Another blown lead, but this time Chargers rally to beat Jaguars 39-29

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LOS ANGELES | This week the Chargers blew a 16-point lead to give the Jaguars a glimmer of hope to win their second game of the NFL season.

But, unlike blowing 17-point second quarter leads against Tampa Bay and New Orleans, the Chargers (2-4) rebounded to beat the Jaguars 39-29 Sunday at SoFi Stadium behind rookie QB Justin Herbert, who completed 27-of-43 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

The Jaguars (1-6) cut the Bolts’ lead to 16-8 after rookie running back James Robinson extended over the goal line for the score on a four-yard run and the Jaguars’ good two-point conversion attempt. 

 The score was originally ruled down at the one-yard line, but Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone threw the challenge flag, which was overturned and ruled a TD. Marrone has now won 18-of-28 challenges (64.3%) during his tenure as head coach of the Jaguars. 

“One thing that’s out there on the field is they’re playing as hard as they can. We’re just not making the plays we need to make. That is on all of us. It starts with me,” Marrone said. “If you looked at all of us, I think there’s a level of disappointment when you’re not able to make plays and do all of that. It’s hard after the game to not feel upset when you’ve worked so hard and put everything into it.”

 Robinson scored his second TD of the day on a nine-yard catch with 18 seconds to play in the half, but a failed two-point conversion attempt made it 16-14.

Robinson totaled 137 scrimmage yards, 119 rushing and 18 receiving.  Through seven career games, Robinson has totaled 706 scrimmage yards, the most scrimmage yards in NFL history by an undrafted player through seven games. His 27 receptions are the most by an undrafted running back through seven career games in NFL history. 

 Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew completed 14-of-27 passes for 173 yards and two TDs. Wide receiver Chris Conley scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Minshew, marking the longest Jaguars TD of the season.

 The sixth-year veteran has caught three TDs of at least 25 yards from Minshew in the last two seasons after posting TD receptions of 70 yards and 42 yards in 2019.

“I think every week there’s good and bad,” Minshew said. “That’s one thing I am proud of. We’ve just got to keep working and put a complete game together. It hurts, but I wouldn’t say we’re discouraged. I think everybody is looking for a solution still.”

  In the third quarter, Jacksonville safety Daniel Thomas blocked a Ty Long punt and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown, becoming the fourth member of the Jaguars rookie class to score this season. 

The Jaguars scored on a blocked punt for the fifth time in franchise history and the first since cornerback Mike Harris scored on a blocked punt in 2012.

But the third quarter belonged to Herbert, who threw two touchdowns and rushed for one.

Defensive back Tevaughn Campbell caused Jaguars’ Dede Westbrook to fumble a kickoff, which was recovered by Los Angeles’ Troymaine Pope at Jacksonville’s 19-yard line.

 “I’ve said before: If you talk about frustration and disappointment, I look to myself. I’ve got to find a way to get this team, coaches, everybody, over the top and to keep plugging away,” added Marrone.

 The Jaguars’ bye week comes at an opportune time with the injuries from Sunday. Linebacker Dakota Allen suffered an ankle injury against the Chargers. Cornerback Sidney Jones was shaken up in the first quarter and was evaluated for a concussion. He was cleared for a concussion but later was ruled out with a back injury. Westbrook was carted off the field with a knee injury and ruled out. Running back Devine Ozigbo hurt his hamstring.

 Jacksonville hosts AFC South Division rival Houston on Nov. 8.

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