The call came in from the sidelines and Derek Watt knew what was going to happen next.
That is pretty impressive, considering he hadn’t experienced anything such as this in years.
“I wasn’t going to be stopped,” the Chargers fullback said. “Even if the play broke down, I was like, ‘I’m getting my butt in the end zone.’ ”
Watt did Sunday, scoring from one yard out in the second quarter of a 45-10 victory over Jacksonville. It was his first touchdown in four NFL seasons and his first on the ground since he was playing high school football in Wisconsin.
“That surprised me, a fullback of his versatility,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said of the historic nature of Watt’s score. “But I’m happy for him. He does all the dirty work, the blocking and the tough yards inside.”
After he scored, Watt did something else that was, well, somewhat historic. He engaged in an unusual celebration in which he pretended to be a dog on all fours, trying to get to a “treat.”
The “treat” was the football, which was being held by tight end Virgil Green, as running back Melvin Gordon feigned holding back Watt by an imaginary collar.
“ ‘Give a dog a bone’ is what we call it [when] the fullback gets the ball,” Watt explained later. “It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t a great celebration. But who cares? I was in the end zone. I didn’t care what we looked like after that.”
Said Gordon: “The Jaguar guys were making fun of him. They weren’t fans of it. But that’s what he wanted. You get in there, you get to do what you want.”
Watt nearly scored his first touchdown in the playoffs last season against Baltimore. In that instance, he was ruled down short of the end zone after taking a quick pass from Philip Rivers. The play was reviewed and the call upheld.
This time, there was no disputing the result, in part because Gordon was among the Chargers who pushed Watt across the goal line.
“We tried to get him one in Miami, but he was stopped,” Gordon said of the game in Week 2. “I could see it in his face that day. He was hurt. He was so happy today. I’m so happy for him. I’m proud of him.”
Watt is enjoying his finest season as a pro. He has been a standout on special teams, even generating some buzz about making the Pro Bowl in that capacity.
Mike Williams finally caught his first touchdown pass of the season and then caught the wrath of his coach.
“He was hot,” Williams confirmed. “He was mad about the situation.”
The situation was Williams was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct immediately after the play when he dunked the ball over the crossbar of the goalposts.
“I didn’t know I couldn’t do that until I turned around and I saw a million flags going in the air,” Williams said. “Now I know. It didn’t hurt the team, though.”
There’s more to the story than that. The dunk wasn’t even Williams’ idea. Instead, he said he was following the encouragement of fellow wide receiver Keenan Allen.
Rivers also suggested Williams should dunk after he went up over Jacksonville cornerback Tre Herndon to expertly and dramatically secure the 44-yard score late in the third quarter.
“He was saying that I dunked on the DB,” Williams said of Allen. “So he was like, ‘Go dunk on the goalpost.’ It was a decent celebration.”
The touchdown was the first for Williams this season after he scored 11 a year ago.
“I waited long enough,” he said. “A catch like that, the wait was worth it.”
As for the standard fine that comes with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties? Williams said Allen would be helping him out.
“Him and Phil said they’ll split it,” he said. “It was their idea, so they’ve got it.”
Perryman, Teamer sent home
Linebacker Denzel Perryman and safety Roderic Teamer were inactive for the game and not even at TIAA Bank Field. Lynn said afterward that both players had been sent home after traveling with the team to Jacksonville. He refused to specify what led to the punishment and called it “a coach’s decision.”
“It was just my decision to not play those guys,” Lynn said.
In a surprising move, first-round pick Jerry Tillery also was inactive. The rookie defensive tackle had been part of the team’s rotation up front all season but did not dress Sunday. Veteran Sylvester Williams replaced Tillery.
“I wanted to see Sylvester,” Lynn said. “Sometimes, it’s a matchup deal. They were going to run the football. [Jacksonville’s Leonard [Fournette] is having a breakout year, so I needed a bigger body in the middle of our defense.”
Sylvester Williams, in his seventh season, is listed at 6 foot 2, 328 pounds. Tillery is 6-6, 295. The Chargers limited Fournette to 50 yards on 15 carries and the Jaguars to 88 yards rushing.
“Jerry’s done nothing wrong,” Lynn said. “He’s working his tail off. I like his development. It was just a matchup deal.”
Austin Ekeler tied Gary Anderson for the franchise record for most touchdown receptions by a running back in a single season with eight. That’s also the most by an undrafted running back in one season since at least 1967. … Joey Bosa had two sacks to push his season total to 10 1/2.