Sunday, October 5, 2014

Matchup Mashup: Your Jets-Chargers Primer


Week 5: New York Jets (1-3) at San Diego Chargers (3-1), 4:25 p.m.
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Calif.
Weather: Mid-80s, sunny, zero percent chance of rain (accuweather)

The skinny:
The New York Jets are bordering on do-or-die status, and we're only through the first quarter of the season. Coming off a loss to the Detroit Lions--the team's third straight, Gang Green travels out West to face a hot San Diego Chargers squad Sunday. While the AFC East is wide open, the Jets come home next week to host the Denver Broncos before traveling to the New England Patriots four days later. There's not much more room for error. Talk of a possible Michael Vick takeover was heavy this week amongst the media and fans despite coach Rex Ryan quashing that notion Sunday night. Geno Smith, however, needs to quickly shed his untimely-turnover ways if the Jets are to have any shot the next three weeks. The defense, meanwhile, must find a way to stop giving up long scoring drives that suck the life out of the team, a task that won't get any easier against Philip Rivers, who near the top of the league in basically every positive quarterback statistic.

What to watch for (links):
- How does the Jets' secondary stack up against Philip Rivers?
- Can newly signed receiver T.J. Graham make an immediate impact?
- What kind of role will recently re-signed John Conner have in Marty Mornhinweg's system?
- Will Eric Decker be full-go, or will he be able to go at all?
- Can Smith quash talk about a possible Michael Vick replacement?

Injury report: Gang Green has a pair of wide receivers questionable for their trip to San Diego, while Pro Bowl running back Ryan Matthews is one of six players officially out for the Bolts.

Other tidbits from the week:
Smith was fined $12,000 for cursing at a fan; Owner Woody Johnson has faith in his quarterback.

Our picks:
Dan: Chargers, 32, Jets 17
Nick: Chargers 27, Jets 24

Head-to-head recent history:
The Jets have won six of the last 10 games between the teams, including a pair of playoff bouts. San Diego won the teams' last meeting, a 27-17 stinker at MetLife in 2012, and leads the all-time series 20-14-1.

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