One of the most exciting games of Week 1 featured the San Diego Chargers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were coincidentally my Survival Football pick for the opening week of games, so I was certainly on pins and needles throughout. San Diego opened up a huge lead, before losing Keenan Allen for the season and then letting that win slip away to a motivated Chiefs squad in the second half. Kansas City is a solid team and Arrowhead is a tough place to play, but the loss of Allen and the loss itself has to sting for the Chargers.
They’ll need to get over it though as the upstart Jaguars will pay them a visit in Week 2. The Jags likely deserved a better Week One fate against the Packers, suffering a narrow loss and enduring some puzzling referee decisions. Both of these teams are likely in the same grouping – good enough not to be designated as bad, but not quite elite enough to take the next step into the post-season. Still though, there is money to be made from these games, and as always we have you covered here at The Sports Geek. Read on below to see if both these winless squads can rebound in Week 2 with a full game breakdown and betting prediction for Jaguars/Chargers.
Jaguars vs. Chargers Betting Odds:
Jacksonville Jaguars +3 (-110)
@ San Diego Chargers -3 (-110)
Over 47.5 (-110)
Under 47.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Jaguars vs. Chargers Pick:
For all the good San Diego did last week in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs, it really evapourated quite quickly in the second half. Whether it had to do with the devastating loss and injury of their star receiver in Keenan Allen or not, losses like that shouldn’t happen when you’re leading by so many points!
What we saw from San Diego in that second half, is likely a reflection of what you’ll see from them the rest of the season. While the Chiefs are a solid squad, San Diego has been mired in injury trouble and off-field distractions for months leading up to the 2016 season. This is a team that already looks defeated, and with the future grim, the upstart and hungry Jaguars are ready to pounce for a shot at their first victory of 2016.
Making matters worse is the sheer difficulty of the AFC West division. Oakland and Denver are already better than the Chargers, and without Allen – the playoffs seem like a pipe dream. For the Jags, they play in the wide open AFC South, where you can realistically envision any of the teams topping that quartet.
Look for Jacksonville to dominate this game on the ground. T.J. Yeldon is still familiarizing himself with the NFL, but he’ll be helped in the run game this week from the veteran back Chris Ivory. Ivory was dealing with an illness but it seems as if he’ll be fully recovered for Sunday afternoon. San Diego was absolutely dominated in Week 1 on the ground, via the Chiefs’ back-up Spencer Ware. Both Yeldon and Ivory will be in for big games.
With the run game working, things will surely open up for the Jags’ high-flying aerial assault. When Blake Bortles is on, he can be very good – and it helps that he’s blessed with a bunch of talented receivers around him. Allen Robinson can’t be covered by anyone in San Diego’s secondary, and the other Allen, Hurns, is a great complimentary piece to avoid a Robinson double-team. It is also worth mentioning that the Chargers’ linebackers grade very low defensively as a unit, and this likely means Julius Thomas could be able to roam free as well on Sunday.
The Chargers are beat up mentally and physically following the loss of Allen, and there’s no way they’ve had enough time to plan for how to replace that offense. Philip Rivers targeted Keenan Allen on 43.8% of his total passes – that is a staggering amount to try and replace in a week. With Ivory back to help out Yeldon in the running game, a competent ground attack will again gash the Chargers, and allow the Jags to control the tempo of play and set up their passing game. Without Allen, San Diego will be asking a lot out of unknown and unproven players, and while somebody might step up, the Jags aren’t the team to do it against. Finally, it’s believed that 3rd overall pick for San Diego, Joey Bosa may suit up for this contest. Even though Bosa is extremely talented and the Chargers are in desperate need of a pass-rush, you have to wonder how fit and ready he’ll be and if he can make a difference right off the bat.
Expect Jacksonville to win this game outright as a very public road underdog. It’s not every day the Jags are backed so heavily, but the spot is right for Jacksonville to start stringing wins together, and this Week 2 encounter with a worn down Chargers team seems to be a good place to start. Jacksonville matches up well with San Diego, and a bunch of their strengths will be met with Chargers’ weaknesses on Sunday. Roll with the Jags.
PICK = Jaguars +3 (-110)