Sunday, January 10, 2010
Quick Take: Jets at Chargers
By Bill Williamson
Three things to know about next Sunday's divisional playoff game between the New York Jets and San Diego Chargers in Qualcomm Stadium:
1. Ryan-Turner Bowl: In 2007, San Diego general manager A.J. Smith choose Norv Turner over Rex Ryan to replace Marty Schottenheimer as head coach. Many league observers criticized Smith for the choice. It is difficult to argue that Smith made the wrong choice. Turner has led San Diego to a 13-3 record and he is a legitimate NFL coach of the year candidate. Expect Ryan, a defensive guru, and Turner, an offensive expert, to take different approaches this week. It wouldn’t be a shock if the brash Ryan makes some proclamations this week, as he has been known to do in his short Jets tenure. There is virtually no chance even-keeled Turner will make any controversial comments as he prepares to face the man who he was chosen over.
2. Chargers need to stop the run: If there is a way to beat San Diego, which has won an NFL-high 11 straight games, it is on the ground. San Diego was attacked on the ground in several games this season. San Diego finished the season 20th in the NFL in run defense. It allowed 117.8 rushing yards per game. New York will be ready to run at San Diego. The Jets had the No. 1 rush offense in the NFL during the regular season. New York averaged 172.2 yards a game (4.5 yards per carry). If the Jets can continue their ground success, they will stay in this game, eating up clock and keeping San Diego’s potent offense off the field.
3. Chargers will challenge Revis: Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is entering this game as perhaps the most-dangerous defensive player in the postseason. He is a proven shutdown cornerback. However, expect San Diego to have answers. If Revis sticks on No. 1 San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson all game, the Chargers will just go to other options. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has done a brilliant job of spreading the ball around his talented offense. If Revis locks down Jackson, Rivers will rely on tight end Antonio Gates, receivers Malcolm Floyd and Legedu Naanee and running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles. Revis will make his presence felt, but the Chargers will find a way to move the ball through the air.