San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3, 39)
THE STORY: The dismissal of Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio earlier this week was surprising only in its timing. Barring a stunning turnaround, there will be few eyebrows raised when Norv Turner is shown the door by San Diego Chargers management at the end of another underachieving season. Against that backdrop, the Jaguars will host the Chargers on Monday night in a matchup of teams that have a combined two wins – both by Jacksonville – since Oct. 9. San Diego has lost six consecutive games to see its playoff hopes all but evaporate.
TV: ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET.
ABOUT THE CHARGERS (4-7): After avoiding its customary slow start by winning four of its first five, San Diego hasn’t won since blowing a 21-10 halftime lead at the New York Jets. QB Philip Rivers didn’t throw an interception in last’s week’s 16-13 loss to Denver after getting picked off 10 times in his previous five games. Among the few positives last week was the performance of RB Ryan Mathews, who rushed for a career-high 137 yards.
ABOUT THE JAGUARS (3-8): Newly appointed interim coach Mel Tucker will need a magic wand to fix an offense that ranks dead last in scoring (12.5 points per game). Tucker said he’s sticking with rookie QB Blaine Gabbert, the league’s lowest-rated passer at 62.2. Jacksonville averages a wretched 131.3 yards passing. Expect to see a heavy dose of RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who is second in the league with 1,040 yards. He was a yard shy of his fourth 100-yard game in last week’s 20-13 loss to Houston.
1. San Diego is mired in its longest losing streak since dropping nine straight spanning the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
2. It’s been a turbulent week in Jacksonville. Along with Del Rio’s ouster, WRs coach Johnny Cox was fired and team owner Wayne Weaver announced he was selling the team.
3. The Chargers have owned December since 2006, winning 20 of 22 games.
This line has been on both sides of the field goal spread, but San Diego -3 is the line most commonly being used. The over/under has moved between 38 and 40 with most sportsbooks now settling with 39.
The Chargers are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 December games but 2-8-1 in their last 11 games as road favorites.
The Jags are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall and 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games as underdogs.
The over is 30-12-4 in the Chargers' last 46 road games while the under is 10-1 in the Jags' last 11 games overall.
PREDICTION: Jaguars 19, Chargers 17. Despite the disparity in talent, swoon continues for beleaguered San Diego as Josh Scobee boots four field goals.