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Jacksonville Jaguars' Gardner Minshew (15) throws a pass over Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (97) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Chargers Defense Quiets Minshew’s Return in Jacksonville

Despite rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew returning under center, the Jacksonville Jaguars fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 45-10 on Sunday afternoon in TIAA Bank Stadium.

The Jaguars offense failed to find the “spark” head coach Doug Marrone hoped Minshew’s return would bring.  Entering the game with identical (4-8) records, the Jaguars allowed an equally matched opponent to take control of the game early.

Minshew Mania Returns

In Jacksonville’s opening drive, Minshew marched the Jaguars down the field before being stopped in the red zone by the Chargers defense.  Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo put Jacksonville on the board, 3-0, with a 26-yard field goal.

On the opening drive, running back Leonard Fournette reached 1,000 rushing yards on the season.

Los Angeles quickly responded with a three-play touchdown drive capped off by a one yard rushing touchdown from Melvin Gordon.  The Chargers one minute and 37 second scoring drive put them up 7-3 over the Jaguars.

Chargers Take Control 

The Chargers took control in the second quarter, on a one yard run from Derek Watt that extended the Los Angeles lead to 14-3.  The Chargers defense stilled Minshew and the Jacksonville offense as it forced four consecutive Jacksonville punts in the second quarter.

With under two minutes left in the second quarter, Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers put the Charges up 21-3 with a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hunter Henry.

The Chargers ended the first half with a 40-yard field goal from kicker Michael Badgley to put Los Angeles up 24-3 heading into the half.  In the opening drive of the second half, the Chargers jumped out to a 31-3 lead as running back Austin Ekeler went 84-yards off a pass from Rivers.

Rivers finished the night 16 for 22 with three touchdowns.

Minshew Breaks Franchise Record

A fake punt from Jaguars punter Logan Cooke on a fourth and three gave the Jaguars an offensive spark and a nine-yard pass from Cooke to wide receiver Michael Walker kept the Jaguars drive alive.

https://twitter.com/Jaguars/status/1203811598235820033

Five plays later, a touchdown pass from Minshew to a wide-open Nick O’Leary cut the Chargers lead 31-10.  Recording his 15th touchdown pass of his rookie season, Minshew set a franchise record.

On the next drive, the Chargers responded with a touchdown of their own putting them up 38-10.  A 44-yard pass from Rivers to tight end Mike Williams put the Chargers in the end zone for the fifth time.

Chargers second string quarterback Tyrod Taylor came out in the fourth quarter in place of Rivers and his 14-yard pass to Virgil Green gave the Chargers a 45-10 lead.

Jacksonville defensive end Calais Campbell comments on his belief in his team despite its record.

Up Next

 The Jaguars return to the field Sunday to face the Oakland Raiders (6-7). Kickoff for the Jaguars road game is set for 4:05 p.m.

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