Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers
The Jacksonville Jaguars and the San Diego Chargers meet in a battle of non-playoff contending teams on Monday Night Football. The Chargers are -3 point favorites over the Jaguars with an over/under point total set at 37.5.
The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t have high hopes for this season but with no hopes left of making the post season they made good on their word and fired Head Coach Jack Del Rio. The Jags simply don’t have playoff caliber talent but it wasn’t just Del Rio’s work this year, it was an overall lack of success over his tenure. Del Rio made rookie Blaine Gabbert the starter and it has been a growing process, a slow one at that as Gabbert has completed just 48.5 percent of his passes for 1,371 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions. Maurice Hones-Drew is one of the best backs in the game averaging 4.5 yards per carry for 1,040 yards and five touchdowns though he gets no help at all. Mike Thomas leads the Jacksonville receivers with 37 catches, Marcedes Lewis has 27 catches, and Jason Hill has 25. Defensively the Jags have 23 sacks, 10 fumble recoveries, and 10 interceptions for a plus one turnover margin. Paul Posluszny has 84 tackles, Daryl Smith has 80 tackles, Dawan Landry has 70. Whomever takes over as Head Coach isn’t going to have much to work with but it will be almost a blank canvas to build a team of their own.
The San Diego Chargers are one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL and come into this game riding a six game losing streak. While it was the Jaguars’ Del Rio who was shown the door it is hard to believe the Chargers’ Norv Turner isn’t too far behind him. QB Phillip Rivers is having an off year as he’s completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 3,211 yards he’s thrown 17 interceptions to go with his 16 touchdown passes. Ryan Mathews is starting to show the stuff that made him a first round draft choice as he’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry and he’s found the endzone three times. Mike Tolbert leads San Diego in receptions with 45, Vincent Jackson has 44, and Antonio Gates has 40 but Gates has been on and off the field. Defensively the Chargers have 19 sacks, six fumble recoveries, and 10 interceptions for a minus ten turnover margin. Takeo Spikes has 76 tackles, Antwan Barnes has six sacks, and Eric Weddle has five interceptions. While San Diego isn’t officially eliminated from the playoffs the end is near.
Jacksonville is 4-9-1 against the spread in their last 14 games, 3-8 against the spread as an underdog of up to three points, and 1-4 against the spread against a team with a losing record. San Diego is 1-5-1 against the spread in their last seven road games, 0-6 against the spread in their last six games overall, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five Monday Night games. The home team has covered four in a row in this series.
Turnovers rule for both of these teams and this should be a sloppy but quick game as both teams will look to run the ball and play physically. My pick in this one will be on the total which is set at 37.5 and a number I see this one staying under.