Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers Preview
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
When: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 4:25 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
Writer’s Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (+3)
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Betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars (+3)
Jacksonville was in striking distance throughout the entire game versus the Packers. QB Blake Bortles, in particular, looked pretty good, completing 24 of 29 passes for 320 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He wasn’t, however, as sharp as his team needed him to be in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, during which the Jags manufactured a late drive that came up short on a fourth-and-1 play at the opposition’s 14-yard line.
A win in Week 1 would have been a huge start for the young, up-and-coming Jaguars, but they can look forward to getting their first win in next week’s matchup with the Chargers, who are also hoping to bounce back from their own season-opening loss to Kansas City.
The Jags’ air game is bound to decide their fate, especially if RB Chris Ivory is sidelined again. Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Julius Thomas, all of whom are very reliable targets for Bortles, will take on a vulnerable San Diego secondary that allowed 363 passing yards, including two scores, in its opener.
Hurns and Robinsons combined for 147 yards on 10 receptions. Thomas, meanwhile, caught five passes for 64 yards with a touchdown.
Jacksonville is 5-4-1 ATS in its last 10 road games.
Betting on the San Diego Chargers (-3)
The San Diego Chargers suffered the toughest loss in opening week. They didn’t just lose a game in which they had a 17-point lead heading into the final period against Kansas City, but they also received a major blow when their top wide receiver, Keenan Allen, went out in the second quarter with what appears to be a possible ACL tear in his right knee.
Allen’s injury leaves QB Philip Rivers, who threw for 243 yards with a score versus the Chiefs, in search for a new go-to target downfield. Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin, for now, appears to be the leading candidates for the job, as their connection with the Rivers was relatively promising in Week 1.
Williams had a team-high of 71 yards on two catches, while Benjamin caught a team-high seven passes for 32 yards. It will be interesting to see how those two are going to break loose versus a Jaguars defense that still has some issues to solve in stopping the pass despite limiting Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense to below 200 passing yards.
On the ground, the Chargers can expect Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead to make life easier for their 34-year-old quarterback. The two running backs had a solid showing in their respective season debuts, but Gordon arguably got most of the attention after finding the end zone for two touchdowns, the first two of his career following last year’s disappointing rookie campaign.
San Diego is 6-2 SU and ATS in its previous eight meetings with the Jags.
The Jags (+3) get their first win of the season, 27-20.
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