JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence threw four interceptions with four touchdown passes — one of the most incredible turnarounds in NFL postseason history — to lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 31-point win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night. -30.
Lawrence engineered the game-winning drive, which was highlighted by Travis Etienne’s 25-yard run on a fourth-and-1 play, and put the Jaguars in position for Riley Patterson’s 36-yard field goal on the final play. He capped the comeback with 27 points, the third-highest in playoff history.
“You can’t write a crazier script,” Lawrence said. “We said in the locker room that this is how our season is going. We never give up the fight. … I’m honestly at a loss for words just to see what faith can do and to see when a team believes in each other what you can accomplish.”
Patterson’s shot narrowly missed the right post and set off a raucous celebration for a franchise that had won just four games in the previous two years. The Jaguars (10-8) won their sixth straight game and fifth straight at home, all five coming from behind.
No one could see this one coming. Maybe not even Lawrence. But he was a steady manager after a first-half setback. He finished 28 of 47 passing for 288 yards, which was a shock considering how he started.
Lawrence had a terrible start in Jacksonville’s first playoff game since losing in the 2017 AFC title game. He became the third quarterback in the Super Bowl era to throw four interceptions in the first half of a playoff game, joining Detroit’s Gary Danielson and Denver’s Craig Morton.
But he recovered as well as anyone in NFL history.
“I had no choice,” Lawrence said. “If we’re going to win this game, digging yourself a hole like that, you’ve got to score a lot of points. In doing so, your quarterback must play well. So I clearly had no choice.
“These guys have sacrificed too much for me to be the reason we lose an opportunity. That’s what I was thinking. I know that I will make plays. I just have to get back on track. The guys around me were making plays. It’s not just me.”
The Jaguars, who also turned the ball over when a punt hit Chris Claybrook’s helmet, became the first team in the Super Bowl era to win a playoff game with a turnover differential of minus-five or worse. Teams with such turnover deficits were 0-19.
Lawrence misfired early and often and was booed well before halftime. His confidence seemed knocked down. His arrogance seemed to have vanished. All the progress he made in his first season with coach Doug Pederson looked like it would be nullified in the team’s final game.
But Lawrence never wavered. He connected with Evan Engram, Marvin Jones, Zay Jones and Christian Kirk for touchdowns that increased the team’s faith in its quarterback and its return.
Lawrence added one of the biggest plays when he hit a 2-point conversion that made it 30-28 — and gave the Jaguars a win instead of a tie.
Jacksonville’s defense responded with a sack of Justin Herbert and then a forced fumble. From there, Lawrence took over with a big assist from Etienne.
“I feel like a running back, when it comes to that point in the game, you have to be closer,” Etienne said. “Coach believed in me on that fourth-and-1 to give me the ball. I had to do something for my teammates.”
Herbert threw for 273 yards and a touchdown without an interception, but the Chargers offense was largely ineffective after a 62-yard TD drive that made it 24-0 midway through the second quarter. Los Angeles (10-8) finished with 320 yards of offense and 18 first downs and yielded just three points on four second-half possessions.
Jaguars rookie Trevon Walker, the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, was flagged for unnecessary roughness after his second sack in the fourth quarter. Instead of facing third-and-13, the Chargers gained 15 yards and an automatic first down. This helped set up a field try but Cameron Dicker missed from 40 yards which proved huge.
It appeared to be the third time this season that Walker took a costly penalty late in the game.
He was flagged for roughing a pass on a third-and-12 play — an incomplete pass — that helped Indianapolis beat Jacksonville in Week 6. A week earlier, he threw Houston quarterback Davis Mills to the ground long after the whistle, drawing a 15-yard roughing penalty and turning a third-and-20 play into a first down. Houston found the end zone seven plays later and won.
Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter and left tackle Jamari Saller left the game with ankle injuries. Chargers cornerback Michael Davis is out with a pectoral injury. Lawrence cut the tip of his left thumb with the fourth, but wrapped it up and continued playing.
Chargers: This offseason will be a tough loss to deal with.
Jaguars: Expect a road division opponent that will likely be top-seeded Kansas City next weekend. The Chiefs won the meeting in the regular season.
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