The (1-0) Jacksonville Jaguars bring their hardnosed, bruising brand of football to the west coast this Sunday in an afternoon affair with the (0-1) San Diego Chargers, kickoff slated for 4:15 PM EST. Jacksonville was able to get by the Broncos last Sunday on the legs of RB Maurice Jones Drew, while the Chargers were stymied from a tying score in the closing seconds of their Monday night tilt against the Chiefs. It will be quite a story league wide if the Chargers find themselves 2 games in the well at the end of this week’s slate of games and may signal a changing of the guard as far as NFL powerhouses go. Also, interesting to note that this game is going to be blacked out as there are still 8000 seats still unsold and Qualcomm stadium being a little more quieter might be just what the Jags need in this one.
The Jaguars enter this game with a little swagger after their hard fought victory over the Denver Broncos. RB Maurice Jones Drew was very impressive as he provided mismatches all over the field last Sunday for Denver and was the quintessential factor in an otherwise neutral game. Maurice Jones Drew, who rushed for 98 yards last week, returns close to his college stomping grounds in Southern California as he aims to show his knee is totally healed from last years season ending blow. Free-agent acquisition Aaron Kampman had nine tackles, six quarterback pressures and 1 1/2 sacks. The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end could be in for another big day because San Diego will still be missing holdout left tackle Marcus McNeill. This 2010 campaign is probably coach Jack DelRio’s last chance to prove he belongs in Jacksonville and can take this very capable group deep into the AFC playoffs.
San Diego is trying to avoid a second 0-2 start in three years and its third consecutive loss in a home opener Sunday when it meets the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chargers have been hyped all off-season long and have been regarded as a strong candidate to make it to Dallas this February. If last Monday night was any indication of how they intend to make it to Dallas then they will be making it to Dallas in February to watch in Jerry Jones suite. The Chargers laid an absolute egg, with Redzone difficulties, secondary miscalls, loose special teams assignments, and incorrect blitz protections. QB Phillip Rivers, however, looked quite impressive as he passed for 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns and he did so without last years Pro Bowler WR Vincent Jackson. Head coach Norv Turner has stressed the importance of not starting off slow all week and has made it known to the media, so an interesting storyline will be how his team responds this week to that criticism. The Chargers need a win Sunday as they are staring right in the face of a division game next week in Seattle, going into Seattle already down 2 games would be more dismal then the weather there for the Bolts.
Jaguars vs Chargers Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Jacksonville Jaguars +7
@ San Diego Chargers -7
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Jaguars vs Chargers Prediction for Week 2:
Game Total Prediction (TOP PLAY) – It was quite evident last Monday night that Chargers QB Phillip Rivers has yet to find his “go-to” guy in Redzone situations as he did have in WR Vincent Jackson last year. The Chargers were held to 14 measly points last week but were in good position to tie the game up as Rivers drove the offense deep into Chiefs territory but could not connect with anyone for the score. I believe this week we will see a “HOT” Chargers team that will want to prove they are the team to beat in the AFC as many analysts have projected and thus, the points should come. The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Diego’s last 5 games at home and the Jaguars and Chargers have gone 3-0 in over/under lines the last three times they faced off. The Jaguars are also no slouch when it comes to putting up points and I believe RB Maurice Jones Drew will be able to have his way with a banged up front four for the Chargers. I recommend taking a look at the over, as both teams will be able to put up the points this Sunday. TOP PLAY PREDICTION – OVER 45.5
Spread Prediction – The betting public has been all over the Jaguars in this game, possibly skewed because of the performance we witnessed from the Chargers last Monday night. I am not buying into the Chargers dismal performance and I believe we see a passionate performance from the Bolts this Sunday and we will be able to cover this line. Jacksonville’s traveling woes are well documented as they have gone 1-5 on the road in their last 6 road contests and San Diego is 14-3 ATS against AFC South division opponents since 1992. I believe the Jaguars will be able to keep pace with the Chargers for awhile in this one but Chargers coach Norv Turner will be able to get his group to pull away in this one. We are looking at a 35- 24 type of game, strongly consider the Chargers in this AFC battle. Cheers!