It was pretty competitive last year in San Diego in the first half for the Jaguars against the Chargers. But despite being down by only three, 17-14 going to the locker room, the Jaguars couldn’t muster any offense in the second half and lost, 33-14 falling to 0-4.
On a regular basis in the last couple of year, Head Coach Gus Bradley has said many of those games “you learn from.” This year, the Jaguars can apply some of those lessons against the Chargers. After last year’s loss, players took notes, studied film and have tried to learn from the process.
“Yeah, I think a lot of the good players that you spend time around do that,” Bradley said when asked about note taking. “They have files not only on players but on coordinators, what they like to do in certain situations and it’s on the coaches to gather that information. I think it’s really good. Some of the best players I’ve been around do that. They take notes and they will pull out the notebook on former coordinators that they’re facing just to see if any of their notes pertain to that game.”
It’s not too tough to figure out what; pertains to this game against San Diego. Anything regarding quarterback Phillip Rivers would apply.
“I’ll tell you what, the guy is phenomenal,’ Bradley said when asked about the Chargers signal caller. His precision. He commands the whole offense. They go no-huddle and he runs that part of it as well so he just has complete control of the offense, knows defenses, the looks he’s getting and where to go with the ball.”
Which means any amount of experience will help against one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. The Chargers might have injuries, only two wins and have scored a single field goal in back to back games but they still have Rivers and his years of experience.
“It’s still a challenge because they take shots. I know his (Rivers’) average time of getting the ball off is under 2.3 seconds, so he gets rid of the ball fast but he takes his shots too. That’s what he did against us last year.”
There were impressive numbers for Rivers last season against the Jaguars. He was 29 of 39 for 377 yards and three TD’s. As a team, the Chargers only gained 42 yards rushing. So figuring out what to do with Rivers will be the key against San Diego.
Look for TJ Yeldon to get the bulk of the playing time at tailback with Denard Robinson getting a handful of snaps. The coaching staff things giving Yeldon a few plays off here and there during the game increases his effectiveness.
Because of a groin injury aggravated against Tennessee, Dan Skuta won’t play this week. Thurston Armbrister will be in his spot, a rookie who will have his hands full covering tight ends and backs against Phillip Rivers.
It’ll be a little different look for the Jaguars with Marqise Lee and Rashad Greene both having a couple of weeks where they’re healthy and practicing with the offense. They’re easily the fastest players on offense when they’re available.
In back to back weeks the Jaguars have won games where Blake Bortles hasn’t been at his best. Does he start to ascend again after reaching a plateau halfway through the year? If so, the Jaguars offense could be very productive against San Diego.