TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 16: San Diego Chargers At New York Jets

Chargers
Jets
San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals
Mark Sanchez (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Mark Sanchez (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner Philip Rivers has endured a painful season and he looks like he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders every time something goes wrong for this team. That’s part of the problem. Rivers has excellent tools, sees the field well and can fire the ball into small windows. However, the pressure of trying to turn the Chargers around has kept him from having a good year.
The Jets have had plenty of difficulties this year, but their performance at the quarterback position has been abominable. Quarterback Mark Sanchez is no longer a good prospect for the future and backup Tim Tebow simply does not fit the pro-style offense.
Offense
Winner The Chargers could not get their offense going at all against the Panthers and they also suffered a big blow when running back Ryan Mathews suffered a broken clavicle. He had surgery and will miss the final two games of the season. That means they will have to depend on receivers Malcolm Floyd and Danario Alexander to carry the load.
Winner The key to playing winning football over the last five years has been to develop an outstanding passing game and complement it with a running game and solid defense. The Jets don’t have the passing game. They are trying to survive with a running game led by Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. The receiving talent is substandard, but Jeremy Kerley really doesn’t have much of a chance because the QB play has been poor.
Defense
The Chargers have the seventh-ranked rushing defense, but they have struggled against the pass, ranking 19th overall. Those numbers should not hurt them against the Jets, who can run the ball well but can’t throw the ball enough to hurt them. Outside linebacker Shaun Phillips is the Chargers’ best pass rusher with seven sacks.
Winner The Jets defense has faced the near-impossible task of trying to help their team compete even though the offensive output has been so inconsistent. The Jets rank second in pass defense, a fairly amazing stat considering that superstar cornerback Darelle Revis has missed nearly the entire season. Linebacker David Harris and free safety LaRon Landry have given the defense consistent production.
Special Teams
Winner The Chargers have not gotten a lot of production from their special teams this year. They have not had a punt or kickoff return longer than 39 yards this season. Nick Novak has performed well at the placekicker spot, making 15-of-17 FG attempts. Mike Scifres has an impressive 48.7 yard punting average.
Winner The Jets have gotten a punt return for a touchdown from Kerley and a kickoff return for a score from speedy Joe McKnight, but this has not been a good season for New York’s special teams. Placekicker Nick Folk and punter Robert Malone have both been ordinary.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals Mark Sanchez (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Neither team has played well this year but the Chargers are simply playing out the string and waiting for the end of the season. Head coach Norv Turner is almost certainly going to be given his walking papers following the final game of the season and his Charger players simply want to finish the season unscathed. The Jets are still trying.

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