Chargers falter late again, lose to Jaguars in OT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Josh Lambo kicked the ball, watched it clear the crossbar and then took off running the other way.
He didn’t stop until he took a soccer-style, celebratory slide on both knees near midfield.
It was a fitting end for a wild and wacky game that was filled with big plays and even bigger mistakes.
Lambo made a 30-yard field goal with 3:12 remaining in overtime, giving the Jacksonville Jaguars a 20-17 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Adrian Phillips tipped Lambo’s kick at the line of scrimmage, but it still made it through the uprights. The kick against his former team gave Jacksonville its first three-game winning streak since 2013 and ended a six-game losing streak in the series.
The game went to overtime after a weird final two minutes of regulation that included a fumble, two interceptions, a taunting penalty and a costly flag for roughing the passer. At times, it looked as if neither team wanted to win.
“If any of those things, half of those things, happen two years ago, we fold and it’s over,” Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said. “The guys we have in the locker room that we have now, the leadership, for guys to be able to overcome adversity, overcome mistakes, overcome turnovers and lead us and do all that is pretty impressive.”
After all the chaos, Lambo drilled a 34-yard field goal to send it to the extra period.
“We’ve lost some close games this year, but that’s the first time that we’ve lost one like that,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “To me, that was inexcusable. We had opportunities to win that game on the road, and we didn’t finish plays. We had a couple of guys do some dumb things.”
Lynn was clearly frustrated with safety Tre Boston, who inexcusably ran out of bounds at the Jaguars 10-yard line following his second interception in the final minutes of regulation. Jacksonville had three timeouts and got the ball back in good field position.
“Never seen it before,” Lynn said.
The Jaguars (6-3) punted to start overtime, but the Chargers (3-6) gave it right back — along with the game. A.J. Bouye wrestled a deep pass away from Travis Benjamin on third down and returned it to the 2-yard line. A taunting call on cornerback Aaron Colvin pushed the Jaguars back 15 yards, but still well within Lambo’s range.
Colvin’s penalty was just the last in a crazy series of poor decisions for both teams. Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee was called for a taunting, which left the Jaguars facing a third-and-25 scenario. Bortles overthrew Lee on the ensuing play and was picked off for the second time.
“I can’t throw those balls,” Bortles said.
The Chargers had their own issues.
Rookie Austin Ekeler , filling in for starter Melvin Gordon, fumbled while trying to run out the clock with a three-point lead. The Jaguars appeared to return it for a touchdown, but safety Tashaun Gipson was ruled down after a replay review. Bortles’ second interception allowed the Chargers to get away with that miscue, but Joey Bosa’s penalty for unnecessary roughness proved more costly.
Instead of forcing Lambo to make a long-range kick, those 15 yards made it more like an extra point.
“I’m exhausted right now,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “I’m shot.”
Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman played his first game of the season following an ankle injury and did some good and some bad.
He finished with a team-high nine tackles, but also whiffed trying to stop Jaguars rookie Leonard Fournette on one play.
“I made some plays and missed a couple of tackles, and I got to get that down,” Perryman said. “But it felt good to get back out there.”
Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns was carried to the locker room with a right leg injury late in regulation. … Jaguars special teams ace Arrelious Benn injured his right knee in the first half and was later ruled out. … Jaguars lost long-snapper Matt Overton (right shoulder) in the fourth quarter. … Both teams played without their starting right tackle. Los Angeles’ Joe Barksdale (foot) and Jacksonville’s Jermey Parnell (knee) missed the game after being listed as questionable Friday.
Former Jaguars head coach and current Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley returned to Jacksonville 11 months after being fired. Bradley, who went 14-48 in three-plus seasons in Jacksonville, avoided most pre-game contact with former players and assistants. A few Jaguars coaches tracked down Bradley on the opposite side of the field, but it was clear Bradley wanted to save any reunions for after the game.
Chargers: Host Buffalo next Sunday, the first of three home games in four weeks.
Jaguars: Play at winless Cleveland next Sunday, the first of two straight on the road.