Trevor Lawrence throws three first-quarter picks as Chargers jump out to big lead
- Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
- Previously covered the Falcons
- Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Los Angeles Chargers defense got off to a fast start in their AFC wild-card matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Silencing a raucous crowd at TIAA Bank Field on the second play of the game, linebacker Drue Tranquill intercepted a pass by Trevor Lawrence that running back Austin Ekeler converted into a 13-yard score two plays later.
On the ensuing series with 10 minutes left in the first quarter, the Jaguars were attempting to convert on fourth-and-7 at the Bolts’ 33-yard line when Asante Samuel Jr. made an aggressive move to intercept Lawrence, who had only two interceptions in the previous nine games combined. The Chargers eventually kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive to take a 10-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, Samuel, a second-round pick in 2021, continued to wreaked havoc for Lawrence. After a breakup on a deep pass attempt, Samuel intercepted Lawrence for a second time and — déjà vu– Ekeler converted the takeaway into a six-yard rushing touchdown two plays later to give the Bolts a commanding 17-0 lead.
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