The Chargers blow a 27-point lead, losing to the Jaguars

And we all thought we’d seen the heyday of the “Charger.”

Not even close. What the Los Angeles Chargers did on Saturday night makes all of their other bizarre losses look tame.

You can’t go 27-0, after forcing four interceptions in the first half, and lose. But this is the charger. It’s a franchise that finds ways to surprise us, and not in a good way.

The Jacksonville Jaguars bounced back from one of the worst starts to a playoff game you will ever see, as Trevor Lawrence overruled four early interceptions to throw four touchdowns and also lead the game winning game in the closing minutes. On a great call, the Jaguars not only snuck a fourth and an inch but gave it to Travis Etienne on a 25-yard outside run. That set up a field goal attempt and it was kicked by Riley Patterson as time expired. Incredibly, the Jaguars move on to the playoffs after winning 31-30 in the wild card round.

According to NFL ResearchIt is the third-largest comeback in NFL playoff history, the largest win in Jaguars history and the largest leadoff in Chargers history.

Late in the first half, the Chargers could never have imagined their season would end on a Saturday night in Jacksonville. But the “supercharger” did happen, and to an extent not seen before.

Trevor Lawrence rallied the Jaguars to a huge win over the Chargers. (Photo by Courtney Coolbrith/Getty Images)

Chargers have a first quarter dream

The game couldn’t start better for the Chargers. Lawrence’s first pass in a goal-line playoff game was then flipped over again and picked off by linebacker Drew Tranquil. The Chargers dominated deep in Jaguars territory and Austin Eckler scored on the Chargers’ second offensive play, reaching the end zone on a 13-yard touchdown run. The game was not even two minutes old and the Chargers were able to take a 7-0 lead.

On the Jaguars next drive, they went for it on a 4th-and-7 instead of attempting a 51-yard field goal. Lawrence was recovered again. Samuel held out with Jones’ uniform, but no penalty was called. Jones was slow to turn around and Lawrence’s pass was intercepted by Samuel. The Jaguars held the Chargers to a field goal on the next drive, but were still up 10-0 a few minutes into the game.

The avalanche kept coming. Lawrence threw a terrible interception to Samuel that turned into another Eckler touchdown. Samuel got a triple in the second quarter. Lawrence was the first quarterback to throw three interceptions in the first quarter of a playoff game since play-by-play data was first tracked in 1991, According to CBS’ Jeff Kerr.

By the time the Chargers recovered a penalty that bounced off a Jaguars player’s helmet, resulting in a field goal and a 27-0 lead, plenty of TV viewers were finding a movie to watch. Lawrence’s line at that moment was 4 of 16 for 30 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions. There didn’t seem to be any way the Jaguars would make it a game in the second half.

Then, those who persisted in the game had reason to be interested.

Jaguars have a huge career

Jaguars are back in the game. They scored near the end of the second quarter and again early in the third quarter to cut the Chargers’ lead to 27-14. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson missed a 25-yard challenge from Gerald Everett that brought him down but the officials missed it. Pederson did not challenge and put up a field goal. Lawrence hit Z. Jones for a long touchdown but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful and the Chargers still led 30-20.

It seemed like the Jaguars might not get over the hump, but the Chargers just couldn’t quite put it away. Foot kicker Cameron Decker missed a 40-yard attempt. The Jaguars drove down the field and, aided by a missed false start call, Lawrence Christian hit Kirk for a touchdown. Joey Bosa threw his helmet after the missed call and drew a penalty. That made the ball half the distance to the goal line and the Jaguars went for it. This was a huge play because the Jaguars trailed by two points with plenty of time left. Then the charger was 3 times fast and fell off.

The Jaguars had 3:09 to go, starting on their own 21st. For all of his early interceptions, Lawrence had a chance to lead one drive and complete one of the biggest comeback wins in NFL history. Lawrence made some passes. Etienne had a massive 25 yards on fourth and inch. Patterson set up for an easy field goal.

Jaguars advance in the playoffs. Chargers aren’t going to get over that loss anytime soon.

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