the Chargers here. I saw enough good things in the first half of the Chiefs game to still have some faith. Though I am not as confident as I would have been if they finished strong at Arrowhead last week I’ll say: FINAL SCORE: Chargers-31, Jaguars -21.
Projected record: 1-1