The quarterback duel between Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert has a lot to recommend it. They are both the owners of their respective organizations in addition to having the best hair in the league.
Chargers’ Herbert wants to try it against the Jaguars and Lawrence
The biggest unknown, however, is whether this will be the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers’ first encounter when they square off on Sunday.
After missing practice on Friday and being restricted on Wednesday and Thursday because of cracked rib cartilage, Herbert is rated as questionable. He sustained the injury on a hit from Michael Danna of Kansas City in the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s 27-24 loss to the Chiefs.
In the solo practice session open to reporters on Thursday, Herbert took his usual number of throws after completing none on Wednesday. Herbert will wear a rib protector if he plays, but he might possibly get an injection to help with the pain.
It’s likely that Herbert’s situation won’t be sorted completely until Sunday morning.
Regarding his recovery, Herbert noted, “There have clearly been gains.” Thankfully, we still have a few days before the game. Making the right choice will depend on us and the team getting ready for Sunday.
Joe Lombardi, the offensive coordinator, stated that aside from a few plays that would be eliminated if Herbert was unable to participate, the game plan will mostly remain the same.
The point spread has been severely impacted by Herbert’s injury. The Chargers started as seven-point favorites, but FanDuel Sportsbook reports that on Friday afternoon, those odds were down to 3 1/2.
The key for Herbert, according to coach Brandon Staley, is for him to have the confidence to go play the game as it should be played. “When I say it’s day to day, I mean how he feels at the moment,”
If Herbert was unable to start, Chase Daniel would be next in line. The most recent start for the 13-year veteran with the Chicago Bears was in 2019.
Doug Pederson, the Jaguars’ head coach, is familiar with Daniel because they worked together in Philadelphia and Kansas City.
I have a great deal of respect for Chase and his accomplishments. Wherever he has been, he has always been a reliable backup,” Pederson said. I am confident that he will be ready whether he participates or not, therefore we must be ready for him.
Following their 24-0 victory over Indianapolis on Sunday, Lawrence and the Jaguars are into this game with momentum. Under Pederson, the quarterback in his second season has flourished, completing 25 of 30 throws for 235 yards and two touchdowns.
Depending on the defense you’re playing, certain aspects can always transfer over. You kind of have to flip the page as far as simply your thinking,” Lawrence added.
You don’t just win by accident, as we did on Sunday. You simply duplicate the focus and the way you prepared to get there.
As of the start of the game, both teams are 1-0. In the last nine games in the rivalry, the Chargers have prevailed eight times. The Chargers have other injury concerns besides Herbert. In the second half of the Kansas City game, center Corey Linsley (knee) and right offensive tackle Trey Pipkins (foot) were both injured.
Keenan Allen, a wide receiver, might play this week after missing last week’s contest with a hamstring issue. The two clubs that were most determined to improve their defense over the offseason were the Chargers and the Jaguars.
In the off-season, Los Angeles brought in six starters, including cornerback J.C. Jackson and linebacker Khalil Mack. Mack is tied for the conference lead with five quarterback hits and leads the AFC with three and a half sacks.
In the previous two years, Jacksonville has acquired nearly all of its defensive starters. In the past two years, owner Shad Khan has invested more than $200 million, including $125 million guaranteed, to sign six defensive starters, who have helped make Jacksonville one of the league’s most stingy units after two games.
Outside linebacker Travon Walker, a rookie, made history by being the first first-round pick in league history to have a sack and an interception in his debut. Foye Oluokun, a linebacker for Atlanta who led the NFL in tackles last season, has made 14 stops thus far.
The Chargers are averaging a league-low 2.7 yards per run, and 15 of their 55 rushes have resulted in no gain or loss of yards. Only one of their carries has gained 10 yards or more.
It might be challenging for Austin Ekeler and the Los Angeles rushing assault to break out of neutral this week against the fourth-best-in-the-nation Jaguars defense, which allows 3.4 yards per carrying. Jacksonville is tied for second with 109 yards allowed after contact.
“Running the ball makes it easier for your offense,” Ekeler, who had 223 scrimmage yards (112 receiving, 101 rushings) and a touchdown the last time he faced the Jaguars in 2019, stated, “We are trying to address our consistency and be better in our fundamentals.”
The Jaguars’ losing streak of 18 straight road games ranks eighth-longest in league history. They also have the fewest victories in the Pacific Time Zone of any NFL team with a 3-15 record on the West Coast.
On the road, they have a combined 0-5 record versus the Chargers: 0-4 in San Diego and 0-1 in Los Angeles.
To stop players from looking behind or ahead, Pederson had his team adopt the phrase “so what, now what?”
Veteran defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris stated, “That (crap) is done with and we’re going ahead.” “Everything we’re doing is totally different,” the group said.
Since being selected first overall in the 2021 NFL draught, Lawrence has made 19 starts and is 0-9 on the road. But his sluggish beginning places him in good company. Peyton Manning, a future Hall of Famer, similarly dropped his first nine road starts before triumphing 27-10 at the San Diego Chargers in Week 3 of his second season (1999).
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