Defense, special teams help Jaguars score a 20-17 overtime win over the Chargers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars (6-3) ended a dreaded six-game losing streak Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers (3-6) with a 20-17 overtime win at EverBank Field.

An interception by cornerback A.J. Bouye moved the ball into Los Angeles territory in overtime. The Jaguars were eventually able to win the game on a 30-yard field goal by kicker Josh Lambo. 

Jacksonville was able to overcome two fourth-quarter interceptions by quarterback Blake Bortles. 

The fourth-year quarterback followed up back-to-back standout performances in the two previous weeks by completing 28-of-51 passes for 273 passing yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He added another 34 rushing yards on five carries.

The quarterback's top weapon on the day was wide receiver Allen Hurns, who caught seven passes for 70 yards. Fellow wide receiver Marqise Lee added another 55 receiving yards and a touchdown on six receptions.

Bortles' wasn't aided by the running game like he had been in the past. Despite having all four running backs at their disposal, the Jaguars' rushing committee only picked up 101 rushing yards against the Chargers.

Rookie running back Leonard Fournette produced just 33 rushing yards on 17 carries. Fournette failed to score in a game for the first time this season. 

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had a strong performance against the Jaguars during regulation but his overtime turnover proved to be costly. Rivers completed 21-of-37 passes for 235 passing yards, two touchdowns and interception.

Rivers was last intercepted by Jacksonville in 2010.

Rivers frequently moved the ball by spreading out his targets. His top red-zone weapon was running back Alex Ekeler, who caught five passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

Ekeler added another 42 rushing yards on 10 carries. He also fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter.

The Jaguars' defense was unable to sack Rivers and allowed the Chargers to pick up 322 total yards during the game.

Both teams got off to a slow start on offense. The Jaguars needed a special teams trick play to find the end zone at the end of the first quarter, while the Chargers failed to add points until their final drive of the first half.

Corey Grant's 56-yard touchdown run off a fake punt with 34 seconds left in the first quarter allowed the Jaguars to take the game's initial lead. However, the Chargers blocked the follow up extra point attempt by Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo. Jacksonville led 6-0 at the end of the first period.

The Chargers and the Jaguars exchanged punts throughout the second quarter until the Chargers finally showed some life on offense. On the final drive of the first half, Rivers led a 7-play, 87-yard touchdown scoring drive. 

Rivers opened up the drive with back-to-back first down throws. Later on, Rivers hit backup running back Alex Ekeler for a 28-yard gain. Ekeler was able to speed down the sideline and get into the end zone for a touchdown. Chargers kicker Nick Novak connected on the extra point attempt to give Los Angeles a 7-6 lead before halftime.

Coming out of halftime, the Jaguars made an adjustment on the offense line. The Jaguars replaced starting left guard Patrick Omameh with backup Tyler Shatley.

The switch did little to help the Jaguars on their first two drives of the second half. 

The Chargers were able to add to their scoring total on the offense's first drive of the second half. Rivers led a six-play, 76-yard touchdown-scoring drive. Much like with its first touchdown score, Los Angeles benefited from the connection between Rivers and Ekeler.

On third-and-3 from the Jacksonville 22-yard line, Rivers hit Ekeler with an intermediate pass and the running back did the rest to get the ball to the end zone. The Chargers led 14-6 following an extra point by Novak with 10:29 left in the third quarter.

The Jaguars and Bortles eventually responded on their third drive of the second half.

Bortles completed seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown during the series. He hit Lee on the run in the end zone for the touchdown score. The Jaguars went for a two-point conversion and converted the score with another pass from Bortles to Lee. The game was tied, 14-14, with 1:57 left in the third quarter.

Rivers and the Chargers responded to the Jaguars' touchdown score on the next drive. The Los Angeles offense quickly made its way up the field and got the ball within Novak's field goal range. The kicker connected on a 50-yard attempt that put the Chargers up 17-14 with 10:29 left in the game.

The Jaguars' offense tried to tie up the game with two minutes left on the clock but a turnover curbed those efforts. A pass by Bortles was batted in the air and the ball was caught by Chargers safety Tre Boston. The interception gave the ball back to Los Angeles with 1:51 left in the game.

However, on the Chargers' next drive, Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson forced a fumble on an Ekeler carry. The ball was recovered by Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson and returned for a touchdown. However, upon review, the referees ruled that Gipson was touched down at the Chargers' 36-yard line with 1:48 left in the game.

Following a questionable personal foul penalty on Lee, Bortles threw another interception to Boston. Bortles was pressured by Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa on the play.

The Chargers ran the clock down to within one minute and punted to the Jaguars.

An unnecessary roughness penalty on Bosa put the Jaguars at the Los Angeles 20-yard line with 20 seconds left in the game.

Lambo connected on a 34-yard field goal to take the game to overtime.

The Jaguars won the coin toss in overtime and elected to receive the ball first. However, the home team couldn't take advantage. 

The game went into sudden-death as the Chargers took over at their own 10-yard line following a punt. On third down, River threw an interception to Bouye, who returned the ball to the one-yard line.

However, cornerback Aaron Colvin was called for a personal foul, which moved them back to the 16-yard line. After three runs and a delay of game penalty on Los Angeles, Lambo nailed a 30-yard field goal to win the game.

The Jaguars were penalized nine times for 106 yards. The Chargers were flagged seven time for 77 yards. 

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PLAYER OF THE GAME

Lambo made two clutch field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime. The first tied the game and the second won the game.

That's not bad for a kicker facing his former team.

PLAY OF THE GAME

On fourth-and-7 with 34 seconds left in the first quarter, the Jaguars faked a punt and ran the ball with running back Corey Grant. The third-year running back made Chargers' lineman Chris McCain miss at the line of scrimmage, then bobbed and weaved his way to the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown. It was the first score of the game.

Grant was successful on a similar fake against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. He picked up 58 yards on that play. 

STAT OF THE GAME

Fournette was held without a touchdown in a game for the first time this season.

INJURY UPDATE

The Jaguars were without right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) due to injury.

Wide receiver Arrelious Benn left the game with a knee injury in the first quarter and did not return. Long snapper Matt Overton left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return. 

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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