JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was not on the ideal side of history in his first NFL playoff appearance, throwing four interceptions in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers. Lawrence became the first player in the Super Bowl era to throw three interceptions in the first quarter of a playoff game.
Silencing a raucous crowd at TIAA Bank Field on the second play of the game, linebacker Drue Tranquill intercepted a pass by 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 corner 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.
The second quarter did not get any better for Lawrence, as Samuel nabbed a third pick. Lawrence had completed four passes and thrown four interceptions, three to Samuel -- who has caught more passes from Lawrence than any player on his own team.
Samuel is the first player with three defensive interceptions in a playoff game since Ty Law and Ricky Manning each did it on Jan. 18, 2004 for the Patriots (vs. the Colts) and Panthers (at the Eagles), respectively.