JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Another week. Another low point.
Just when things feel like they can’t get much worse, the Jaguars manage to lower the bar even more.
Jacksonville’s fifth consecutive loss was another one-sided blowout, this one a 45-10 debacle at TIAA Bank Field on a dreary Sunday that was over by halftime.
For the second straight week, Jacksonville lugged a deficit of more than 20 points into the locker room and scratched out points with the game significantly out of reach.
A change at quarterback from Nick Foles to fan favorite Gardner Minshew II did nothing to shake Jacksonville from one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.
Minshew played turnover-free and was 24 of 37 for 162 yards with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Nick O’Leary. But, like Foles, he wasn’t able to get the Jaguars moving offensively. And even if he did, it probably wouldn’t have mattered.
Los Angeles racked up 525 yards on its 10 drives and had no problems moving the ball against a defense that has gotten softer by the weak.
The loss ensures that the Jaguars (4-9) will finish under .500 for the 11th time in the past 12 seasons. The lone season with a winning record in that span came in stunning run to the 2017 AFC championship game.
The Jaguars have been in a freefall since (9-20).
The last five games have been some of the worst football played in that stretch, losses by 23, 20, 22, 17 and 35 points.
Sunday’s felt like the topper in another lost season.
The Chargers (5-8) buried Jacksonville in the second quarter, scoring 17 points over the final 5 minutes, 18 seconds to flip a 7-3 game into a 24-3 hole by the break.
In the first three games of its current losing streak, Jacksonville was at least competitive for a half. They were in one possession games at the break in losses to Houston, Indianapolis and Tennessee.
The last two weeks? It’s been a pummeling from open to close.
Jacksonville trailed 25-0 at halftime to the Buccaneers last week.
Coach Doug Marrone made a quarterback change then, going from Foles to Minshew, who managed scoring drives in an eventual 28-11 loss.
There’s just no help left to give on the Jaguars roster.
The defense was abysmal, with glaring missed tackles and blown assignments everywhere.
Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers’ 30-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Henry in the second quarter came with no Jaguars defender within 10 yards of the play. Running back Austin Ekeler entered the game with 380 rushing yards all season. He had 93 rushing yards on five carries by halftime. He finished with 213 total yards (101 on the ground and 112 receiving). Ekeler had an 84-yard touchdown on a screen pass from Rivers to open the third quarter.
He is the first Chargers back since 1985 to manage 100 rushing and 100 receiving yards in a game.
Rivers finished 16 of 22 for 314 yards and three touchdowns. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter, pulled with a 38-10 lead. Tyrod Taylor came on in relief and fired a 14-yard scoring pass to Virgil Green, who was wide open at the front corner of the end zone.