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Joey Bosa’s Unsportsmanlike Penalty Costs Chargers Dearly in Stunning Loss to Jaguars

Everything went right for the Chargers in the first half of their wild-card game against the Jaguars on Saturday. Los Angeles led 27–7 at halftime and appeared to be on its way to the AFC divisional round after a strong first-half performance.

That’s until Jags head coach Doug Pederson put together a master class in play calling and Trevor Lawrence redeemed himself in the second half after throwing four interceptions in the first 30 minutes of action. Following Lawrence’s fourth touchdown pass—a nine-yard reception to Christian Kirk—with 5:25 to play in the fourth quarter, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa believed that officials missed a false start penalty against Jacksonville.

When the penalty was not called, Bosa went to the sideline and slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration, picking up the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Bosa’s infraction allowed the Jaguars to take advantage of a two-point conversion attempt from the one-yard line. 

As a result, Lawrence snuck the ball into the end zone, cutting the Jaguars’ deficit to 30–28. Following a Jacksonville defensive stand, Lawrence and the Jaguars’ offense moved the ball down the field methodically, setting up Riley Patterson for the 36-yard game-winning field goal.

Jacksonville's win puts the Jaguars back in the AFC divisional round for the first time since 2017. The season comes to an end for the Chargers and a wave of uncertainty looms around the future of Chargers head coach Brandon Staley following the loss.