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"Dumb" Mistakes Anger Bolts in Loss
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While the Chargers have lost several heartbreakers this season, none were as tough to swallow as this one.
Perhaps no one was angrier than Head Coach Anthony Lynn.
“We’ve lost some close games this year, but that’s the first time that we’ve lost one like that,” he said. “To me, that was inexcusable. We had opportunities to win that game on the road, and we didn’t finish plays. We had a couple of guys do some dumb things.”
“We felt like we were in control the whole day,” Philip Rivers added. “This is one of those games that you felt like you were in control and we were, all the way down through it. Give them credit. They found a way to win it. These are the games we talk about winning – the close games – and we found another way today (to lose).”
Up by three late, Tre Boston came down with an interception with exactly 2:00 minutes remaining. All the offense had to do was get a first down to ice the game.
Instead, on first down, Malik Jackson knocked the ball out of Austin Ekeler’s hands and Jacksonville recovered it at the Bolts’ 36.
“It wasn’t my best ball security, obviously,” Ekeler said. “Should’ve gotten two hands on the ball. It was a running situation. They knew we were going to run the ball. We knew we were going run the ball. So that should’ve been the first priority I had; ball security. I didn’t have two hands on the ball, and it came out.
The defense rose to the occasion once again as Boston picked off Blake Bortles for a second time. Unfortunately, instead of attempting to gain critical yards after hauling it in, the safety celebrated as he went out of bounds at the Bolts’ 10-yard line.
“That was one of the dumb things (I mentioned),” Lynn said. “Instead of advancing the football, because they’re still in the game with all three timeouts. I mean, I’ve never seen it before.”
When the offense was unable to pick up the first down, the Jaguars had 58 seconds to get into field goal range after using all three timeouts. A 42-yard punt by Drew Kaser gave the home team the ball at midfield. A few plays later, a roughing the passer call on Joey Bosa put Jacksonville firmly into Josh Lambo’s range.
In the end, the Chargers couldn’t overcome their late miscues and unacceptable mistakes, allowing the Jaguars to somehow get the game to overtime where they eventually beat the Bolts on a Josh Lambo 30-yard field goal.
“We can’t have the mistakes down the stretch,” said guard Kenny Wiggins. “We need to hold on to the ball, make good decisions, offense and defense and special teams. It’s just putting it all together at the end to get a W…. The bottom line is we just got to find a way to win. I don’t know what the magic formula is, but we have to come back and find ways to win. We can’t have mental errors, errors down the stretch. We need to play better down the stretch and be more disciplined.”
“We need to finish the games off,” echoed Casey Hayward. “Whether it is offense or defense, find a way to win those games. Everybody just has to do their job and we’ll be fine.”
As far as the offense goes, they firmly believe they should never have put the defense in that position three times in the final two minutes.
“We had the ball twice under two minutes with a lead and didn’t end it,” Rivers said. “That’s the part that hurts the most.” Read