It wouldn’t be a normal week in the world of football if Rex Ryan didn’t say something newsworthy. Ryan was a candidate for the Chargers coaching job in 2007 along with their current head coach Norv Turner.
When asked today how he may have fared if they gave him the job, Ryan said, “Well, I think I would have had a couple of rings. I’m telling you, those teams were loaded. There’s no question about it. But things happen for a reason. Obviously, Norv Turner has done a great job there.”
Ryan called Turner to apologize, but the San Diego head coach took a jab of his own in a press conference when he quipped that he forgot to ask if Ryan had the rings he guaranteed the last two seasons. The war of words between the head coaches will be in the spotlight this Sunday following last week’s incident between the Jim’s.
The New York Jets (3-3) come into this game off of a dominant victory on Monday Night Football against the still winless Miami Dolphins (0-5). The team finally saw offensive success in the game and found a rhythm in the second half, something they have struggled with through the first stretch of this season.
The Jets are undefeated through three home games this season and look to remain perfect this Sunday. They will need to get creative if they want to move this ball on what has been one of the best defenses in the NFL through the first six weeks.
Running back Shonn Greene has been underutilized as the team has strayed from their standard “ground-and-pound” offense in which they run, run again, and then run a little more until the opposing defensive line is worn down and exhausted. An ineffective Mark Sanchez has been given too many forced pass attempts when the game plan simply isn’t working.
A familiar sound to the ears of New Yorkers, fans are once again calling for the head of Jets offensive coordinate Brian Schottenheimer. He seems to be either unwilling or unable to adjust mid-game to reflect looks from the defense and the effectiveness of his game plan. He will need to prove his worth Sunday in what could be an ugly for Sanchez & Co.
The San Diego Chargers (4-1) will be fresh off of their bye this Sunday, having won their last three games going into the break. They have seen both the run and pass game click so far this season, but have faced inferior opponents in the Minnesota Vikings (1-5), Kansas City Chiefs (2-3), Miami Dolphins (0-5), and Denver Broncos (1-4).
The Chargers struggled against the New England Patriots in week two and allowed Ton Brady to complete 77.5 percent of his passes as he threw for 423 yards and three touchdowns. That has been not been the norm for this Chargers pass defense this season, as their average of just 179.6 opponent passing yards per game is the second best in the league.
Philip Rivers is playing well but making too many mistakes, reflected by his 67.2 percent completion percentage but unimpressive touchdown-to-interception ratio of 6-to-7. Regardless, he has found ways to win, but will need be careful navigating a Jets secondary that includes cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson, as well as safety Jim Leonhard.
San Diego should look to go to Ryan Mathews more often than usual, capitalizing on a New York Jets defensive line that has had plenty of trouble with speedy running backs. Mathews is averaging 4.9 yards per carry so far this season, a number he should be able to put up against Gang Green.
The Jets are probably still stinging from a winless road trip in Oakland, Baltimore, and then New England leading up to last week’s win. I’m sure they will be happy to spend another week in MetLife Stadium surrounded by green and chants of “J-E-T-S”.
Despite the home field advantage, I think that the Jets offense will once again come up short in production this Sunday. Perhaps a big play or two on defense or special teams will keep this one close, but in my opinion the Chargers will come out with the “W” behind Ryan Mathews’ best game of the season.