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AFC Divisional Round Playoff Preview

Jets/Chargers AFC Divisional Round Preview

by Allen Hall

Following the loss to the Atlanta Falcons in week 15, the heroics of quarterback Matt Ryan drove the Falcons down the field for the game winning touchdown as time expired, things were looking bleak. As head coach Rex Ryan was quoted as saying, “We're obviously out of the playoffs and that's unfortunate.” Little did he know that the following week against the Colts things would all change. After a highly controversial decision by the Colts in week 16, by pulling out their starters in the second half, things started going the Jets way. After the Jets D turned up the pressure on unknown rookie quarterback Curtis Painter following a strip-sack recovered by the Jets touchdown on D. From that point on it was all New York Jets. In week 17 on Sunday Night Football all the Jets needed to do was win to be in the playoffs. In all likelihood this was the last game at the old Giant stadium. The Jets thrashed the Cincinnati Bengals 37-0. This lead up to wild card weekend matchup rematch between the two teams. This time the game was in Cincinnati.

The Bengals gained momentum early with a huge run back to start off the game. A few plays later Ex Jet Laveranues Coles fumbled giving the Jets the ball. The Jets, despite leaving points on the field on this possesion after a dropped pass by Braylon Edwards, would go on to roll up 24 points as they defeat the Bengals. The Jets rookie running back Shonn Greene had a big game against the Bengals carrying the rock 21 times for 135 yards and 1 touchdown. Also coming up big for the Jets was 2nd year tight end Dustin Keller with 3 catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Going into this game there was a war of words going back and forth between Bengals star WR Chad Ocho Cinco and Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Ocho Cinco in the week 17 game was held without a catch for the first time in 120 games. Revis clearly won that matchup in week 17 and was looking to duplicate his success. Ocho Cinco in wildcard round had 2 catches for 28 yards.

Now lets turn our attention to the San Diego Chargers. Chargers are winners of 11 in a row after starting 2-3 and coming off a first round bye. The Chargers are lead by all world Quarterback Philip Rivers and future hall of famer LaDainan Tomlinson. The Chargers passing attack is rated #1 in the entire NFL and has 3 very big targets to throw to all over 6’4”. Vincent Jackson on the season finished with 68 catches for 1167 yards and 9 touchdowns. Antonio Gates had 79 catches for 1157 yards and 8 touchdowns. Malcom Floyd finished with 45 catches for 776 yards and 1 touchdown. Philip Rivers had an outstanding season throwing for over 4000 yards and 28 touchdown passes with only 9 picks. For as good as he was during the season he was even better against the blitz. The Rivers-Rex Ryan matchup will be very interesting since nobody blitzes more then the New York Jets.

The biggest concern as any Jet fan will tell you is Mark Sanchez. The rookie was great against the Bengals but his inconsistency during the regular season cost the jets a handful of games. The rookie threw for the second highest amount of interceptions(20) in the NFL behind Jay Cutler. If the Jets can run with the success they had during the regular season averaging NFL best 172 yards a game, the Jets should be able to control the clock and limit chances for Sanchez to make mistakes.

Prediction Jets 20 Chargers 17

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