Chargers’ Khalil Mack says historic playoff collapse seemed ‘like a nightmare’
The Jacksonville Jaguars ended their five-year playoff drought this past season, and the team earned the right to host the Los Angeles Chargers in the wild-card round.
Jaguars fans will certainly remember Jacksonville's historic 27-point comeback for years to come, but the Chargers will also likely never forget the game – albeit for a different reason.
Last offseason, the Chicago Bears decided to trade star outside linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chargers, and he was on the field during Los Angeles' most recent postseason collapse.
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“The only positive thing about it is that it was last year, last season,” Mack told reporters Monday. “Have a lot more to look forward to, knowing where the potential is and all of that, which is neither here nor there.”
Mack added that he knows he cannot continue to focus on the game, although it felt “like a bad dream.
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“Can't focus on it, even though it is hard. It's one of those things. Me and Joey (Bosa) were talking about it, it was like a bad dream, like a nightmare. Waking up from it and just putting in the work to make sure that it doesn't happen again.”
The Chargers jumped out to a commanding 27-0 lead over Trevor Lawrence and the Jags. But, the momentum began to shift late in the second quarter as Lawrence threw a touchdown pass to Evan Engram moments before halftime.
After both teams emerged from the locker room for the second half, Lawrence managed to throw three more touchdowns.
Kicker Riley Patterson's field goal split the uprights as the final seconds ticked off the clock to give the Jaguars the improbable 31-30 win.
L.A. entered the game as the favorite to win, with a roster that featured Mack, Joey Bos, and star quarterback Justin Herbert – to name a few.
The Chargers battled through an injury-riddled 2022 season, with many of the star players missing significant time.
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The organization decided to retain head coach Brandon Staley and the team will enter the 2023 season with high expectations.