I wish we all could feel a lot more confident heading into this game, but there’s a strong chance the Chargers are missing several starters when they host the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. After the news broke of both Corey Linsley and J.C. Jackson sitting out of back-to-back practices, the Chargers have moved from seven to five-point favorites at home, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
However, the one player the fan base can’t bare to imagine not playing on Sunday — golden boy quarterback Justin Herbert — looks to be right on track to start a long as he can move around well enough while managing the pain from his rib cartilage injury.
With all that in mind, here’s what our staff predicted for this week’s game against Jacksonville.
Michael Peterson: This Jacksonville team has some good stuff going for it. Their run game is solid and the defense is coming off an impressive showing in a shutout of the Colts. However, I just don’t think they’ve made enough strides to compete with the upper-tier AFC teams. Signing guard Brandon Scherff was massive for the Jags offensive line but he isn’t the one going up against the likes of Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. I think they’ll make a handful of plays to keep it close in the first half but the Chargers will pull away in the second half behind a defensive takeaway and a smothering pass rush.
Final Score: Chargers 27-17
Matthew Stanley: The Jacksonville Jaguars are playing like a different team this year, which is good for them and their fans to help shake off the remaining bad Urban Meyer vibes. They have an athletic set of edge rushers that either Trey Pipkins (if he can go) or Storm Norton will have a tough time dealing with. T-Law is playing great so far this season, and now he is being given a Peyton Manning comparison this week with an interesting stat: Both T-law and Manning lost their first 9 road games. Manning won his 10th road game...against the Chargers. Now Lawrence has his 10th road game...against the Chargers. However Lawrence is not Manning, and the Jaguars are not the Colts that were built up around Manning. I think the Chargers win this game even with a banged up Justin Herbert. I don’t think the Chargers run away with the game though. As we’ve seen through the first 2 games of this season, there’s still plenty of “chargering” going on, so if the Chargers go up by 2 scores, I fully expect them to throttle back like always.
Final Score: Chargers 28-20
Garrett Sisti: The Jags are pretty good on paper, there is some real speed in the front seven for Jacksonville. I think both Josh Allen and Travon Walker are really gonna get after it this week. Christian Kirk adds a new element to this Jags offense that gives them a spark in this game but I think the Chargers defense will be just too much for Trevor Lawrence to handle. This will come down to how Justin Herbert’s ribs hold up but I’d take “Half-A-Herb”™ in this matchup. I think Jacksonville folds on the road and Trevor Lawrence continues his road losing streak.
Final Score: Chargers 24-13