Jaguars rally from 27-point deficit to stun Chargers in epic wild-card game

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This Jaguars‘ season has been defined by overcoming adversity. 

In the spring, Jacksonville overcame the bad habits of a years-long losing culture. During the regular season, the team overcame a 2-6 start to win the AFC South in stunning fashion. 

Now, it’s overcome an insurmountable deficit to keep its unlikely season alive. 

In a playoff comeback for the ages, the Jaguars overcame a 27-0 deficit in the first half to beat the Chargers 31-30 Saturday night at TIAA Bank Field in an AFC wild-card game with a 36-yard field goal from place kicker Riley Patterson as time expired. 

The comeback was the third-largest in NFL playoff history. It was the biggest since the Colts overcame a 28-point deficit against the Chiefs in a 2014 AFC wild-card game.

The Jaguars advance to the divisional round, where the opponent and location will be determined after Sunday’s games. For a spot in the conference championship game, Jacksonville will play on the road if it faces a higher seed or at home against a lower seed.   

Jacksonville’s stunning season under first-year coach Doug Pederson, a Super Bowl-winning coach with the Eagles, charges on. The team enters the divisional round on a six-game winning streak. The Jaguars started the year 2-6, but won seven of their last nine regular-season games, including Week 18 against the Titans for the AFC South title.  

For the Chargers, their season comes to an end. The Bolts had been in the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

Lawrence was not sharp in the first half, throwing four interceptions in his playoff debut, including three by Asante Samuel Jr. The Chargers stormed to a 27-0 lead as Austin Ekeler ran for a pair of scores and Justin Herbert tossed a touchdown to Gerald Everett.

Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports. He previously worked for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, where he was the Titans beat writer for a year and a half. He covered the Seattle Seahawks for for three seasons (2018-20) prior to moving to Tennessee. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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