- Jags overcome disastrous first half for an incredible comeback victory. Down 27-0 with fewer than 2 minutes remaining in the first half, Jacksonville stormed back for an improbable victory. The Jags outscored L.A. 24-3 in the second half, culminated by Riley Patterson's game-winning field goal as time expired to send Doug Pederson's club to the Divisional Round. We'll get to Trevor Lawrence's miraculous turnaround shortly. First, let's discuss a young team that didn't pack it in when everything went wrong. Four interceptions. A punt that bounded off a Jags player for another turnover. An offense that couldn't generate traction. A defense that kept giving up third-down conversions. Pederson's team never surrendered. Yard by yard, the Jaguars battled back into the game. After a late touchdown cut the deficit to 30-26, Pederson elected to go for 2 points after a Joey Bosa unsportsmanlike conduct placed the ball at the 1-yard line. Lawrence dove into the end zone for the conversion to cut the deficit to two. The defense then came up huge, forcing a three-and-out. And on the biggest call of the game, fourth-and-1 from the Chargers' 41 with 1:27 remaining, Pederson lined up in big personnel. L.A. bought the inside run, and Travis Etienne dashed to the edge for a 25-yard gain setting up the game-winning field goal. It was a masterful call. Fearless.
- Trevor Lawrence turns pick-party into TD fiesta. Pressure forms diamonds. In the first half Saturday night, all Lawrence and the Jags had was a lump of coal. The Jags QB threw four first-half interceptions, leading to the Chargers' big lead. The first came on a ball that was batted twice at the line. The second came on a fourth down. The third was a bad read as the Chargers showed man coverage but played Cover 2, with Asante Samuel Jr. jumping the short crosser. And the fourth, a diving snag by Samuel, who read the in-breaking route. Lawrence didn't let the awful start ruin the whole night, getting back on track with an end-of-half-scoring drive. But that lump of coal turned into that diamond in the second half. The Jags scored TDs on their first three drives of the second half. Lawrence didn't force passes; instead, he took what the relaxing Chargers D provided and marched his team down the field. The Jags' three second-half scoring drives went 89 yards, 68 yards and 70 yards. That's doing work. Lawrence overcame bad ball placements early to throw darts and pin-point passes late. He finished 28-of-47 passing for 288 yards, four TDs and four INTs. For a young quarterback to stare disaster in the eyes and overcome them portends big things for the former No. 1 overall pick.
- Chargers keep on Chargering. L.A. looked a gift horse in the mouth. The Jags turned the ball over five times, leading to 20 Chargers points. It should have been enough to skate away with a victory. But this team simply couldn't put their opponent away, per usual. Leading 24-0 with just over five minutes remaining in the first half, the Chargers got the ball at the Jacksonville 6-yard-line after a muffed punt. They gained just one yard, leading to a chip-shot field goal. L.A. wouldn't enter the red zone again all game. Without Mike Williams (back), the offense was once again restricted. Tight end Gerald Everett led the way with 109 yards receiving and a TD. Justin Herbert zipped darts, particularly on big third downs early. But the offense wilted, unable to offer the knockout blow. The defense collapsed, allowing Lawrence to carve them up. Cameron Dicker missed a field goal with just under nine minutes remaining, breathing more life into the Jags' comeback. Even still, L.A. got the ball back up two with a chance to close it out. They went three-and-out. It took a group effort to collapse from a 27-0 lead. The group wilted.
- Asante Samuel Jr.'s big day goes to waste. The second-year corner was a menace in the first half, bullying Jaguars receivers and sniping passes. Samuel generated three interceptions in the first 23:09 of game-time. At the point of his third pick, the Chargers CB had caught more Lawrence passes than any Jags wideout. The son of Asante Samuel Sr., they became the third father-son duo to have a postseason INT in NFL history (Devin Bush/Devin Bush Jr. & Antoine Winfield/Antoine Winfield Jr.), per NFL Research, and the first duo to do so against the same team (JAX). For the game, Samuel surrendered four catches on 12 targets for 27 yards, with a TD allowed and three INTs. If not for the Chargers' meltdown, Samuel would be the toast of the day.
- What will Brandon Staley's future hold? Making the postseason cooled the temperature of the coach's seat. But the past week reignited the burn. First came Week 18, when he played starters deep into a meaningless contest. Williams suffered a back injury causing him to miss the wild-card game. Saturday's epic collapse will lead to another round of intense questions. The defensive coach couldn't stop the bleeding. His offense had no answers. He burned two timeouts that would have been big late. Instead of going for it on fourth-and-3 late to build a bigger lead and burn clock, the former face of going-for-it elected for a field goal that, even if made, would have turned a 10-point lead into 13. Earning a postseason bid could still keep Staley's job safe, but the collapse certainly puts his future in question.
Next Gen Stat of the Game: Trevor Lawrence's passing splits: First half: 1 TD, 4 INTs & -17.7% CPOE; second half: 3 TDs, 0 INT & +8.3% CPOE.
NFL Research: Before Saturday night, teams that lost the turnover battle by five were 0-26 in the postseason. The Jags made it 1-26.