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Scouting Report: Chargers vs. Jaguars
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The Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) kick off the second half of the season in Jacksonville when they visit the Jaguars (5-3). Action from EverBank Field begins at 10:00am PT.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Philip Rivers looks to continue his recent string of success against Jacksonville as number 17 boasts a 6-1 lifetime record against the Jaguars. In the six wins, he sports a 120.3 passer rating while recording 19 touchdowns and 2,119 yards. In his last three outings against Jacksonville, Rivers has tossed 11 touchdowns with no picks, including back-to-back four-touchdown performances. Over the first half of this season, he’s completed 173 of 286 attempts (60.5-percent) for 2,028 yards and 13 TDs for an 88.4 passer rating. His top target is Keenan Allen, who has caught 40 passes for 548 yards and one score, while Hunter Henry has notched 23 receptions for 312 yards and a pair of TDs. Finally, Melvin Gordon continues to be a complete back, carrying the rock 131 times for 526 yards (4.0 ypc) and four touchdowns, while catching 30 passes for 235 yards and another four scores.
On Offense for the Jaguars
Dynamic rookie running back Leonard Fournette leads the league’s number one rushing attack as he’s amassed 596 yards on 130 carries (4.6 ypc) and six touchdowns. He’s also effective as a receiver, catching 15 passes for 136 yards and another score. At quarterback, Blake Bortles has completed 139 of 234 passes (59.4-percent) for 1,657 yards and 10 TDs for an 86.4 rating. His top weapon is Marqise Lee, who has hauled in 32 passes for 438 yards and one TD. Allen Hurns has also been a force, catching 29 balls for 376 yards and two touchdowns.
On Defense for the Chargers
The Chargers boast the second-most effective trio of pass rushers in the league in Melvin Ingram (8.5 sacks), Joey Bosa (8.5) and Chris McCain (5.0). However, the big news is the return of Denzel Perryman, who is expected to make his season debut after being activated to the 53-man roster. Meanwhile, Casey Hayward looks to make the same impact against the Jags he had a year ago when he picked off Blake Bortles twice.
On Defense for the Jaguars
The only trio to boast more sacks than the Chargers is the Jags’ dominant threesome of Calais Campbell (11.0), Yannick Ngakoue (6.5) and Dante Fowler Jr., (5.5) with 23. Telvin Smith is their leading tackler with 62, while Tashaun Gipson leads the way with three picks. As a result, Jacksonville has given up the fewest points in the NFL per game.
The Chargers hold a 7-2 series advantage over the Jaguars, and ride a six-game winning streak against them heading into Duval County.
By the Numbers
The Chargers rank 17th in total offense (332.8 yards per game), 13th in passing (253.5 ypg), 25th in rushing (88.5 ypg) and 22nd in points (18.8). The Jaguars rank ninth in total offense (364.7 ypg), 29th in passing (207.1 ypg), first in rushing (166.5 ypg) and eighth in points (25.8).
Defensively, the Bolts rank 18th in total defense (337.0 ypg), eighth in passing (201.9 ypg), 29th in rushing (135.1 ypg) and seventh in points allowed (19.0). Jacksonville ranks third in total defense (281.2 ypg), first in passing (156.4 ypg), 27th in rushing (124.9 ypg) and first in points allowed (14.6).
Milestones on the Horizon
The next touchdown pass between Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates will be the 86th connection for the pair, breaking a tie with Steve Young and Jerry Rice for the second-most in NFL history.
Gates needs nine more receptions to reach 921 for his career, which would pass Torry Holt for 20th in NFL history.
Melvin Gordon needs five more rushes to reach 574 for his career, which would pass Keith Lincoln (573) and Mike Garrett (572) for eighth in team annals. He also needs six receptions to reach 110 for his career, which would pass Mike Tolbert for 13th in team history among running backs.
With one more touchdown catch, Tyrell Williams will become the 10th Charger to ever reach double-digits in TD receptions.
Keenan Allen needs 12 more receptions to reach 273 for his career, which would move him past Vincent Jackson for 12th in team history.
Noteworthy vs. the Jaguars
In the Chargers’ 31-25 win at Jacksonville in 2016, Antonio Gates had two touchdown catches in a 65-second span late in the second quarter.
Casey Hayward recorded two interceptions in the last meeting against the Jaguars (9/18/16).
Melvin Ingram tallied two sacks and forced a fumble in the win last season against the Jaguars.
Travis Benjamin hauled in six passes for 115 yards for two scores, including a 45-yard touchdown last season against Jacksonville. The two receiving touchdowns equaled a career-high.
Corey Liuget had a season-high two sacks in a 24-6 win over the Jaguars on Oct. 20, 2013.
Jaguars Wide Receivers Coach Keenan McCardell played for the Chargers from 2004-06.
Jaguars K Josh Lambo played for the Chargers from 2015-16.
Jaguars Tight Ends Coach Ron Middleton played for the Chargers in 1995.
Chargers Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley was the head coach in Jacksonville from 2013-16.
Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn coached in Jacksonville from 2003-04.
Chargers Tight End Coach John McNulty coached in Jacksonville from 1998-02.
Chargers Running Backs Coach Alfredo Roberts coached in Jacksonville from 2003-06.
Chargers Offensive Quality Control Dan Shamash coached in Jacksonville from 2014-16.
Chargers Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Chris Harris played in Jacksonville during the 2012 season.
Chargers LB Hayes Pullard played in Jacksonville from 2015-16.
CBS – Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), James Lofton (analyst)
KFI-AM 640 – Matt “Money” Smith (play-by-play), Nick Hardwick (analyst) and Shannon Farren (sideline)
Spanish Radio: KFWB – AM 980 – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)
Chargers radio broadcasts throughout the season will be able to be heard across 11 radio stations from Southern California to Nevada. Fans can listen in English on KGB-FM and KLSD AM (San Diego), KNWZ-AM (Palm Springs), KALZ-AM (Fresno), KBFP-AM (Bakersfield), KNWH-FM (Yucca Valley), KRLV-FM (Las Vegas), KRAK-AM (Victorville/Hesperia), KATY-FM (San Bernardino) and KPLY-AM (Reno). Spanish broadcasts can be heard on XHFG-FM (San Diego).