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Four keys for the Jaguars to beat the Chargers on Sunday

Jaguars offensive lineman Cam Robinson practices in the pouring rain before facing the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on September 19, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Jaguars offensive lineman Cam Robinson practices in the pouring rain before facing the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on September 19, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars have four games to play in the 2019 season. In order to avoid a losing season, they’ll have to win them all. It seems like a longshot. Sunday, the Jaguars host the Los Angeles Chargers. Here are the four biggest keys for the Jaguars to beat the Chargers:

Early start

The Jaguars have not started well lately. Last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defense looked completely out of place for most of the first half before settling down. Some of that was due to young players starting, including Donald Payne, who made his first career start. He’ll start again this week at middle linebacker.

The Jaguars have a pair of players listed on the injury report. Safety Ronnie Harrison did not practice Wednesday or Thursday and was limited on Friday as he returns from a concussion. He is questionable to start Sunday. Tight end Seth DeValve was also limited on Friday and is listed as doubtful with an oblique injury. If Harrison can’t go, Andrew Wingard will start. He was forced into action at safety with Harrison’s injury during the Colts game.

Minshew’s play

Gardner Minshew injected energy into the game when he replaced Nick Foles for the second half, but he only led the Jaguars on two scoring drives. One touchdown and one field goal. He must be more efficient in leading the Jaguars to scores.

All of the wide receivers who were limited at some point in practice this week, Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark and Chris Conley, were full participation on Friday and are not listed on the game status report. Minshew will need as many of his weapons as he can to be available, and he’ll need better protection than the offensive line afforded either quarterback last week. Which leads me to this ...

Tackles must play better

Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor have to play better. Last week, there was pressure on far too many passing plays. This week, the Jaguars are facing a Chargers team with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram leading the pass rush. The duo has combined for 14 sacks this season. Expect the offensive approach to take that into account. That means more quick passes and screens to take advantage of the aggressive playing style of Bosa and Ingram. This also goes back to key No. 1. If the Jaguars fall behind, Bosa and Ingram can pin their ears back and get after the quarterback. That’s not what the Jaguars need to see.

Play with passion

It’s not easy to keep focus and effort when the season is going down the hill, but as defensive tackle Abry Jones said this week, these are resume games. Whether it’s the current coaching staff, the next Jaguars’ coaching staff or the coaching staff of another team, everybody will be judged by the performance they put on the game tape. If you can’t be playing for the team’s success, play for your own future. That means preparation, effort and drive. The tape will show who plays that way.


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