The Los Angeles Chargers are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the New Orleans Saints after blowing a 17-point lead, but they’ve had two weeks to prepare for an opponent that has lost five consecutive games in the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a huge upset victory over the Indianapolis Colts on opening day, Jacksonville has allowed 30-plus points in five straight games and handed three previously winless teams their first victory of the season. The Jaguars will look to earn a victory before their bye week.
Can Justin Herbert continue to play well against one of the NFL’s worst defenses? Will Gardner Minshew silence the doubters and avoid a potential benching? We’ll find out soon, but here’s everything you need to know.
How to watch LIVE TV
Date: Sunday, Oct. 25 | Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, California)
TV: CBS | Stream: CBS All Access
Follow: CBS Sports App
The Jaguars were expected to be one of the league’s worst teams and, despite their opening-week stunner, they have lived up to that reputation through six games. Jacksonville ranks in the bottom five in points scored and rushing yards, a poor combination for a team that needs better play from its quarterback. Minshew has struggled over the past two games, completing just 60.2% of his passes with three touchdowns to one interception — against two of the NFL’s worst defenses in the Texans and Lions. James Robinson has 25 carries for 77 yards over the last two games, adding to the team’s struggles as Jacksonville has the fewest rushing attempts in the league.
The Chargers have been sparked by the play of Herbert, despite winning just once in their first five games. Herbert is coming of a “Monday Night Football” record for rookies by throwing four touchdown passes in a game, as he has nine touchdown passes to three interceptions in his first four starts. When facing the blitz on third down this season, Herbert’s passer rating is a perfect 158.3 — adding to the Chargers’ success on third down, where they rank amongst the top 10 teams in the league. The Chargers rank in the top five in rushing attempts, despite Austin Ekeler missing several weeks with a hamstring injury. Rookie Joshua Kelley is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry as the Chargers’ lead back.
Last year, the Chargers rolled over the Jaguars as Ekeler had a huge day. Ekeler won’t be around for this matchup, but Jacksonville’s defense has given up 464.7 yards per game over the past three contests. The Chargers should score early and often against one of the league’s worst defenses. If Jacksonville can’t get Robinson going, this game could get ugly early.
Pick: Chargers 34, Jaguars 24
Check out CBSSports.com for even more expert predictions on this game and the rest of Week 7.