Lawrence, Jaguars rout ailing Herbert, Chargers 38-10
By JOE REEDY
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars not only snapped an 18-game road losing streak, they made a statement with a dominant second half that showed they might be shedding their tag as one of the league's worst franchises.
Lawrence threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns Sunday in a 38-10 blowout of ailing Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.
The 28-point win was Jacksonville's largest on the road since a 33-3 rout of Minnesota in 2001, when Lawrence was 2 years old.
"I think the way we played you can't deny that we're that we're a really good team. But at the end of the day it doesn't really matter what it says about us. We know who we are," said Lawrence, who completed 28 of 39 passes. "We played a complete game and to stack two weeks is big for us."
James Robinson rushed for 100 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown in the third quarter that proved to be the knockout punch. It was the first of three straight scoring drives by the Jaguars (2-1).
Jacksonville's road skid was tied for the eighth-longest in league history. The Jags won in the Pacific time zone for the fourth time in 19 trips and beat the Bolts on the road for the first time in six tries.
"It's everything for this team, and that's exactly what the guys who have been here a while are talking about," coach Doug Pederson said. "It's good to get a road win and to travel across the country like this. Hopefully it's the start of things to come."
Riley Patterson kicked three field goals as the Jaguars went over the 30-point mark for the first time since Week 2 of the 2020 season. It also marks the first time since December of 2000 they have won consecutive games by at least 20 points.
Herbert started after being listed as questionable all week with a rib injury. The third-year quarterback passed for 297 yards but turned it over twice, finishing 25 of 45 with a touchdown.
"We just didn't move the ball as well as we would have liked. Failed to convert on some third downs, didn't get the ball moving in the first half and just had to play catch-up," Herbert said.
Besides Herbert being at less than full strength, the Chargers were missing center Corey Linsley, receiver Keenan Allen and cornerback JC Jackson. Two additional starters - linebacker Joey Bosa and offensive tackle Rashawn Slater - were injured during the game.
The Chargers (1-2) had the ball for only 22 minutes and were held to 29 rushing yards.
"Our number one thing is stop the run. That's what we did today. When we stop the run, we can have fun, so that's all we did," Jaguars defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot said.
The Jaguars led 16-10 early in the third quarter and dominated from there. Robinson's run off left tackle on fourth-and-1 from midfield began the onslaught. It was the longest TD run of Robinson's career and his second-longest carry overall.
"That really took the air out of us. We played over 40 plays in the first half and I felt that in the second half, I felt like we didn't have that same energy," Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. "We didn't affect the quarterback today. That also had a big impact on the game."
After the Chargers went three-and-out, Lawrence directed a 14-play, 60-yard drive that took 8:27 off the clock and was capped by a 4-yard pass to Christian Kirk. Evan Engram scored the 2-point conversion to make it 31-10 with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter.
Lawrence completed his second three-TD game in the NFL with an 11-yard connection to Marvin Jones midway through the fourth quarter.
Jacksonville jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter with 10 points coming off Chargers turnovers. After Devin Lloyd picked off Herbert's pass on a deflection and returned it 10 yards to the LA 5-yard line, Jacksonville extended its lead to 6-0 on Patterson's 23-yarder.
The Jaguars found the end zone on their next possession. Five plays after Foyesade Oluokun recovered a fumble by Herbert at the LA 28, Lawrence rolled left and found Zay Jones in the back of the end zone from 14 yards out.
Lawrence lost his first nine road starts since being the top overall pick in the 2021 draft. Hall of Famer Peyton Manning also lost his first nine road starts before winning in Week 3 of his second season (1999), 27-10 at the San Diego Chargers.
"That's pretty cool. That's interesting," Lawrence said. "To have a win on the road like this is awesome."
Herbert reached 900 completions and 10,000 passing yards. He is the fastest in league history to hit the completion milestone.
Chargers: Bosa suffered a groin injury during the first quarter and did not return. ... Slater (bicep) went out in the second half. ... WR Jalen Guyton suffered a knee injury in the second half.
Jaguars: At Philadelphia (3-0) next Sunday. Pederson coached the Eagles for five seasons and led them to a Super Bowl title in 2017.
Chargers: At Houston (0-2-1) next Sunday.
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Updated September 25, 2022