The LA Chargers had one of the most aggressive offseasons in franchise history heading into the 2022 season that saw the team load up on talent to capitalize on Justin Herbert's rookie contract window. Perhaps the crown jewel of the talent that was brought in was Mr. INT, J.C. Jackson.
J.C. Jackson was an elite cornerback by every sense of the word with the New England Patriots and was going to come to Los Angeles and be the true CB1 that this defense lacked. That arrival was delayed when Jackson had ankle surgery as Chargers fans patiently waited for him to make his return.
Jackson has now played four games with the Chargers in six weeks and fans are not happy with the results. Jackson has been picked on in every game he has played, which included Week 6 against the Denver Broncos. Jackson almost single-handedly gave Russell Wilson his best quarter of the year with multiple blown assignments.
Brandon Staley had seen enough as Jackson was benched in favor of Michael Davis in the second half. Surprisingly, the decision was not spun as it being related to Jackson's ankle to help save face. Instead, Staley was brutally honest about Jackson simply not being good enough in the first half.
The Chargers have a serious J.C. Jackson problem.
What made Jackson's benching even worse in Week 6 was the fact that the secondary looked miles better in the second half with Davis on the field. Davis is not necessarily the definition of a CB1 and is someone who many fans thought would be cut after this season. If things got much better with him that is a problem.
Granted, part of the reason why the secondary looked better is that this Denver offense is so bad. But that is also what made the first half so painful. The Broncos literally had most of their success explicitly going after J.C. Jackson. He was targeted, for the second week in a row, and it worked.
Many fans want to see Jackson on the pine for the rest of the season as he has played so terribly but the Chargers are going to continue to try and make this work because they simply have to. They signed him to a five-year deal and invested a lot of money in him. The team can't just get off that contract and they aren't going to give up on the investment this soon.
But if he continues to play like this and is losing games for the Chargers then it is going to get harder and harder to justify playing him. Right now you can spin it as his ankle still bothering him and him getting used to a new defense. At some point, there won't be any more excuses.
At the end of the day, it is too soon to call the J.C. Jackson signing a complete bust as he is talented enough to turn it around down the stretch. But with how he has played, Chargers fans cannot like those chances.