Chargers 48 Jets 29
by Brian Clark
Quarterback – B
Brett Favre – 30/42, 272 yards, 3 TD, 2INT
This was the first game that you can say that Brett Favre was having some initial trouble with his receivers. The first pick on a pass to Coles was more of a great play by Cromartie than a bad throw by Brett, a play that a Pro Bowl corner will make. The 2nd one, well I put that on the QB. Even if he and Cotchery were on the same page on that route, he got bumped at the line which slowed his route. The final location of the ball would have still been uncatchable where he threw it, and on that 3rd down pass he had Stuckey open in the middle of the field for the 1st down (the reason why it seemed that Cotchery was double covered was because the 3rd CB lined up on Stuckey bit on his inside slant and left him free, the fact that the ball was thrown to Cotchery made it look like a double team, not bad defense). Once the Chargers went into prevent defense, Favre did a good job hitting the underneath guy, and going through his possessions. At this point, he hit the guys between the numbers, primarily Keller and Stuckey, to move the ball, and eventually for the 2 2nd half TD’s. Although I don’t know what the play calling was, I didn’t see him go down the field as much as I would have liked, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us this year.
Running Backs – B
Thomas Jones – 10 carries, 37 yards, 3.7 yards per carry
The dancing bear had a hard time getting going especially with San Diego’s very strong front 7. His biggest strength (and weakness) is his patience behind the line. On some plays he waited for the hole to develop and gained 5-7 yards. On other plays he waited and got him for a 0-1 yard gain. His inability to attack the hole off the handoff is frustrating and typical for him. Leon Washington was another non-factor, which is upsetting considering his obvious explosiveness on kick returns. He had 1 carry for -1 yards. I understand that we adjusted more to the pass game, but a few draws from the shotgun with Leon would have been a great change of pace from the spread offense/5 wide.
Wide Receivers – A
Jerricho Cotchery – 10 receptions, 76 yards
Laverneus Coles –6 receptions, 75 yards, TD
Chansi Stuckey – 6 receptions, 42 yards, TD
For the remainder of the year, I would not mind going 3 wide, with Coles and Cotchery outside and Stuckey in the slot. I’ve said it from preseason Training Camp LAST YEAR that Stuckey is the real deal and Wayne Chrebet incarnate. Between the numbers and in space is where he will make his money. All three receivers were active in the play, but it seems that Cotchery is definitely Favre’s favorite, as he looks his way for those big plays. A majority of Coles yards were gained on the 41 yarder in the 4th quarter which gave all of us Jets fans a little bit of hope as the game got closer. Any reporter or poster that says that there is a problem between Coles and Favre should have stopped talking 4 weeks ago, but I hope this game ended that discussion. The biggest problem is the lack of experience between them, and the fact that Coles is not practicing due to a thigh injury cannot be doing a lot to assist that rapport. Altogether this group performed very well.
Tight Ends – A-
Dustin Keller –4 receptions, 41 yards, TD
Bubba Franks – 3 receptions, 27 yards
Dustin Keller got his first NFL TD and looked good out there. I was most impressed by his first catch of the game along the sideline. He side stepped the first defender and attacked the next for a 8 yard gain. It showed his agility and mobility in the open. The touchdown route is one that he has run a few times this year, as in most situations he will have a step on the OLB in coverage. Baker did a decent job blocking early, and also got into the receiving game a bit once the Jets opened it up in the 2nd half.
Offensive Line – C-
This unit gave into pressure a bunch in the passing game, which is sad to say considering that Favre was in the shotgun set for the majority of the 2nd half. They only gave up 3 sacks, but there was pressure in Brett’s face for a majority of the game. Brick is not the answer at LG, but I don’t know who else is there to replace him. As for the run attack, its hard to judge given the relatively smaller sample (11 attempts), but 3.7 yards per isn’t ideal for this offense. In back to back weeks this group went against 2 of the strongest front 7’s in the league and got pushed around.
Defensive Line – With Kris Jenkins B+, Without Kris Jenkins F
Rarely can you see the difference in play when a player goes out on the offense or defensive line. When Kris Jenkins injured his back and was replaced by Sione Pouha, the nature of the game changed, and the Chargers exploited the Jets weakness in the middle. Prior to his injury the Jets were shutting down the Chargers inside running game, and put the Chargers in 3rd and long a few times. Once he was hurt, the Chargers hit the center of the line hard, and Pouha got eaten up. There were no sacks, but much of that has to do with the horrible scheming by Sutton, as he let a QB who was tied in the league for TD’s coming in just sit back there and pick out his receivers. Very little pressure on the QB will hurt our team, and that’s what happened.
Linebackers – F
The reason why David Harris had similar numbers to his games last year (10 tackles, 9 solo) was because he was making the tackles on the inside runs. He actually had 3 solo tackles on three consecutive inside runs. It was also his fault that he did not drop back deep enough on the touchdown to Chambers. It is his responsibility to play centerfield, and he just watched. Pace and Thomas did not have their normal affect on the game. But Vernon Gholston got a tackle and a onside kick recovery (woo-hoo). Let’s take small victories with him.
Secondary – C
When you look at the first 10 minutes of the game, I saw an explosive Jets secondary. David Barrett with a pick (DAVID BARRETT?!?!). Dwight Lowery with a great recovery on a deep ball. This group looked good. Then the game continued and Rivers found a way to beat them for lots of yards and 3 touchdowns. Revis is a shutdown corner on the one side, and he rarely gets the ball his way, as most teams pick on Lowery, who normally does well, but had just an ok game Monday Night. He got beat on one deep ball late and on the TD pass to Gates. The biggest thing I am upset about is the lack of game changing plays from Kerry Rhodes. I am disappointed in his play so far this year, and wonder when he will be back to his old form. Eric Smith should be put on the practice squad.
Special Teams – A
Great day by this group as Leon Washington had 2 great returns, Jerricho Cotchery had another long return, and Ben Graham did not have a bad game (38 yard average) since both his kicks were close to the opponents end zone. For all the ridiculousness of the onside kicks, I think they did well and in the end limited Darren Sproles’ returns, who is one of the most explosive returners in the game.
Coaching – F
I’m just confused by this group. Westhoff gets an A. 1st half Schotty gets a F. 2nd Half Schotty gets a B- because I like the spread offense. Bob Sutton gets an F for the inability to pressure the quarterback and change it up at all. When you don’t pressure a high quality quarterback you will get punished. I liked the decision for the first onside kick after the touchdown, because it is a great way to keep the momentum, and based on the numbers, surprise onside kicks are actually recovered by the kicking team rather than the receiving team. It was just unfortunate that the deflection landed in the arms of the only other Charger player. Going into the game against the Cards, this group needs to figure this team and its personnel out.
Studs Of The Game: Leon Washington, Jerricho Cotchery, Mike Westhoff