SAN DIEGO (CBSNewYork/AP) — Coach Rex Ryan blamed himself.
Geno Smith said his performance was pathetic. Oh, and he arrived too late for team meetings on Saturday.
The New York Jets are a mess.
“I’ve been beat before, but not like this,” Ryan said after the Jets lost 31-0 to Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers.
“First off I apologize to our fans — those that are left,” said Ryan, who said the loss was on him. “Clearly got outcoached. I thought we had a good plan going in and obviously that wasn’t the case,” he said.
That’s how bad it was.
Rivers threw two touchdown passes to Antonio Gates and rookie running back Branden Oliver’s big day included his first two NFL touchdowns as the Chargers earned the league’s first shutout this season.
The Chargers (4-1) heaped more pain on the Jets (1-4), who lost their fourth straight game and turned to Michael Vick. Vick replaced Smith on New York’s first possession of the second half, but wasn’t any more effective.
“How am I supposed to react over it?” Smith said about being benched. “I didn’t like it, but I had to change my mindset to support these guys.”
On Monday morning, the Jets confirmed a New York Daily News report that Smith had missed Saturday’s team meetings. Members of the Jets “were not pleased by his actions,” the newspaper reported.
A Jets spokesperson called Smith’s absence an “honest mistake.”
He probably wishes he missed Sunday’s debacle, too. Smith said it was “a pathetic show on my part. I didn’t help at any point during the game, so I’m going to look myself in the mirror.”
Asked to evaluate his performance, Vick said: “We didn’t score any points and that’s the evaluation right there. We didn’t get into the red zone until the fourth quarter and that’s totally unacceptable.”
“We could’ve had Joe Namath (and) it wouldn’t have been any different today,” Ryan said.
Ryan made the change with the Jets down 21-0 at halftime.
“If not then, when?” the coach said. “Let’s try to get a spark.”
Ryan said Smith will start next Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
“It wasn’t on him,” Ryan said. “He wasn’t the guy out there blocking or blowing assignments or doing whatever.”
Other than being sacked three times, Rivers had his way with the Jets. He was 20 of 28 for 288 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.
The Chargers’ last shutout victory was 31-0 against Kansas City on Dec. 12, 2010. The Jets were blanked for the first time since losing 34-0 against San Francisco on Sept. 30, 2012.
New York didn’t make it across the 50-yard line until 7:35 left in the fourth quarter, thanks to a 33-yard gain on a pass interference call against Richard Marshall. The Jets had only four first downs through three quarters.
“It was a complete a– whipping and it was me that was getting my a– kicked,” Ryan said.
Vick was sacked on his second play. In the fourth quarter, Vick was called for intentional grounding on one drive and later was whistled for throwing a pass while beyond the line of scrimmage, negating a touchdown catch by Greg Salas. That left the Jets with fourth-and-goal from the 16 and Vick’s completion was short.
Rivers threw scoring passes of 8 and 12 yards to Gates in the first half. They’ve combined for 65 touchdowns, the most in NFL history between a quarterback and a tight end. They were Gates’ first scores since he caught three touchdown passes in a 30-21 upset victory against Seattle in Week 2.
On third-and-17 from the San Diego 27 late in the second quarter, Rivers avoided a sack and threw a short pass to Oliver, who made two Jets defenders miss before he was finally brought down by David Harris at the Jets 23. Branden scored on a 15-yard run up the middle three plays later.
Oliver had a 9-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter on a drive he kept going with a 52-yard run.
Oliver, a free agent from Buffalo, ran 19 times for 114 yards and caught four passes for 68 yards.
Oliver came up big on a day when the Chargers lost yet another running back. Donald Brown was knocked out of the game with a concussion in the first half. The Chargers already have lost Danny Woodhead for the season with a broken lower right leg and Ryan Mathews indefinitely with a sprained right knee.
Smith completed only four of 12 passes for 27 yards with one interception for a rating of 7.6. Vick was 9 of 20 for 47 yards.
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