JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars won their first five games by an average of 24.6 points. On Sunday they squeaked out a 20-17 overtime win against the Los Angeles Chargers. The NFL is the ultimate team game and on a day where the Jaguars offense struggled, their defense bailed them out.
“Yeah, the thing about it is, we’re confident of everybody in this locker room,” said Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell. “Our team, we’re family, we got each other’s back, and no matter what happens, we’re going to fight until the end. Today, we fought until the end. Nothing went our way, at all, we had so many plays that went against us, balls that didn’t bounce our way. At the end of the day, we found a way to get a W against a very good team.”
Although Phillip Rivers didn’t completely pick apart the Jaguars defense like he’s done in years past the Chargers held a 17-14 lead late in the fourth quarter. One play after Blake Bortles threw an interception the Jaguars defense responded with a forced fumble by Malik Jackson. The loose ball was picked up by Tashaun Gipson and returned for a touchdown. That celebration was cut short after Gipson was ruled down by contact.
The Jaguars offense was unable to take advantage of the great field position and gave the ball right back to the Chargers on Bortles’ second interception of the game. Instead of folding the Jaguars defense responded with a three-and-out, which led to the game tying field goal by Josh Lambo.
The Jaguars carried that defensive momentum into overtime. Rivers threw a pass deep down the left side of the field but Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye wrestled the ball away from Chargers receiver Travis Benjamin for the game changing interception.
“I was telling Jalen (Ramsey) before the game and especially at halftime that turnovers don’t get rolling until one of the DBs gets it and then once Malik (Jackson) got that big hit and Gip (Tashaun) was aware of it, the turnovers just started rolling and we had just a little bit of extra energy,” said Bouye. “We came out the half just a little bit slow, but we just find a way to keep fighting and we learned from our mistakes against the Jets so we just wanted to capitalize on it this time.”
Bouye returned the interception all the way to the 1-yard line. Although that play led to Josh Lambo’s game winning 30-yard field goal, Jalen Ramsey was hoping for a slightly different ending.
“I turned around and saw AJ with the ball and he started running,” said Ramsey. “I was like, he is going to the crib. I thought he was going to score and get a walk-off interception. It was AJ, man. All I know, we are the best two corners in the league. What do you all expect? When the game is on the line, they try us and we make a big play.”