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Chargers Fall in Wild Card Round

Wild Card Recap

The Chargers season is over after a 31-30 loss to the Jaguars in the Wild Card round.

Here's a recap of the game:

First Quarter

Keenan Allen, Derwin James, Jr., and Sebastian Joseph-Day are the Chargers captains. The Chargers won the toss and deferred, as the Bolts started on defense.The unit came out red hot as Drue Tranquill intercepted Trevor Lawrence on the second play of the game on a pass that was deflected by Joey Bosa.

The Chargers started at the Jacksonville 18-yard line and needed just two plays to score before Austin Ekeler powered in for a 13-yard score. The Chargers led 7-0 less than 90 seconds into the game.

The Chargers kept the good vibes rolling on their next defensive series, too. Although Jacksonville drive into Bolts territory, the Jaguars kept their offense on the field on fourth-and-7 at the 33-yard line. Lawrence was picked off again, this time by Asante Samuel, Jr.

The Bolts offense then drove into Jaguars territory to get points, but the Chargers were limited to a 22-yard field goal from Cameron Dicker. The Chargers picked up a 23-yard catch from Gerald Everett before Justin Herbert converted twice through the air on third downs. But the drive stalled out inside the 5-yard line, leading to just three points and a 10-0 Bolts lead with 5:30 left in the first quarter. The Chargers defense kept swarming, too, forcing a three-and-out on the Jaguars next possession after they perfectly read a screen pass that fell incomplete. The Bolts offense took over at their own 42-yard line but followed with their own three-and-out. JK Scott hit a 39-yard punt that was downed at the 14-yard line. The Chargers defense wasted no time getting another takeaway, as Samuel intercepted Lawrence again on third down.

The Chargers took over at the Jacksonville 16 and scored three plays later, with Ekeler finding the end zone on a 6-yard run. The Chargers led 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter

The Chargers defense started the second quarter with a sack, as Kenneth Murray, Jr., and Joseph-Day got to Lawrence on third down. The Bolts offense got on the move when Herbert move the chains on third downs with passes to Donald Parham (12 yards) and Keenan Allen (23 yards) to get deep into Jaguars territory. Herbert finished the drive in style by hitting Everett for a 9-yard score that pushed the Chargers lead to 24-0 midway through the second quarter.

The Chargers defense then recorded their fourth(!) interception of the half on the ensuing possession as Samuel recorded his third interception of the game in his playoff debut.

The Bolts offense couldn't take advantage as they were forced to punt, but a wacky sequence gave the Chargers the ball right back. Scott's punt hit a Jacksonville player on the way down and the loose ball was recovered by Amen Ogbongbemiga at the Jaguars 6-yard line. The Chargers had first-and-goal from there but had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Cameron Dicker that pushed the lead to 27-0 with 4:24 left in the first half. The teams traded punts later in the quarter before the Jaguars started in Bolts territory after a short punt. Jacksonville got on the board with a 9-yard touchdown pass with 24 seconds left. The Chargers led 27-7 at the half.

Third Quarter

The Chargers began with the ball and drove into Jaguars territory but were forced to punt after three straight incomplete passes. The Jaguars began at their own 11-yard line and put together a lengthy drive that ended in the end zone. The Jaguars went 89 yards in 14 plays before Lawrence found Marvin Jones, Jr., for an 8-yard score. The Bolts led 27-14 with 5:11 left in the third quarter. The Chargers quickly moved into Jacksonville territory as Everett has a pair of 20-plus yard receptions on the drive. The offense stalled out as Dicker came on to hit a 50-yard field goal, his career long, that pushed the Bolts lead to 30-14 with just under three minutes to play. Jacksonville came right back with a 39-yard touchdown pass, but the 2-point play was broken up by Samuel to keep the score at 30-20, which was the score at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The Chargers began the quarter with the ball and began chewing up the clock. The Bolts caught a break when the Jaguars were called for an unsportsmanlike conduct call after a late hit on Herbert. The Bolts quarterback took advantage of the fresh set of downs by scrambling for 13 big yards on third-and-9 to get into Jacksonville territory. But the drive ended with no points as Dicker's 40-yard field goal try was wide left with 8:47 to play. The Jaguars took over on their own 30-yard line and put together another touchdown drive to cut the lead to 30-26. The ensuing 2-point play was good to cut the lead to 30-28 with 5:25 to play. The Bolts began at their own 25 but went backwards with a first-down sack and eventually went three-and-out. The Jaguars took the ball at their own 21 and moved across midfield as we hit the 2-minute warning. The Jagaurs had fourth-and-1 at the Chargers 41 and converted with a 25-yard run. Jacksonville kicked a 36-yard field goal with no time left to end the Chargers season.

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