Two teams that are just fighting to somewhat get their season back to respectability meet up at Ever Bank Field on Monday Night Football, as the Jacksonville Jaguars try to beat the NFL odds against the San Diego Chargers.
The season isn’t quite over yet for the Chargers, but it sure is getting there. Unlike in years past, the rest of the AFC West isn’t absolutely atrocious, so even winning out won’t guarantee much of anything. That being said, we have a hard time even remotely seeing this team getting the job done, knowing that it has lost six straight games. That being said, only one of those losses in this streak came by more than a touchdown, proof that this team is A) getting unlucky and/or B) playing poorly when it matters most in the fourth quarter (and in some cases, overtime). QB Philip Rivers just has to do a better job taking care of the football. He has 16 TDs against 17 INTs, numbers which just aren’t good enough. If there is a solace in this game though, it is that Rivers has thrown for more yards (3,211) than the Jaguars have of total offense on the season (2,750). The defense has to shore up in this one as well, as there is no excuse to come anywhere near allowing the 25.0 points per game that the team is averaging this season.
It was high time for change in Jacksonville, and my, is there a lot of it this week! Owner Wayne Weaver is in the process of selling the team, and Head Coach Jack Del Rio was dismissed. Del Rio ended his team with the Jags with a losing record, and he just couldn’t make up his mind about a quarterback on a consistent basis for his entire coaching career. It is anyone’s guess whether it will be rookie QB Blaine Gabbert or QB Luke McCown under center on Sunday, but neither one is a good option. Gabbert won two games this year, but he didn’t generate a more than 20 points in a game in his starts. McCown only won one game, the opener against the Tennessee Titans, but after that, he didn’t put up more than 10 points in a game in which he started. This team is only averaging 250.0 yards per game, and RB Maurice Jones-Drew is accounting for nearly half of it. If MJD gets bottled up, there is just no way that this team can move the football. The defense is only allowing 18.2 points per game this year though, which is why this squad has at least kept itself in a number of games this year.
San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars Trends: For whatever reason, the Jaguars have a great history in lucky Week 13. They are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 years in this week of the year, but they have a poor history on Monday Night Football, going just 3-7 ATS in their last 10. They did win one game in primetime this year though, upsetting the Baltimore Ravens, who might be the best team in the league. The home team has won all four meetings between these two foes both SU and ATS in their team histories. Should the Chargers win this game, they will snap a string of six straight games without a win or a cover.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.