3 most impactful non-stars to the Chargers-Jaguars Wild Card Round outcome

Jason Reed
Los Angeles Chargers v Indianapolis Colts
Los Angeles Chargers v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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2. Travis Etienne

Even during the Chargers' defensive turnaround after the bye week, they have had moments where the run defense is more than leaky. Granted, that is the defensive philosophy that this team has as they want teams to go away from the pass on first downs with the Chargers then trusting their pass coverage on second and third down.

If everything is connected in the secondary then that game plan works tremendously for the Chargers and that is why we have seen the team succeed since the bye week. If things start becoming disconnected and the other team targets the weaknesses of this defense then the early-down run defense becomes a much bigger problem.

Doug Pederson is not someone who is afraid of simply going with what is working. If Travis Etienne is averaging five yards a carry then Pederson is not going to go away from it like other head coaches have this season. He will ride the running game and dink and dunk his way to the endzone against the Chargers.

That is what the Jaguars did in the Week 3 matchup between these two teams. Jacksonville ran the ball incredibly well (albeit with James Robinson) and simply asked Trevor Lawrence to point and shoot quick-firing routes that sat below the Chargers' coverage.

Having a solid run game allowed that as the Jaguars were not faced with many third and long situations. If the Chargers are going to keep that from happening, they have to keep Etiene at bay. That will only make Lawrence's life harder in this game. Look at last week: the Titans didn't allow the Jags to run the ball at all and Lawrence wasn't very good.

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