Chargers defensive line must put the pressure on Jags QB Gardner Minshew

Fernando Ramirez

The Chargers (1-4) need to turn their season around desperately. The game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) on Sunday could be that game.

If they take the lead, they need to hold on to it. That is what the coaches and players have been preaching this week. It won’t be an easy game because regardless of the Jags record…they are still dangerous.

Here are some keys to victory for the Chargers:

  1. The defensive line must not Minshew-Mania run wild on them.

There have been talks about Jags head coach Doug Marrone benching quarterback Gardner Minshew, even if it is true the Bolts know he is dangerous. He is a mobile quarterback who keeps plays alive with his legs. He has thrown 11 touchdowns this season. He also has around 100 rush yards, which may look like nothing, but the Bolts defense has had a problem stopping mobile quarterbacks. In week two, Mahomes and the Chiefs faced a crucial third and 20. Mahomes took off running and picked up 21 yards. It is huge that they get Melvin Ingram and Justin Jones back for this game, even if it is on a snap count. Expect a healthy Joey Bosa to disrupt the second-year quarterback. The defense must contain Minshew.

2. The secondary versus the Jaguars three receivers.

The Chargers secondary has not been very good since Chris Harris Jr. went out with the ankle injury. They gave up over 300 yards to Tom Brady and Drew Brees. This week they face a tough receiving group. All three of the Jags receivers have over 25 catches, and running back James Robinson has 23. Keelan Cole, Laviska Shenault, and DJ Chark all have over 250 yards receiving. The Bolts cornerbacks need to be disciplined on Sunday. Cornerback Michael Davis said on Thursday that they need to keep the receivers in front of them and make sure they don’t let the big plays happen. If Casey Hayward, Desmond King, and Davis can hold down the three receivers, then the team can get their first victory since opening weekend.

3. Chargers offensive line must give Herbert time to operate.

For the third week in a row, the Chargers will not have Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga. Turner hasn’t suited up since week two against Kansas City. That means that Ryan Groy and Trey Pipkins will start in their place. They have been good backups, but they don’t come close to making up for their absence. Since Bulaga went out against the Panthers to this game coming up, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert has been under pressure often by the opposing defense. The Jags are coming into this game with only five quarterback sacks. The offensive line must keep a clean pocket for Herbert. Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said the offense has had drives stall and that they need to do a better job of keeping them going. That starts with the offensive line giving the rookie quarterback time to operate.

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