Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers
Date and Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Week 2 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Chargers -3, O/U 48
Jaguars vs. Chargers TV Coverage: CBS
The expectations are high in Jacksonville as Gus Bradley has perhaps the most talented roster to work with in his four years. But having talent and winning with it are two entirely different animals, and the Jags just haven’t figured it out yet. They were close Sunday but still came up short against a good Green Bay team. Jacksonville failed on a fourth-down conversion attempt late in the game while driving for the potential game-winning score and had to settle for another close call. Unfortunately for Bradley and the Jags, close calls don’t get it done in the NFL.
San Diego needs to put the disaster from Kansas City in the rearview mirror and move on. They’ll have a good chance against the Jags, a team struggling just as bad as the Chargers over the past several years. San Diego played without top draft pick Joey Bosa last week and the defense floundered in the second half against the Chiefs. While the defense couldn’t slow KC down, the offense didn’t help. The group went stagnant over the final two quarters and was clearly impacted by the loss of Keenan Allen, who left the game with a knee injury.
The Chargers can get well in a hurry in this one. They won in Florida last season, winning the game outright as 5-point dogs, and they are 5-0 SU and ATS in the past five meetings. Since 2003, San Diego has won and covered all three games played at Qualcomm Stadium, including a 33-14 two years ago as an 11.5-point favorite.
Matchup To Watch
Allen could be lost for an extended period with what appears to be a major knee injury. His loss further depletes the Chargers’ receiving corps and leaves the team with just two of its top five pass-catchers from last season. Malcom Floyd retired and Stevie Johnson went down with a torn meniscus in his knee during the preseason. The Chargers are left with Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates, who finished first and third respectively on the team in receptions last season.
Philip Rivers was locked in before Allen’s injury. He completed nine of his 10 pass attempts aimed at his receivers, with six of those going to Allen for 63 yards. After Allen was carted off the field, Rivers hit just 7 of 13 attempts thrown at wide receivers for only 60 yards. When healthy, Allen is a talent and one of the best in the game. The problem is he hasn’t been on the field much recently. He missed the final eight games last season with a lacerated kidney and still produced 67 receptions for 725 yards.
San Diego’s offense will suffer with the loss, but like Rivers has shown through the years, he’s capable with whoever is catching his passes. However it will take time for Rivers to build a rapport with Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin, the players likely to see more balls thrown their way with Allen on the shelf.
Jaguars vs. Chargers Free Picks
The Chargers get the standard field goal for home field advantage and opened at -3. This game figures to be an intense matchup between two clubs that desperately need wins to heal from the scars of last season. The jobs of the head coaches are also at stake. San Diego blew its game with Kansas City on Sunday, giving up a 21-point third quarter lead. Mike McCoy went the conservative route in the second half, playing to not lose the game instead of to win it. The decision cost him.
Hopefully the coach learned from what happened and the players have short memories. San Diego has had success against Jacksonville and sure could use a win for its chances of staying in the city with a vote for a new stadium coming up. Don’t count out Rivers and with Melvin Gordon helping out in the run game, I expect the Chargers to bounce back on their home turf, covering the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Jaguars vs. Chargers Week 2 ATS Pick: Chargers -3 at BookMaker.eu
Jaguars vs. Chargers Score Prediction: Chargers 31, Jacksonville 24