Joey Bosa’s helmet-throwing meltdown leads to costly penalty in Chargers loss

At first, it was just a touchdown pass. Just a score by the Jaguars to trim their deficit to four, with a chance to pull within a field goal against the Chargers late in the fourth quarter.

But the reaction from Los Angeles outside linebacker Joey Bosa changed that. 

He thought officials missed a false start penalty on Jacksonville’s touchdown pass — slamming his helmet onto the field near the Chargers’ sideline — and drew his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the game.

The Jaguars chose to advance the ball to the 1-yard line, and Trevor Lawrence dove across the goal-line for the 2-point conversion to make it a two-point game instead. Four minutes later, after Jacksonville got the ball back, Bosa’s costly penalty flipped the game in the Jaguars’ favor for good.

Kicker Riley Patterson made the winning field goal as time expired, allowing the Jaguars to secure an improbable 31-30 come-from-behind victory.

Joey Bosa slams his helmet after a Jacksonville touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Screenshot via NBC

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson told reporters after the game that he likely wouldn’t have gone for the 2-point conversion without the penalty.

Joey Bosa gets the first of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties called against him Saturday night.
Joey Bosa gets the first of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties called against him Saturday night.
Screenshot via NBC

After throwing his helmet, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley handed it back to Bosa. Then, Bosa proceeded to slam it again, this time on along the sideline. He sat on the bench and watched as the officials gathered to discuss the sequence and called the penalty against him.

Joey Bosa warms up ahead of the Chargers' wild-card game against the Jaguars.
Joey Bosa warms up ahead of the Chargers’ wild-card game against the Jaguars.
Chris Carlson/AP

Bosa’s first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty came near the end of the third quarter, when he complained to a referee following Jacksonville’s touchdown pass and ensuing 2-point conversion attempt. 

Outside of his two penalties, Bosa recorded one tackle, logged one quarterback hit and recovered a fumble in the first half. The 27-year-old defensive end was selected by the Chargers with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 draft. He played in just five regular-season games this season because of a groin injury that required surgery, according to

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