And to our surprise (NOT REALLY), Gates BEATS the press coverage and destroys the CB on the fade route to the back of the endzone for the EASY TD grab.
The Chargers may have NOT gotten into the Panthers Redzone without help (the fumble) BUT you have to give them credit for being able to capitalize on turnovers that deep in an opponents field. You simply cannot take that away from them and that’s something the Jets need to be concerned with considering their LBs/Safeties may have a tough time defending Gates down in that compressed area of the Redzone…..IF they cant get there!
How Do The Jets Attack That Chargers Defense and Contain Their Offense?
The Jets will be lead by McElroy this week, what that means exactly is ANYONE’s guess. Not sure if Sparano already knows McElroy’s strengths and weaknesses and has a viable aggressive game plan for him that takes advantage of his strengths or will automatically try to play it safe and keep it with the Ground and Pound theme, which will ENTIRELY defeat the purpose of benching Sanchez to see what McElroy has within these last 2 games but what the heck do I know? Chargers come into this weeks game vs the Jets ranked 20th vs the Pass and 7th vs the run, pretty balanced defensive rankings but probably a bit misleading as opposing teams haven’t had much problems scoring on the ground or through the air against them for the most part of the season. Panthers had already tallied up 31 points before the Chargers even made it into the Panthers redzone and that was due to a fumble by the Panthers.
Having said that, the Chargers pass defense tend to let up big plays more times than not and considering the Jets need to see what McElroy had these last 2 games, I would expect them to test that Chargers secondary early and often. WR Stephen Hill and TE Dustin Keller will be out so that limits McElroy’s weapons but he should still be able to have success against that Chargers secondary especially with Braylon commanding some defensive attention away from the other targets. Look for the Jets to open up the running game to make things easy for McElroy and try to get him in space to better survey the field.
Jets come into this game ranking 2nd vs the Pass but 29th vs the run. Now, with Ryan Matthews out this may be a better match up for the Jets run defense this week despite their awful run defense rankings. The Film suggests that the Chargers loved to run a lot of traps and draws with Matthews and took advantage of his outside speed and ability to catch by utilizing a lot of screens, so that element will be absent from this game giving the running match-up to the Jets defense IMO. Look for the Chargers to attack the Jets LBs and Safeties with Antonio Gates as their best WR Malcolm Floyd is now on IR, virtually limiting Rivers options and probably has him wishing the season would just end already. The Chargers are still a resilient bunch capable of capitalizing on mistakes but their offense is probably worse than the Jets in reality and it may be difficult for them to score on the Jets this week.