Sunday, December 23, 2012
Halftime: Jets 14, Chargers 10
By Jane McManus
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jets fell behind quickly by giving up a touchdown on a punt return, but recovered and went into the half with a 14-7 lead.
Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano appeared to empty out the playbook, given all the Wildcat and trick plays he used.
Even so, starting quarterback Greg McElroy was sacked three times in the first half. He completed five passes for 76 yards and didn't turn the ball over. The Jets also outgained the Chargers 142-75.
IT'S A TIE: Given the choice of using Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow as the designated backup, Rex Ryan essentially declined to choose by activating them both. On the Jets' flip card they are both listed on the depth chart in the No. 2 spot. The three quarterbacks warmed up together on the field and Sanchez took over the clipboard duties.
LARRY, MOE and KERLEY: With Tebow active, the Jets had the option of running all those Wildcat plays designed for the usual backup. Instead, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley got the go-ahead in the Wildcat and threw a wobbly but on-target 42 yard pass to Clyde Gates on the Jets' first scoring drive. With that completion, Kerley has more passing yards this season than Tim Tebow, who has 39.
GREENE DAY: Running back Shonn Greene scored both Jets touchdowns in the first quarter. Greene had 38 yards on 11 carries, notably more than backup Bilal Powell. In recent weeks, the backs have split carries almost evenly. Greene is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
PUNT RETURN JACKPOT: San Diego scored the first touchdown of the game with a 63-yard punt return by Micheal Spurlock with 13:01 left in the first quarter. It was the first the Jets have given up since 2003. The Chargers were up 7-0 after a Jets three-and-out to start the game -- not a good look.
KELLER INACTIVE: Dustin Keller is missing his missing his third straight game, and has only played in eight games this season. The tight end, who has an ankle injury, is a free agent next season. The Jets also deactivated WR Mardy Gilyard, CB Aaron Berry, CB Donnie Fletcher, LB Ricky Sapp, DT Damon Harrison and G Caleb Schlauderaff.
NICK OF TIME: The other Nick, kicker Nick Novak, nailed a 51-yard field goal with 8:32 left in the second quarter. Novak was with the Jets until Aug. 30 after a tight kicking battle won by Nick Folk. The kick pulled the Chargers up to the score that lasted until halftime, 14-10.