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NFL

Chargers vs Jaguars: Bolts to exploit Minshew weakness

Five Bold Predictions Jacksonville Jaguars Gardner Minshew

John Woz, Jr.  | December 8th, 2019

Getting all three phases on the same page has been a real issue for the Chargers this year. Week 14 gives the Bolts their best chance of a ‘W’ before their season concludes. There are several ways to sum up the Chargers this season. A frustrating string of close losses is an enigma. For example, Mike Williams leads the NFL in yards per catch over the last four weeks, but he hasn’t found the End Zone. An explosive offense is missing, especially in the running game. It’s the coaching staff and the roster who can truly answer why the Bolts are 4-8?

Philip Rivers could have a maximum of four games left in the colors of the Los Angeles Chargers. Rivers hasn’t had the best of seasons, he’s thrown 15 interceptions. It could be an unhappy end to a lengthy career. Talk of which teams would have given Rivers a Super Bowl ring if futile. The football purists will acknowledge Rivers’ commitment and service to the game. Let’s hope Rivers can come through the final few weeks of the season with his reputation intact.  It’s on the other side of the football where the Chargers can influence Sunday’s game.

Jaguars focus

The 4-8 Jacksonville Jaguars are on a four-game losing streak, scoring an average of 11.75 points per game. During that streak, the Jaguars have given up at least 26 points per game.

Analysts scrutinize quarterbacks more than any other skill position in the game. Doug Marrone has benched Nick Foles, handing the offensive responsibilities back to their 2019 6th round pick. Minshew has had a steady start to his pro football career, but he must work on ball security, having fumbled the football 12 times

. The Jaguars gave up five sacks last week, so the Bolts must start their game plan up front. How will Minshew cope under pressure when Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are breathing down his neck?

Minshew Stats

PASSING SNAPS 392
DROPBACKS 392
ATTEMPTS 334
PASSING YARDS 2432
PASSING TOUCHDOWNS 14
INTERCEPTIONS 5

Leonard Fournette has 220 carries for 989 yards rushing, that’s an average for 4.5 yards per attempt. The Chargers have struggled against the run. It means Fournette has a great chance to rush for his first 100-yard game since Week 7.

Myles Jack leads the Jaguars in tackles, but the 4th year pro is on Injured Reserve. Josh Allen leads the team with nine sacks. There’s more bad news for Jacksonville. Ronnie Harrison has two picks on the season, but he is in concussion protocol.

The Jaguars are undisciplined on the field, they’ve given up 105 penalties totaling over 900 yards. That’s an incredible statistic.

Chargers Keys to Victory

The Chargers look tentative on offense. It’s one of the reasons why they are so poor in red-zone efficiency. The Bolts efficiency percentage of 46 percent is significantly lower than last season when they were ranked in the top-10.

Shane Steichen must figure out how to get the best out of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler on the ground. Add Hunter Henry, Keenan Allen, and Williams into the mix and there is enough talent to keep the scoreboard ticking over. The Chargers have mastered the art of making the wrong chess moves. It all points to an irritating 4-8 record.

Bosa is due a sack, he has not registered one since the Week 9 win against Green Bay. It’s not just on Bosa and Ingram to make plays. I expect Derwin James to disrupt Jacksonville’s offense.

Chargers Injury Update

Nick Dzubnar is in concussion protocol.

Jaguars Injury Update

Harrison is out, and Seth Devalve is doubtful.

Final word

The Bolts can close out the last quarter of the season with four wins. It’s an unlikely scenario, given how the Bolts have played, but Sunday’s game is a prime opportunity to springboard a target of 4-0. The Chargers No.4 ranked defense should be capable of cooling Minshew’s tepid offense. Home field advantage should give the Jaguars the win, but I can’t trust them. If the Chargers can find their rhythm they will win by a touchdown.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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