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 culture lost for years. During the regular season, the team overcame a 2-6 start to win the AFC South in impressive fashion.

Now, he has overcome an insurmountable deficit to keep his improbable season alive.

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

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

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

Jacksonville’s impressive season under first-year coach Doug Pederson, a Super Bowl-winning coach with the Eagles, continues. 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 is coming to an end. The Bolts were in the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

Lawrence wasn’t sharp in the first half, throwing four interceptions in his playoff debut, including three from Asante Samuel Jr. The Chargers stormed out to a 27-0 lead as Austin Ekeler had a pair of scores and Justin Herbert threw 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 SeattlePI.com for three seasons (2018-20) before moving to Tennessee. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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