Coming off the bye week, the Los Angeles Chargers head to Jacksonville to face a much improved Jaguars team in a key AFC battle.
The Chargers did well to pick themselves up off the mat after an 0-4 start to the season, but after a poor performance against the New England Patriots, they must avoid starting a new multi-game losing streak.
The Jaguars are a team that the Chargers have beaten six straight times, most of which have come in dominant fashion.
How does the staff here at Bolt Beat think this game is going to go down? Read below for each of their thoughts. The numbers in parenthesis represent the win-loss record on the season.
Alexander Insdorf (5-3): “The bye week has given the chargers the perfect opportunity to reflect and regroup after the first half of the season. They started 0-4, and finished 3-1. So what they do in the second half of the season now is up to them. Prior to the season, I had this game pencilled in as a W for the Chargers based on how awful the jaguars have been against the Chargers in recent years. With the jaguars elite defense and the stable quarterbacking they get from Blake Bortles now, it feels like they are definitely on the upswing. The Chargers have played really well in recent weeks though, even with some offensive struggles. I’m curious to see what Whisenhunt and Lynn draw up this week. This is a close one, but I’ll go Bolts by a field goal. LAC 27-JAX 24”.
Tanner Wrape (0-1): “The Chargers are coming off a bye week and are very much alive in the AFC playoff picture. More importantly, they are more healthy than they have been in recent memory. Perryman makes his return this week which should bring more stability at the linebacker position. I am really liking this week for the Bolts. I think they match up well with Jacksonville despite the Jaguars being much improved on both sides of the ball. I still think Bortles is a bottom of the league QB and the defense is going to take advantage of that. I see the Bolts taking this game comfortably. However, I would also not be surprised if the Chargers came out flat and disappointed us all. I will have hope for now. 27-14 Bolts.”
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Kade Dohmen (2-6): “Jags defense is the real deal and the Chargers offense has been anything but consistent. The run defense will be susceptible to Fournette, but I’ve seen signs of the Bolts D turning it around. Chargers steal one to get back in the playoff hunt. Bolts win 23–17.”
Tyler Schoon (3-5): “This is a big, big game for the Bolts.
Jacksonville has become a defensive powerhouse (weird, right?) almost overnight with key draft picks and free-agent signings. It’ll be tough to pass against this defense. However, the Chargers may find success running the ball against a front that has been average against the run. If the Chargers cannot establish the run, they’re done for. Fortunately for the Bolts, Blake Bortles is still under center. That alone gives me hope. After having beaten a similarly built Denver Broncos team a few weeks ago, I believe the Chargers have the blueprint to squeeze out a win. Barely.
Chargers 19, Jaguars 17.”
Anthony Totri (5-3): “Coming off the bye week I like the Chargers’ chances. If this game came at any other time this season I may choose the Jaguars, but a relatively close loss to the Patriots was definitely a “keep your head high” moment for Chargers’ fans. Give me the Bolts in this one. Chargers 24 – Jaguars 23.”
Sean Kirk (1-1): “The Chargers will head across the country to the east coast in Jacksonville. With Denzel Perryman returning, the Chargers will be pretty healthy while the Jags could be missing three starting offensive lineman. Rivers is 6-0 with 18 TDs against the Jags and I see the offense having a breakout game even against the strong Jags defense. Blake Bortles won’t do anything against the secondary so the Chargers should be able to focus on just stopping the run. I don’t see the Jags offense doing much. Coming off the bye, I’ll take the Chargers. Bolts win 27-17.”
Scott Iger (3-5): “After our bye week following a tough loss to New England, the Bolts will look to bounce back against the Jaguars. Although the Chargers usually dominate the Jaguars, this year the Jaguars are a much better team than in years past. Despite this fact, I still expect the Chargers to put out a very strong showing and win a close game, bringing themselves very much into playoff contention. Chargers win 24-21.”
Matt Pagels (4-4): “The Chargers really need to get a win against a Jaguars team that’s currently the No. 5 seed in the AFC. What the Chargers have going for them is that they are fresh off their bye and actually healthy for once (only two players listed as questionable going into the game). On the other hand, their offense has struggled in the first half of the season, and they are now going up against the top-ranked defense in the league. The Chargers have a solid defense led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, who will be up against a not-so-good QB but great RB. This defensive showdown will likely come down to the wire (a Josh Lambo FG?). Unfortunately, Lambo now plays for the Jags. Going with Jacksonville.”
Travis Wakeman (5-3): “Of the nine Chargers game we’ve predicted to this point, I feel like this one has been the toughest to decide. That’s because I can see it going either way. The Chargers are coming off a bye week and bring a solid pass rush into Jacksonville, where the Jags are just 2-2 this season. However, I haven’t seen enough out of the Chargers offense to make me confident they can move the ball against this defense. If they got some of that corrected during the off week, they can win here. But I feel like Jalen Ramsey and Calais Campbell are going to make plays that make a big difference in this game. Jaguars 20, Chargers 13 in a low-scoring affair.”