After a week of listening of every football “expert” explain why the New York Jets couldn’t beat the San Diego Chargers, the Jets beat the San Diego Chargers. The final score was 17 to 14. Rex Ryan calls it New York Jets football and it was on display this afternoon. Tough defense, blitz often, pound the ball with the running game, avoid costly turnovers; that is the formula Rex Ryan wants and so far this postseason that is exactly what the Jets have done.
The Chargers were held to 7 points in the first half as the aggressive Jets defense blitzed often and was able to stifle Philip Rivers and company on 3rd down. Overall, the Jets defense had two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble. David Harris led the team with 9 tackles and an assist.
The secondary had a near impossible task, being asked to cover a team with so many weapons and they met the challenge. If there is a Jet that plays with more heart than Safety Jim Leonhard I haven’t seen him. Hey may be undersized but he plays much bigger. Defensive Coordinator Mike Petine and Head Coach Rex Ryan put together a game plan that saw the Jets play much more zone coverage than usual in the first half. In the second half the Jets switched back to man to man and the in game adjustment was important.
There was much talk about the Chargers streak of scoring 20 points or more in a game. That streak came to an end today. Kicker Nate Kaeding missed three field goals on the day. He will represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl.
As for the offense they seem intent upon imposing their will on the opponent each week. Today they had a slow start but kept plugging away and eventually the running game opened up. For the second week in a row Shonne Greene had 23 carries and 128 yards on the ground with a touchdown. Mark Sanchez was efficient and converted several key third downs. His numbers weren’t as impressive as last week (12/23 – 100 yards, 1 td, 1 int). He found Dustin Keller in the end zone after a scramble and continued growing up in front of our eyes.
The Jets trailed for over 3 quarters in this game. They added 10 fourth quarter points and never looked back. Rex Ryan summed it up best when he spoke to his team in the locker room after the game. He told them the media would say, three home teams advanced and the bleeping Jets.
Next up is the AFC Championship game in Indianapolis vs. the Colts. You can discuss the New York Jets in our forums. Due to high volume we have disable guest viewing, you can register for a free account here. Enjoy this one Jets fans, this team has a lot of heart.