For the second game of this shortened season Marty Schottenheimer has created, the Chargers head back to the East Coast to play the team that has busted up two of their past three seasons. "It was a good win to go to 4-4," right guard Mike Goff said Sunday evening after the Chargers beat the Kansas City Chiefs. "Now we need to go to the team that has kicked our (rear ends)." Yes, the Jets have definitely taken a piece of something from the Chargers the past three meetings. In 2002, the Jets came to San Diego a 2-5 team given little chance of salvaging their season, and they beat the Chargers 44-13 and surged on to the playoffs. The Chargers, 6-1 entering that game, lost six of their next eight and did not make the postseason. "We thought we were pretty good," Chargers quarterback Drew Brees recalled recently. "We walked into that game too confident and didn't take them seriously. We were 6-1, and they were 2-5. Why shouldn't we have walked all over them? And they killed us." Last season, having already beaten the Chargers 34-28 in San Diego in the regular season, the Jets limped into the playoffs. But they came here again and took a 20-17 overtime victory at Qualcomm Stadium that ended the Chargers' best season in a decade. "They weren't a much better team than us," safety Terrence Kiel said. "They just beat us." The Jets are 2-5 again, beset by injuries at quarterback. The Chargers, even at .500, are roundly considered poised for a postseason push. "This next one is going to be tough," receiver Keenan McCardell said. "Everyone is talking about how they're not a good team. They're a good team. These are the guys who beat us in the playoffs. We've got to go to New York and play well." The Chargers expended a little energy yesterday attempting to downplay the revenge angle. But not too much. "I think there is a slight bit of extra motivation to go up there and beat them after what happened last season," Brees said. "But that's done and gone. It doesn't have anything to do with this season." True. But most of the current Chargers walked from the muddy Qualcomm Stadium field on Jan. 8 in shock. "I'd be lying if I (said) our football team isn't going to say, 'It's time for us to find a way to beat the Jets,' " Schottenheimer said. The coach will take any motivational help he can get. He is the one who presented to his team the idea of a nine-game season that commenced with Sunday's game against the Chiefs. It was time, he felt, for the Chargers to look forward. Having lost four games by a combined 12 points, there was the danger they were going to get mired in bad memories. "It worked for one week," Schottenheimer said. It did. The players bought into Schottenheimer's focus, repeating his mantra after the game and into yesterday. They know, with eight games remaining, their playoff hopes are theirs to fulfill. "That's the way you have to approach it, wipe the slate clean; it's a new season," Brees said. "Almost every game we have to treat as almost a must-win situation. You walk into every environment and say, 'We have to win this game.' " They know they have no choice but to take this short-season approach because they fell short in those four close games. "You have to win out," rookie linebacker Shawne Merriman said. "You have to win game after game after game because of what happened early on. You try not to think about what happened early on, but at the same time it stays on your record."