Lawrence rallies Jaguars from 27 down to beat Chargers 31-30

Jan 14, 2023, 6:42 AM | Updated: 10:38 pm
Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson (10) and his team celebrate his game-winning fiel...

Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson (10) and his team celebrate his game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson (10) and his team celebrate his game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson (10) kicks the game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. (26) takes a moment after an NFL wild-card football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) walks off the field after an NFL wild-card football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson, top right, and his team celebrate his game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) walks off the field after an NFL wild-card football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson (10) and his team celebrate his game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson (10) kicks the game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. (26) takes a moment after an NFL wild-card football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) walks off the field after an NFL wild-card football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson, top right, and his team celebrate his game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) walks off the field after an NFL wild-card football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson (10) and his team celebrate his game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson (10) kicks the game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. (26) takes a moment after an NFL wild-card football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) walks off the field after an NFL wild-card football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Riley Patterson, top right, and his team celebrate his game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars won 31-30. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga (57) and cornerback Ja'Sir Taylor (36) celebrate a fumble recovery against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers tight end Gerald Everett (7) makes the catch against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) is sacked against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Los Angeles Chargers were called for a penalty voiding the sack. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Michael Bandy (83) and Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (95) vie for a loose ball during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers tight end Gerald Everett (7) runs against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Bryce Callahan (23) hits Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) leaps into the end zone after a run against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) tries to throw a pass under pressure by Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Kyle Van Noy (8) during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. (26) celebrates breaking up a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence’s confidence somehow never wavered. Not after the first interception. Or the second. Or the third. Or even the fourth.

The generational quarterback simply delivered a generational comeback.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft followed four interceptions with four touchdown passes — one of the most improbable turnarounds in NFL postseason history — and rallied the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 31-30 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night.

Lawrence engineered the winning drive, highlighted by Travis Etienne’s 25-yard run on a fourth-and-1 play, and put the Jaguars in position for Riley Patterson’s 36-yard field goal on the final play. It capped a 27-point comeback, the largest in franchise history and the third largest in playoff history.

“You couldn’t write a crazier script,” Lawrence said. “We said in the locker room that’s kind of how our season’s going. We’re never out of the fight. … I’m kind of speechless, honestly, just to see what belief can do and to see when a team believes in each other what you can accomplish.”

Patterson’s kick barely stayed inside the right upright and set off a raucous celebration for a franchise that had won a combined four games over the previous two years. The Jaguars (10-8) won their sixth consecutive game and fifth straight at home — all five in come-from-behind fashion.

Nonetheless, no one could have seen this one coming. Maybe not even Lawrence. But he was the steady hand in charge after a debacle of a first half. He finished 28-of-47 passing for 288 yards, a shocker considering the way he started.

Lawrence was downright dreadful to begin Jacksonville’s first playoff game since losing in the 2017 AFC title game. He became the third quarterback in the Super Bowl era to throw four interceptions in the first half of a playoff game, joining Detroit’s Gary Danielson and Denver’s Craig Morton.

But he bounced back as well as anyone in NFL history. Jacksonville’s comeback goes down in postseason lore behind only Buffalo’s rally on Jan. 3, 1993 (32 points against Houston) and Indianapolis’ on Jan. 4, 2014 (28 points against Kansas City).

“I didn’t have a choice,” Lawrence said. “These guys have sacrificed way too much for me to be the reason we lose an opportunity.”

The Jaguars, who also turned the ball over when a punt hit Chris Claybrook’s helmet, became the first team to win a playoff game with a turnover differential of minus-five or worse. Teams with that turnover deficit had been 0-19 in the Super Bowl era.

“Let me tell you something, man. I think from playing football, watching football, I know a lot of quarterbacks would’ve folded in that situation that he went through,” Jaguars receiver Zay Jones said. “For him just to be as poised and composed as he was, it showed another side of who we have on this team. I mean, that guy right there, standing right there, that’s a special man.”

He wasn’t early. Lawrence misfired on 12 of his first 16 throws and started getting booed long before halftime. His confidence seemed shot. His swagger appeared gone. All the progress he made in his first season with coach Doug Pederson looked like it would be flushed in the team’s finale.

But Lawrence never gave up. He connected with Evan Engram, Marvin Jones, Zay Jones and Christian Kirk for touchdowns that increasingly raised the team’s belief in its quarterback and its comeback.

Lawrence added one of the biggest plays when he jumped for a 2-point conversion with 5:25 to play that made it 30-28 — and put the Jaguars in position to win instead of tie.

Jacksonville’s defense responded by sacking Justin Herbert and then forcing a punt. Lawrence took over from there, with a significant assist from Etienne — and Peterson’s bold play call.

“I feel like the running back, when it gets to that point of the game, you’re supposed to be the closer,” Etienne said. “Coach believed in me on that fourth-and-1, to give me the ball. I had to make something happen for my teammates.”

CHARGERS COLLAPSE

Herbert threw for 273 yards and a touchdown without an interception, but the Chargers’ offense was largely ineffective after a 62-yard TD drive that made it 24-0 midway through the second quarter. Los Angeles (10-8) finished with 320 yards of offense and 18 first downs, and it produced only three points on four second-half possessions.

“Anytime you’re up 27-7 at halftime and you’ve got four takeaways, and you end up winning the takeaway margin (5-0), you know, it’s it’s gonna be a killer,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “I’m hurting for everybody in that locker room. … We just didn’t finish the game.”

Staley surely will be questioned for being too conservative, both on defense and offense — he opted for a field goal on fourth-and-3 midway through the fourth quarter that Cameron Dicker missed — and for not trying to run the ball more. LA had 23 rushing attempts for 69 yards, a 2.9-yard average, while Herbert threw 43 times.

“I needed to perform better,” Herbert said. “I’ve got to give them more than three points in the second half and so I feel horrible for the defense for the incredible effort they put up there today, but gotta be better as a team.”

KEY INJURIES

Chargers receiver DeAndre Carter and left tackle Jamaree Salyer left the game with ankle injuries. Chargers cornerback Michael Davis left with a pectoral muscle injury. Lawrence cut the tip of his left thumb in the fourth but wrapped it up and played on.

UP NEXT

Chargers: Will have a tough offseason dealing with this loss. Staley could face questions about his job security.

Jaguars: Await their road divisional opponent, which likely will be top-seeded Kansas City next weekend. The Chiefs won their regular-season meeting.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Switzerland's Wendy Holdener speeds down the course during an alpine ski, women's World Cup slalom,...
Associated Press

Shiffrin wins slalom, moves within 1 win of World Cup record

SPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin dominated a slalom Saturday for her 85th career victory to move within one of the World Cup record set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in the 1980s. Shiffrin can match the best mark of 86 wins in another slalom Sunday. Shiffrin had shared the women’s […]
1 day ago
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus waves as she holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy after defeating El...
Associated Press

Sabalenka beats Rybakina for Australian Open women’s title

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The serves were big. So big. Other shots, too. The points were over quickly. So quickly: Seven of the first 13 were aces. And so it was immediately apparent in the Australian Open women’s final between Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina that the one who could manage to keep her serve […]
1 day ago
Vancouver Canucks' Elias Pettersson (40) scores against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisa...
Associated Press

Pettersson scores twice, Canucks beat Blue Jackets 5-2

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Elias Pettersson scored twice, Bo Horvat had a career-high four assists and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Friday night for their second victory in three games under Rick Tocchet. Tocchet took over as coach after Bruce Boudreau was fired Sunday. Quinn Hughes had a goal […]
1 day ago
Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov (16) is congratulated after scoring against the Seattle Kr...
Associated Press

Flames rebound with impressive 5-2 win over Kraken

SEATTLE (AP) — Tyler Toffoli and the Calgary Flames rebounded from one of their ugliest losses of the season and picked up an important two points in the Pacific Division before starting the All-Star break. Toffoli, Elias Lindholm and Blake Coleman each had a goal and two assists, and the Flames topped the Seattle Kraken […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) shoots against Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Ku...
Associated Press

Curry’s 35 points send Warriors past Raptors, 129-117

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry had 35 points and 11 assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Toronto Raptors 129-117 on Friday night. The high-scoring affair was close until the Warriors pulled away with a 31-point fourth quarter, securing a sweep in the season series. “It feels like we took better care of […]
1 day ago
New Jersey Devils' Jack Hughes and Vitek Vanecek (41) celebrate after Hughes scored in overtime of ...
Associated Press

Hughes scores winner in OT to lead Devils past Stars 3-2

DALLAS (AP) — Jack Hughes scored his second goal of the game 20 seconds into overtime, lifting the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Friday night. Hughes’ winning goal skipped off the stick of Dallas’ Tyler Seguin and eluded Jake Oettinger as the Devils rallied from a 2-0 deficit […]
1 day ago
Lawrence rallies Jaguars from 27 down to beat Chargers 31-30