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Chargers Edge Rusher Joey Bosa Explains What Led to His Outburst in Wild Card Round vs. Jaguars

What caused Joey Bosa to erupt and throw his helmet into the ground that resulted in an unsportsmanlike penalty vs. Jaguars?

COSTA MESA – Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa was called for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the team's 31-30 Wild Card Round loss to the Jaguars Saturday night at TIAA Bank Field.

The second of Bosa's two penalties came with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter following Trevor Lawrence's 9-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk that put the Jaguars within one score from the Chargers' lead.

After Kirk marched in the end zone, Bosa walked towards the Chargers' sideline noticeably frustrated and slammed his helmet into the grass just before reaching the bench.

Bosa was flagged on the play and the Jaguars accepted the penalty, taking the yardage on point after attempt. Jacksonville converted the two-point conversion, which made it a 30-28 game just one drive before Jaguars kicker Riley Patterson hit the game-winning field goal.

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said after the game if not for Bosa's penalty, he wouldn’t have gone for the two-point try.

The following day, Chargers players spent Sunday cleaning out their lockers as they head into the offseason and Bosa explained what led to his aggressive outburst.

"I think I need to be more accountable for my actions, obviously," Bosa said of his reckless behavior. "But it's a heated game and I'm hurting out there, I'm playing on half a leg, I'm getting dragged to the ground. It could hurt me, along with screwing our team. 

"Maybe some of the [no-call penalties] weren't as blatant as I thought, but I think there just needs to be more accountability. I mean, If I say something to them, I get a $40,000 fine. But if they blow a call that ruins an entire team's season, they're probably back in the locker room after the game, "got that asshole!"

Bosa had been chirping at the officiating crew throughout the night in which he felt the appropriate calls were not being made. Particularly, he voiced his concerns with referee Shawn Smith that led to a feisty interaction late in the fourth quarter.

"It doesn't mean I need to scream at him or say anything," Bosa said. "But how is it fair for me, who's out there playing my butt off, and there's a missed call and I say something, and he's gonna run up into my face? 'Oh, what did you say to me? What did you say to me?' Like he's antagonizing me."

Bosa's behavior certainly warranted a flag. There's no disputing that. But the NFL also needs to get a grip on the actions from Smith, the official who ran up to Bosa, said something in retaliation and flagged him – all within a 15-second span.

"There's a million things that changed the game and that was one of them," Bosa said of his costly penalty. "I feel sick that I was part of the reason that we blew that lead and wonderful first half that we had going. But there needs to be more accountability on all parts."

Bosa said he's expecting to be fined from the NFL, but refrained from going into specifics on what was precisely said between him and Smith.

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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.