The Chargers and the Jaguars are the nightcap on night one of the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend. Los Angeles will make their first playoff appearance since 2018, and the Jaguars will play their first playoff game since 2017.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert will be without Mike Williams tonight. Still, Herbert threw for 4,739 yards this season and will try to win his first playoff start. Trevor Lawrence will try to do the same for the Jaguars as they look to continue to ride their second-year quarterback.
Los Angeles Chargers (10-7, 2nd AFC West) at Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8 1st AFC South)
Kickoff Time: 7:15 p.m. CT – TV: NBC, Peacock (Al Michaels, Tony Dungy, Kaylee Hartung)
Site: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Fl.
Referee: Shawn Smith
Odds: Chargers -2.5, O/U 42 (via DraftKings Sports Book)
Chargers Projected Starters
• QB Justin Herbert
• RB Austin Ekeler
• WRs Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer
• TE Gerald Everett
• LT Jamaree Salyer, LG Matt Feiler, C Corey Linsley, RG Zion Johnson, RT Trey Pipkins III
• LDE Morgan Fox, NT Breiden Fehoko, RDE Sebastian Joseph-Day
• WLB Joey Bosa, LILB Kyle Van Noy, RILB Drue Treanquill, SLB Khalil Mack
• LCB Michael Davis, RCB Asante Samuel Jr.
• FS Nasir Adderley, SS Derwin James Jr.
• Cameron Dicker (kicker), JK Scott (punter, holder), Josh Harris (long snapper), DeAndre Carter (kick and punt returns)
Jaguars Projected Starters
• QB Trevor Lawrence
• RB Travis Etienne Jr.
• WR Christian Kirk, Marvin Jones Jr., Zay Jones
• TE Evan Engram
• LT Walker Little, LG Tyler Shaltey, C Luke Fortner, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Jawaan Taylor
• LDE Folorunso Fatukasi, NT DaVon Hamilton, RDE Roy Robertson-Harris
• WLB Josh Allen, LILB Chad Muma, RILB Foyesade Oluokun, SLB Travon Walker
• LCB Tyson Campbell, RCB Montaric Brown
• FS Andre Cisco, SS Rayshawn Jenkins
• Riley Patterson (kicker), Logan Cooke (punter, holder), Ross Matiscik (long snapper), Jamal Agnew (kick and punt returns)
Players to Watch
For the Chargers, the question is who will step up in Mike Williams’ absence. Justin Herbert threw for 25 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards, but 895 of those yards and four touchdowns came via Williams. Austin Ekeler figures to be a significant part of the passing game tonight with Williams out. Ekeler caught a career-high 107 passes this season and led the NFL with 18 touchdowns.
On the defensive side of things, Khalil Mack led the Chargers with eight sacks this season. Mack and Joey Bosa will be critical for Los Angeles tonight as they try to make Trevor Lawrence uncomfortable in his playoff debut.
Speaking of which, Trevor Lawrence has been something of a magician through the air in the second half of the season. Lawrence has thrown for throwing 2,273 yards, 15 touchdowns, and just two interceptions in his last nine starts. Lawrence has a 104.6 passer rating during that span, and his performance will be the key to a Jacksonville victory tonight.
Jacksonville’s defense has been equally crucial to their turnaround this season. The Jaguars D is tied for fourth in the NFL with 27 takeaways this season. Darious Williams was tied for fourth with 16 passes defended this season. Tyson Campbell’s logged a career-high three interceptions this season. Up front, Josh Allen finished the season with a forced fumble in each of the previous two games.