In an interesting article off the Chargers website, I couldn’t help but note the irony.
The Jaguars will be playing in a blacked-out game this season. It will just not be a home game.
This is truly ironic, considering how much negativity the Jaguars have received about their blackouts last year from the NFL and many inattentive fans of other teams.
This last summer, it seemed like an article couldn’t go up on the Jaguars page that didn’t have some ignorant fan claiming that the Jaguars were headed to L.A. Only two weeks into the season, what Jaguars fans have been saying all summer is coming to pass.
The Jaguars are not the ones having blackouts, but the Chargers are. And the Chargers lease on their Stadium ends this season. And they can’t get the city to approve a new stadium.
The writing has always been on the wall: Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings are both far more likely to be in L.A. than the Jaguars. Especially considering the Jaguars have a good facility, and just signed a five-year naming deal with EverBank. But on to the important stuff…
Jaguars Wide Receivers’ vs. Chargers Secondary
This is kind of a mystery to me. The Chargers secondary contains no proven stars, but they didn’t exactly face a test last week with the Chiefs. However, the Jaguars faced one of the best secondaries in the league in Denver, and produced three big TDs.
Jaguars Running Backs vs. Chargers Front Seven
Last week did give us an indication of how the Chargers front seven looks. And it isn’t good.
Maurice Jones-Drew should have a field day with this unit.
Big Advantage: Jaguars
Jaguars Offensive Line vs. Chargers Pass Rush
While the Chargers pass rush may have been something to fear a few years ago little remains of those times. Shawne Merriman will probably not play, and he’s no longer "lights out" either.
If the Chargers had a playmaking defensive tackle in the middle, the Jaguars might have had some trouble. But Jamal Williams is not on their squad anymore, so David Garrard should have no trouble staying upright.
Jaguars front seven vs. Chargers Running Backs
Ryan Matthews looks solid, if unspectacular, and Darren Sproles was probably never worth that franchise tag. Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton should have no trouble containing these two.
Jaguars Defensive Line vs. Chargers Offensive Line
With their starting left tackle out and Aaron Kampman looking recovered, Rivers is going to be in for a lot of pressure. This one is pretty clear-cut.
Chargers Passing Game vs. Jaguars Secondary
The wide outs should be no trouble for the Jaguars secondary. Rashean Mathis can more then relegate Naane’s 100-yard day to recent-memory status only. And while the rest of the secondary has issues, the Chargers don’t really have anyone that can cause problems.
But there are two key elements that make this matchup problematic for the Jaguars. One is Philip Rivers himself, who is an excellent quarterback. The second is Antonio Gates against the Jaguars LBs and safeties.
Besides Daryl Smith, I am not comfortable with Gates on anyone else among the LBs and safeties. And I am sure the Chargers offensive coordinator knows this is the biggest mismatch he has, and will be looking for it all day.
Big Advantage: Chargers
This week, former Charger Kassim Osgood gets to met up with his old team and exact some revenge.
And have no doubt, he will be able too.
The Chargers special teams were nothing short of horrid last week. And the Jaguars special teams looked great. Huge Advantage: Jaguars
To sum this up, I think that the Chargers are suffering from the perfect setup of past success and future expectations that will make this year a really bad one for their fans, and might expedite a move to L.A.
No one wants to say the Chargers are rebuilding, but they clearly are, and they are a couple of years behind the Jaguars in that respect. This team has already started disappointing, and I have no doubt that it will continue.
The only way I see the Chargers winning is if the Jaguars have a west coast hangover like they did last year. But I should mention, prior to last year, they did very well on the left coast. On paper the matchups really seem to favor the Jaguars, for the most part, but you never know how it will play out.
With that said, I am calling this a very winnable game for the Jaguars on matchups alone.