It’s no secret that the NFL Wild Card Weekend or as it’s now called SUPER Wild Card Weekend is some of the best sports theatre you can watch all year. It rarely disappoints and on day one of the festivities in the NFL, we had ourselves a show. A true Jekyll and Hyde performance unraveled in Florida on Saturday night and it turned into the best decision most of us made. T-Money is born!
The Jacksonville Jaguars fresh off an AFC South title was set to host a Los Angeles Chargers team that despite the 10-7 record they held, the multiple weapons on offense, and defense at the helm, were primed to “Charger”.
As the saying goes “Chargers gonna Charger” and on Saturday that couldn’t have rang truer.
It was one of those games where the group chat took a drastic turn and we all decided football made no sense again.
The Jags came out confident with Trevor Lawrence under centre to start the game and not two plays later, he threw a pick which turned into a quick TD to follow. Not the best look to start the playoffs.
Trevor Lawrence over 0.5 interceptions ✅
Bettors didn’t have to wait long for that one… pic.twitter.com/7MbFZNVYC1
— SportsBettingDime (@SBD) January 15, 2023
In fact, Lawrence proceeded to throw two more interceptions in the first quarter and another in the second. Truly remarkable! Like a quick 3-0 lead in hockey, everyone knows it’s not over until it’s over as bad as it looked.
The Chargers were up 27-0 with just under two minutes to go in the half when the Jaguars put together a drive to get their first touchdown of the game. If you’re one of those people that have that police suspect board with all the strings and tacks on the corkboard with the perfect path for a comeback, this was your game.
The Chargers received the ball to start the second half but failed to continue their dominance and gave the ball back to the Jags who eventually put up their second major of the game.
QUICK NOTE: This is when the playoff-starved fans start drinking the Kool-Aid and believe anything’s possible. They think well they only need two more to come back and that’s tons of time. Normally, I’d laugh at those people but I’ve lived through way too many ridiculous outcomes to know this game wasn’t over, after all: it happens in the CFL all the time.
What was really interesting about this game wasn’t that the Jaguars gave up 27 points off of turnovers because the Chargers’ defense was stellar, and don’t get me wrong, they were; but the Jaguars really just didn’t seem focused. Now, you shouldn’t be putting gifts wrapped that nicely into the hands of the opposition but hey, you do you.
Asante Samuel Jr was all over the field to start the game and he feasted on Trevor Lawrence from the get-go. The Chargers had their chance to bury them and they didn’t. 35-0 would have done it I think. That was the number.
Having watched the San Diego Chargers and now the Los Angeles Chargers for years, I’m all too familiar with the team that has blown games when they rightfully should have won so when this game started to turn, I knew it was only a matter of time.
TOUCHDOWN JAGUARS! After a field goal by the Chargers to go up 30-20, Jacksonville brought the ball back the other way and Zay Jones caught a 39-yard bomb from Lawrence.
SIDE NOTE: Evan Engram and Gerald Everett were monster tight ends in this game, you likely have heard their names on THNO (That Helps No One! FantasyCast on Crier Media). Tight ends dominated the league this season and their relevance in the postseason will continue to be important.
With the Chargers reeling off a missed FG, the Jaguars put one more big score on the board to make this thing close, and following a forced punt for the Chargers, the Jaguars had a chance to win this thing with a field goal.
Trevor Lawrence will now be known as T-Money and I sure hope he trademarks that; it’s gold. He does need to chill out on his starts though.
Before you see the eventual crusher from the Jags, let’s reminisce about the play that cemented this game: the Travis Etienne Jr 4th and 1 sweep route to get a massive 25-yard gain AND the first down to set up the winning field goal. This play is incredible… incredibly ballsy.
Travis Etienne with the biggest play of his career pic.twitter.com/pdWJrjpVGN
— Charlie Parker (@cmparker999) January 15, 2023
This is one of those plays people talk about for a long time. It was a masterpiece by Doug Pederson. The FG to win it all just seemed inevitable so in case you don’t know how to use social media and your tv package crapped out on you, here’s the kick that ended the game.
But before you see that, look at this:
Someone bet 1.4 million on the Los Angeles Chargers to win after their lead to gain a quick 11K and lost the 1.4M on the Jaguars win 👀
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) January 15, 2023
THE JAGUARS HAVE COME BACK FROM 27-0 TO WIN! pic.twitter.com/suYulpJ5AJ
— JayOnSC (@JayOnSC) January 15, 2023
I feel like I wrote this article a year ago, and I likely did. The NFL playoffs are just so unpredictable. Sunday should be just as good.