Key things to know about Chargers’ Wild Card round opponent: Jaguars

The Chargers are in the playoffs for the first time since 2018, and they’re set to face the Jaguars, under the lights, on Saturday night.

To preview the matchup, here are some key things to know about Jacksonville.

Talk about a turnaround

The Jaguars were a combined 4-29 the previous two seasons. They’ve finished in last place in the AFC South for four straight seasons before this one. They were 3-8 with five consecutive losses at one point this season. Entering this contest, Jacksonville is on a five-game winning streak.

Made the leap

The first time the Chargers and Jaguars faced each other in Week 3, Trevor Lawrence was lights out, completing 28-of-39 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns. As the season progressed and Lawrence got more acclimated to Doug Pederson’s system, he continued to grow as a passer. Lawrence finished the regular season, completing 66.3% of his passes for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

Pederson’s pieces

Aside from Lawrence, the Jaguars have a slew of weapons contributing to their top-10 offense. Travis Etienne Jr. has 1,125 rushing yards and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Christian Kirk has 1,108 receiving yards to go with five touchdowns. Zay Jones, Evan Engram and Marvin Jones Jr. have over 500 receiving yards, and they’re averaging at least 10 yards per reception.

Uneven defense

The Jaguars’ defense has struggled against opposing quarterbacks. They are 30th in passing defense DVOA. They’re 28th in passing yards allowed per game (238.5), and they have the sixth-fewest sacks (34). Where Jacksonville is stronger, however, is defending the run – 11th in rush defense DVOA. They have allowed the fifth-lowest yards per carry (4.2) and are 12th in rushing yards allowed per game (114.8).

Other notes

  • The Jaguars are 20th in red zone offense and 24th in red zone defense.

  • The Jaguars have the ninth-best third-down offense and fourth-worst third-down defense.

  • The Jaguars are top 10 in pass-blocking efficiency and allow the eighth fewest sacks (19).

  • Foye Oluokun is the league leader in total tackles (184).

  • Josh Allen and Arden Key have 68 and 44 pressures, respectively.

  • The Jaguars are tied for sixth with the Chargers in turnover differential (+5).

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire