Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#479 Jacksonville Jaguars vs.
#480 Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, September 25, 2022 at 4:05pm EDT
Stub Hub Center, Carson
Written by Dave Kovaleski

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The Los Angeles Chargers return to action after a 10-day layoff to host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. The Chargers last played a Thursday night game more than a week ago, losing to the Chiefs to fall to 1-1. The Jaguars won their last game, trouncing the Indianapolis Colts to improve to 1-1. These two teams last played in 2020, when the Chargers won 39-29 as 8-point favorites. They have won 8 of their last 10 games against the Jaguars. The Chargers are favored in this game by 6.5 points. Can they cover?

Jags impressive in win

The Jacksonville Jaguars are off to a pretty good start in 2022 -- in fact, at 1-1, they are in first place in their division. They lost their opening game to Washington, blowing a 22-14 fourth-quarter lead only to lose 28-22. But last week they won wire-to-wire, trouncing the Colts 24-0. Trevor Lawrence looks like a new quarterback in 2022 after a rocky rookie year. Against the Colts he was nearly perfect, going 25 for 30 for 235 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Christian Kirk, the newcomer from Arizona who caught 6 passes for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns. Evan Engram also had a good game, catching 7 balls for 64 yards.

The running game wasn't quite as good as James Robinson had 64 yards rushing and a touchdown, but on 23 carries, so he averaged less than 3 yards per carry. No one did much else, as Travis Etienne only had 20 yards. The Jags dominated the clock, however, keeping the ball for 38 minutes to 22 for Indianapolis. They also had 21 first downs to just 9 for Indianapolis. What was most impressive was the Jags defense. The Jaguars held the Colts to 218 total yards and last year's rushing champ Jonathan Taylor only had 64 yards on the ground. Also, quarterback Matt Ryan was dreadful, going 16 for 30 for 195 yards with 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of 34. The Jags are ranked 5th in the league in points allowed, giving up 14 per game. The defense will be put to the test on Sunday against the high-flying Chargers.

Chargers let one slip away

The LA Chargers took on their division rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs in a huge Thursday clash last week. These are two of the most exciting teams in the NFL, with two of the best young quarterbacks. And many pundits feel the Chargers are poised to overtake the Chiefs, who have dominated the division in recent years. This game lived up to the hype, and it looked like the Chargers might walk away with the win. They led 17-7 in the third quarter after a Dustin Hopkins field goal, but then the Chiefs came storming back, scoring the next 20 points. The Chargers scored with just over a minute left, but they ran out of time as they lost by a final score of 27-24.

As the Chiefs may be the best team in football, and they were playing at home, the Chargers shouldn't hang their heads. The Chargers have a lot of firepower, led by Justin Herbert, who was 33 for 48 for 334 yards and three touchdowns with 1 interception. The one interception was a big one though, a pick 6 by Jaylen Watson, who ran it back for 99 yards. It was the turning point in the game. Otherwise, the Chargers outplayed the Chiefs, winning the time of possession battle, getting more first downs, and outgaining the Chiefs. Mike Williams had a huge game for the Chargers with 8 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown while Austin Ekeler ran for 39 yards and caught 9 passes for 55 yards. Gerald Everett caught 7 passes for 71 yards.

Herbert got banged up in the game and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game with a rib injury. Coach Brandon Staley said Herbert is day to day. Also, Keenan Allen is questionable.

Best Bets for this Game

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This is a good yardstick game for both teams. The rejuvenated Jags are brimming with confidence, so they will be primed to go out on the road and beat a good team. The Chargers are that team that wants to get into that top tier of the NFL, and to be there, you need to win games like this against lesser teams in your own building. The big question mark here is Herbert, who is listed as questionable. As of Friday, he was day-to-day, so my guess is he plays. If he does, I like the Chargers to win a competitive game by a touchdown at home. The Jags' defense is vulnerable to the pass and that's, of course, a huge Chargers strength. If he doesn't play, the door is open for a Jags cover. But take the Chargers here with Herbert playing.

Prediction: LA Chargers -6.5

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As explosive as the Chargers' offense can be, they haven't fully unleashed that yet, scoring 24 points in each of their first two games. It hasn't helped that they have played two good teams and Herbert's best weapon, Keenan Allen, has been out. Allen is questionable for Sunday, as is Herbert. Even if they both play, they may not be 100 percent. Against a Jags defense that shut out the Colts last week, this is not the week where a banged-up Chargers offense breaks out. I think they play right around that 24-point mark, winning along the lines of 24-17, which would put this below the total. Take the under here.

Prediction: Under 47
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Written By Dave Kovaleski , "Dave Kovaleski"

Dave has covered every major sport with passion and expertise for national sports publications and we are very happy to have him as a part of our team here at Winners & Whiners and StaSalt. In addition to being a sportswriter and sports bettor, Dave has also worked in the financial industry and brings a critical eye for numbers to his analysis of games. Dave thoroughly researches the statistics to spot the trends and break down the matchups to successfully find the winners in the NFL, NBA, MLB, college hoops, and other sports. You will not be disappointed in following Dave on a daily basis.