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Chargers at Jaguars Wild Card Round Game Prediction

Which team holds the edge? We give our prediction ahead of the Chargers at Jaguars Wild Card Round matchup.

The Chargers and Jaguars will meet for the second time this season on Saturday night at TIAA Bank Field where they'll square off in the Wild Card Round.

Both team's enter the matchup with very limited playoff experience organizationally and in terms of the players on the roster. The Chargers haven't reached the postseason since 2018 and the Jaguars last trip came in 2017.

On the injury front, the Chargers will be without one of their most important players. Wide receiver Mike Williams, after being previously listed as questionable, has been downgraded to out. Williams suffered a back injury in last week's game in which Chargers coach Brandon Staley opted to play his starters in a game that had no impact on playoff seeding. Williams underwent further tests that discovered a fracture in his back that is likely to hold him out for weeks if the Chargers advance in the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars have five players listed as questionable, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence (toe), wide receiver Jamal Agnew (shoulder), wide receiver Kendric Pryor (shoulder), offensive lineman Brandon Scherff (abdomen) and long-snapper Ross Matiscik (back).

Game Prediction

I truly view this matchup as a coin flip game. I see a path for either team to come out on top. However, with Williams being downgraded to out, things get tricky for the Chargers offense.

Without Williams, the Chargers lose their downfield explosive threat. He's been the only pass-catcher on the team that has consistently beaten the opposition in the deep part of the field to spark chunk plays.

The Chargers have averaged 3.5 more points per game and over 50 yards more per game when Williams is active. In games with Williams and Keenan Allen available, playing at least half of the offensive snaps, the Chargers are 4-0 and quarterback Justin Herbert leads the NFL in completion percentage (73.7). 

All of that goes out the window with Williams set to remain in Los Angeles to continue receiving treatment for his back injury.

For the Chargers to come out on top, they're going to need Joshua Palmer to step up in place of Williams. Fortunately, Palmer has experience doing so from the mounting injuries earlier this season.

I see this game being somewhat low-scoring that remains close all throughout, but have the Jaguars coming away with the victory. I simply think Williams is the difference maker as he changes the complexity of the Chargers offense.

  • Prediction: Jaguars 23, Chargers 20
  • 2022 game prediction record: 14-3

- Nick Cothrel, Beat Writer

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