With one day remaining until the Jets take on the Chargers under the lights the sentiment among most fans are that the Jets don’t have much of a chance in this game. I understand that this is a huge West Coast trip for the guys, and San Diego is in a virtual must win situation, but I’m not giving in. After today, the Jets will most likely be chasing two 3-0 squads in New England & Buffalo, so this game means just as much to the Jets to keep pace. San Diego went 1-3 last year and still made it to the AFC Championship. This Chargers team is two plays away from 2-0, so they are feeling alright about themselves.
The Jets on the other hand, are searching for an identity. After last week’s lackluster performance against the Pats, Jet Nation is wondering what we can really expect from this team going forward. Well, they have a national stage on Monday NIght to show us and the rest of the NFL that they are progressing towards the team that can make some serious noise.
Keys to the Game…
Red zone offense…The Jets need to tell Jay Feely to bring a magazine. There is no way the Jets can settle for field goals in this one. They need to be creative and put the ball in the end zone. The Chargers rank 5th in total offense in the NFL and 30th in total defense. There are points to be scored on this team and the Jets need to punch ‘em early!
Pressure, pressure, pressure!!!Phillip Rivers has been allowed to sit in the pocket and pick apart defenses in the first two weeks which places him 4th among QB’s this year. He’s been sacked only 1 time per game. The secondary will have their hands full with two huge WR’s in Chambers and Jackson, and of course Antonio Gates in the middle. The Jets need to take some chances and dial up some early pressure!!!
Go for the ball…When you face a team like the Chargers, you have to win the turnover battle!!! This is going to be a hostile environment, and while the Jets have played good defense the first two weeks, they haven’t been causing TO’s. The Winner of the turnover battle in this one, should end up the winner of the game.
Move the chains…Carolina posted 20 First downs compared to San Diego’s 17. Denver posted 34 first downs compared to San Diego’s 19. There are glaring holes in this Chargers defense, and the Jets need to follow suit and continue to move the sticks. That will ensure Rivers and Tomlinson (toe) stay on the sideline, while the Jets defense stays fresh to attack.
The reality is the Jets will need a herculean performance in this one to get the job done! That’s exactly what I’m expecting. They have to be embarrassed by last week’s loss to the smug Patriots and need to take out some of their pent up anger in this one! Win or lose, this game is going to be extremely important to the confidence of this team going forward. The Chargers were the odds on favorite to win the AFC once Tom Brady went down. If the Jets want to be a playoff team, they need to fight them toe-to-toe in a virtual must win for each. My “wishful thinking” prediction: Jets Defense and Special Teams have a coming out party which leads to a final score of Jets 30, Chargers 27!
We got hosed last week as Larry Johnson and Damon Huard were on the sideline for most of the game and we watched Tyler Thigpen and the Chiefs move the ball backwards at home to put us 30 pieces of Mozzarella in the hole on the year. We get some back today!!!
30 Crumbles of Blue Cheese on San Francisco -4.5
The Mad Scientist (Mike Martz) and the Irish Wonder (J.T. O’Sullivan) get a chance to face off with their former squad in the Detroit Lions. The Lions have once again shown us that no matter how much talent they bring in, they will still suck. San Francisco hopes they found gold in the Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger look-a-like in O’Sullivan and I’m expecting them to keep the pedal to the medal in this one. Mike Martz is out to prove a point that he can still get it done and has some weapons to do it. The 49ers defense is underrated, they have lots of talent on that side of the ball. I got the 9ers by double digits in this one!
15 Slices of Sharp Cheddar Atlanta Falcons -6
The Chiefs couldn’t handle Darren McFadden and they once again will have their hands full with Michael Turner. The Falcons defense isn’t stout by any means of the imagination, but Tyler Thigpen showed us last week that he probably couldn’t move this offense against Syracuse, let alone an NFL defense… Falcons roll.
15 Boxes of Velveeta Mac n’ Cheese Cleveland Browns +2.5
I do not believe in the Ravens or Bears this year. So I will take as much value as I can on them early in the year. I know that Baltimore is Wacko for Flacco, but I’m not. They lucked out to get the Bengals in week 1 and had an unexpected bye last week due to Hurricane Ike. I like the Browns to come into Baltimore and straighten things out. They should pull off the outright win in this one!!!