Like defensive end Melvin Ingram said in his post-game presser, this wasn’t the prettiest win, but it was a win nonetheless, and the Chargers aren’t going to apologize for it.
In another spectacular performance by rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, the Chargers staved off an intense comeback by the Jaguars to eventually outlast them 39-29 behind a career-high 347 yards passing and four total touchdowns from the #6 overall pick.
Joining rookie Joe Burrow who played against the Cleveland Browns earlier in the day, Herbert became the only other first-year quarterback to pass for over 300 yards, throw for three touchdowns, and rush for a score in a single game in NFL history.
The scoring on the night got started by Michael Badgley who converted a 35-yard field goal on the opening drive of the game for the Bolts. With five seconds left in the first quarter, rookie wide receiver Joe Reed took a snap on a jet sweep and bullied his way through a couple defender from seven yards for his first touchdown in the NFL which put the Chargers up 9-0 after Badgley missed the extra point attempt.
Herbert’s first touchdown toss of the day went to former XFL tight end Donald Parham with 10 minutes remaining in the second half. The score was his second touchdown in as many catches in the NFL.
The Jaguars were able to snag the momentum back with a pair of touchdowns by rookie running back James Robinson, who finished with 119 yards rushing on 22 carries and an additional 18 yards receiving.
The Chargers took a 16-14 lead into the half but they saw that lead vanish quickly when the Jags blocked a punt just 99 seconds into the second half, returning it 16 yards for a touchdown and a 21-16 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Herbert threw his second touchdown to a tight end, coincidentally on National Tight Ends Day, when he lofted a beautiful ball to Virgil Green in the back corner of the end zone for a 26-yard score.
The shootout was officially on when the Jaguars responded with a 28-yard touchdown from Gardner Minshew to wide receiver Chris Conley, thrusting them back into the lead at 29-22 after converting the two-point conversion.
Just 58 seconds later, Herbert would hit a streaking Jalen Guyton up the right sideline for his second touchdown of over 70 yards this season — and third total — to tie the game at 29-29.
The Chargers were finally able to extend their lead and put the game away for good after a five-yard rush from Herbert to end the third quarter and a final 35-yard field goal from Badgley to create the final score of 39-29.
Defensively, the Bolts started out by forcing the Jags to go three-and-out four-straight times start the game while not allowing a completion by Minshew until the second quarter. The pass-rush also took advantage of a shaky front five for Jacksonville and they brought down The ‘Stache five times, including a team-high 1.5 by Uchenna Nwosu. Damion Square and Desmond King added a sack while Joey Bosa, Kyzir White, and Isaac Rochell each recorded half of a quarterback takedown. Kenneth Murray Jr. recorded the team’s lone pass breakup on the day.