Sunday, January 17, 2010
The Chargers Will Beat the Jets by at Least 14
San Diego fans are nervous. We've been here before and seen it our slip through our fingers as the Chargers just weren't ready to take advantage of all their talent and cash in on the advantages of a high seed in the playoffs. But things are different this time.
The stars have aligned for this team. Rivers is on another plane as a quarterback. He will take his place next to the Elways, Marinos, Mannings, Farves, and Montanas in the minds of NFL fans during this playoff run. Charger fans, hopefully, have already realized this, but NFL Nation needs to catch up to this reality. He has evolved beyond the possibility of choking in a huge game like this. Norv's gameplan and the Chargers' talented tall receivers will all come together to make the Jets' #1 defense look like the great Packers' defense that went to Arizona last week.
This playoff season may just be LT's last chance and he knows it. LT may have lost a step, but he's going to play the absolute best game he's capable of today and may surprise the Jets and Charger fans with what he's still able to do. LT thinks a lot about the history of the game and his place in it. He will step up and claim his destiny this playoff season:
On the other side of things, the Jets, despite their fat blowhard of a head coach, just aren't ready yet. Just like Colts made the Ravens look like half a football team last night, the Chargers will remind the Jets and the NFL that you can't make much noise in the playoffs while protecting a rookie quarterback. Sanchez is probably still a couple years away (if he ever gets there) from being able to lead a team in the way a quarterback needs to.
San Diego's defense (perhaps the least analyzed aspect of these teams in the run-up to this game) will show they aren't "soft," and force Sanchez to throw the ball; something he's not ready to do on the big stage. One turnover from the Jets could put the game out of reach.
Overall, look for Rivers to spread the ball around (like always) in the short passing game against the blitzing jets. Gates, Floyd, Naanee, Sproles, and LT will all make significant contributions. Jackson may be forced into the roll of decoy. The Chargers will score points on many of their drives and Rivers will avoid the costly turnover. On defense, the Chargers will allow the Jets to move the ball at times, but stiffen up in the red zone, forcing Sanchez to make some devastating mistakes.
San Diego 27, Jets 13 (And an embarrassed Coach Ryan learns a little humility)