New York Jets vs. San Diego Chargers: Keys to Victory


Norv Turner (featured picture), may not be the leader of the Chargers anymore, but there are definitely a group of familiar faces that will be on the home sideline on Sunday afternoon, as the Jets take off to the west coast. Geno Smith, Chris Johnson, Jace Amaro, and the rest of the 1-3 New York Jets take on Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, and the rest of the 3-1 San Diego Chargers.

The Chargers come in riding high on a three game winning streak. Last week, the Chargers handled the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 33-14. The Jets fell to the Detroit Lions, 24-17.

The Jets have a tough one ahead tomorrow afternoon. These keys will not come easy, but they are attainable. Here are the keys to victory:

Sep 28, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is all smiles on the sidelines during the closing minutes against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers rolled to a 33-14 win over the Jaguars. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

GET TO PHILIP RIVERS: Philip Rivers is having a Pro Bowl season so far. With nine touchdowns versus only one interception, and a completion percentage of over 70%, Rivers is looking as good as he has for his entire career. Add to that the fact that the Jets defense is 11th in the AFC against the pass, and all of a sudden, the Jets have a real problem facing them tomorrow.

Where is the crack in this armor? The pass rush, that’s where. The Jets lead the entire sport in sacks so far in 2014 with 14 sacks. More than ever, the Jets are getting to the quarterback. On 52 drop backs while under pressure, Philip Rivers’ completion percentage drops to %50%, with only two touchdowns. It’s going to be a tough road for the Jets secondary, so the way to slow down the offense will be with the pass rush.

Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback

Matthew Stafford

(9) throws the ball in front of New York Jets defensive end

Sheldon Richardson

(91) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

DOMINATE THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE ON DEFENSE: We did partially address this on the previous page, but I am talking about a larger scale than just the passing game. The Jets defense must dominate the line of scrimmage on every play for them to have a shot tomorrow. The Chargers are not even rushing for three yards per carry. We know how good the Jets defense is against the run. They need to keep that up, because if the Chargers have a good game on the ground, Philip Rivers will have a field day with them.

Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back

Chris Ivory

(33) carries the ball as Detroit Lions outside linebacker

Tahir Whitehead

(59) and outside linebacker

DeAndre Levy

(54) defend in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

RUN THAT FOOTBALL: To win this one, it will be a return to old school Jets football. They must keep Rivers and this offense off of the field. How? Run the ball. Run it a lot, and run it with Chris Ivory.

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Chris Ivory has spent the first quarter of the season running angry. He is leading the Jets attack with a 5.5 yards per carry on the ground. He’s a grinder, a guy that long drives are built on. Mix it up? Sure, but mainly Chris Ivory, until the Chargers can prove they can stop him. The biggest key for the Jets offense is right here, with Chris Ivory.

Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) talks with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg (L) on the sideline against the Detroit Lions during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Lions won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

KEEP GENO SMITH CLEAN: As much as many of you don’t want to believe, Geno Smith HAS been better than last year. He is completing 60% of his passes, much better than last season. The problems have been when Smith has been under pressure. On 62 drop backs under pressure, Smith’s completion percentage dips to just over 34%.

If the Jets can keep pressure away from Geno Smith, they will have a chance. Otherwise, it will be a long day out west for the New York Jets.

What are some keys to the game for all of you? Talk about it below.