Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 NFL Playoff Preview: Divisional Round – Jets at Chargers

The 2010 NFL Playoffs continue this weekend with action Saturday and Sunday. After a 2-2 performance in predicting last weekend’s results, I’ll gaze into my crystal ball once again and try to prognosticate the outcome of each game, while also providing you with an in-depth preview and broadcast information. CBS takes over Sunday’s coverage with the final game of the weekend as the Jets head out west to take on the Chargers.

New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers, 4:40pm ET, CBS
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the booth.

With all the “bravado” and talk spewing out of head coach Rex Ryan’s mouth, you would think the Jets were the 2007 Patriots. I understand firing up your team, but let’s be serious here, Rexy. The Jets were handed the playoffs after two teams laid down for them and then beat a full-strength Bengals squad that wasn’t very good anyway.

The Jets can certainly run the ball, there’s no denying that, and the Chargers aren’t great at stopping the run. When the Jets have been good, though, it’s been despite Mark Sanchez, not because of him. In last weekend’s victory over the Bengals, the “Sanchise” – as the often idiotic New York media dubbed him after winning three games – was very Trent Dilfer-esque. He was incredibly efficient, completing 12 of 15 passes, but didn’t have to do much.

The Chargers will find ways to make Sanchez win this game. Knowing that Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene will be carrying the load for the Jets, San Diego will key in on the rushing attack and force the Airplanes to pass the ball. That could spell disaster for the J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets.

Sanchez finished the regular season with a QB Rating of 63 and tossed three interceptions or more in a game four times, with one of those games being a five pick effort against the Bills. The Jets have a strong defense but with all the weapons San Diego boasts, they should be able to score on Gang Green. It will be up to New York’s rookie quarterback to win the game, and I don’t think that will happen.

Prediction: Chargers 31, Jets 14

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