After leading 27–0 in the first half thanks to five Jaguars turnovers, the Chargers found a way to blow their four-touchdown lead to lose 31–30 in Jacksonville on Saturday night in the third-largest postseason comeback in NFL history.
It was a tale of two halves for Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who threw four interceptions in the first half—and one touchdown shortly before halftime—before turning around and throwing three second-half touchdown passes to pace the comeback for Jacksonville.
Thanks to poor situational play calling and even worse execution, the Chargers slowly but surely relinquished their lead. The pivotal sequence came with 5:25 to play in the fourth quarter. With Jacksonville trailing 30–20, Lawrence connected on his fourth touchdown pass of the night, with wide receiver Christian Kirk hauling it in from nine yards out. On the play, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa believed that Jacksonville committed a false start that wasn’t called by the officials. On the way to the sideline, Bosa slammed his helmet into the ground in frustration and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
With the ball then placed at the 1-yard line trailing 30–26, Jags coach Doug Pederson rolled the dice and elected to go for two. Lawrence used his 6’6” frame to reach the ball over the goal line for the gutsy two-point conversion. If Jacksonville could get a stop on the following drive, all it would need is a field goal to win the game.
And that’s exactly what happened, as the Jaguars defense forced a three-and-out, and Trevor Lawrence’s offense moved the ball down the field with time waning. The key play on the drive was another masterclass play call by Pederson, who on fourth-and-1 from the Los Angeles 41 called an outside run with Travis Etienne against a stacked box. The play went for 25 yards and set up Jacksonville deep in Los Angeles territory.
Kicker Riley Patterson converted a 36-yard field goal as time expired to complete the comeback.
Here are some of the best tweets from social media reacting to the improbable comeback by the Jaguars, as they now march on to the AFC Divisional Round.