‘Premier’ J.C. Jackson Had Horrendous Chargers Premiere Vs. Chiefs

Jackson did not look like an $82.5 million man


September 16

Chances are, J.C. Jackson will have a fine career with the Los Angeles Chargers. But it certainly didn’t get off to a very good start.

The high-priced cornerback had a forgettable Bolts debut in LA’s 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night. Jackson, who missed Week 1 with an injury, had one of the worst games of his otherwise impressive career.

Pro Football Focus had Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs targeting Jackson eight times Thursday night. Mahomes completed seven of those eight passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. The all-world QB posted a 147.4 passer rating when targeting Jackson, per PFF.

To put those numbers in perspective: Opposing passers have a 53.2 passer rating when targeting Jackson in the undrafted corner’s career. Aside from a Week 2 game in 2020 in which he surrendered a perfect passer rating against on just two targets, it was the highest opponent passer rating of Jackson’s career. The only other time he’s even really come close was last season with New England against the Houston Texans (which included a big-time flub) and a game in his rookie season against the Chiefs, too.

It wasn’t just that the Chiefs were able to complete almost all of their passes at Jackson. Kansas City’s biggest offensive play came at Jackson’s expense. Chiefs receiver Justin Watson completely turned Jackson inside out and beat him to the seam for a 41-yard touchdown.

It was just the third career touchdown for Watson, a fifth-round pick out of Penn who entered the season with 23 career catches over three seasons with Tampa Bay.

For Jackson, it is just one game. There certainly is plenty of room for improvement, and he’s not the first player to be on the wrong side of the Chiefs’ offensive attack, nor will he be the last. We also should give him the benefit of the doubt as someone who’s working back from an injury in a new system in his first game with a new team. However, if Jackson continues to have performances like this, Kirk Herbstreit or anyone else won’t be calling him “premier,” and that five-year, $82.5 million contract certainly won’t age well.

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Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images
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