San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 12/5/11, 8:30 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: San Diego -3
Current Betting Line: San Diego -3
Opening Total: 41
Current Total: 39
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Two teams with uncertain future coaching situations will square off on Monday Night Football when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the San Diego Chargers. The Jaguars (3-8) fired head coach Jack Del Rio last week while the Chargers (4-7) will reportedly dismiss Norv Turner following the season, but he will still be on the sideline as they try to break a six-game losing streak.
Del Rio was coaching Jacksonville for the ninth season and had a 69-73 record. The team is averaging an NFL-low 12.5 points per game with rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert under center, and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker takes over Del Rio’s duties for the rest of the year.
The Jaguars have scored 17 points or less six straight games and are 2-4 straight-up and 3-2-1 against the spread during that stretch. They are coming off a 20-13 home loss to Houston last week in which they knocked out Texans starting quarterback Matt Leinart and saw backup T.J. Yates to just enough to earn the victory. Gabbert continued his struggles, completing 13 of 29 passes for 136 yards with no touchdowns and one interception before giving way to backup Luke McCown.
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew has been Jacksonville’s only offensive threat all season, as he ranks second in the NFL with 1,040 rushing yards. Jones-Drew has averaged 100 yards in the team’s last three games and scored a touchdown in three of the past four. However, he totaled just 31 yards on 12 carries for the Jaguars in a 38-13 loss at San Diego last year.
The Chargers (-3, O/U 39) have not had trouble scoring lately, but they simply have not been able to outscore the opposition since beating Denver 29-24 in Week 5. They have surrendered an average of nearly 28 points per game during their skid, and QB Philip Rivers has thrown at least one pick in six of their past seven.
Rivers leads the NFL with 17 interceptions and has also lost four fumbles. San Diego’s offense has sputtered over the last three games, averaging less than 17 points per game after scoring 20 or more in the previous eight games to start the season.
About the only positive for the team offensively has been the play of second-year running back Ryan Mathews, who rushed for 137 yards on 22 carries in a 16-13 overtime loss to Denver last week. Mathews had totaled 71 rushing yards combined in the previous two games after sitting out a 45-38 home loss to Green Bay with a groin injury.
The Chargers have also failed to cover the spread in their past six games since winning four of their first five. The UNDER is 6-2 in their last eight games as favorites. The UNDER is also 10-1 in Jacksonville’s last 11 games overall. The Jaguars are 3-7 against the spread in their past appearances on Monday Night Football.
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