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Jets limp into AFC playoff rematch

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/preview?gameId=251106020" target="_blank">ESPN</a>

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Ticker) -- Winning a playoff game against the San Diego Chargers must feel like more than 10 months ago for Herman Edwards.

    The coach of the New York Jets has had to contend with a plethora of injuries this season along with a rugged schedule. After hosting the Chargers on Sunday, New York has back-to-back road games against Carolina and Denver.

    Edwards has guided the Jets to the postseason three times in four years, including last season when they posted a 20-17 overtime victory at San Diego in the AFC wild card round. But then the Jets were led by quarterback Chad Pennington, running back Curtis Martin, wide receiver Santana Moss and center Kevin Mawae. Only Martin will play on Sunday.

    Pennington is recuperating from shoulder surgery, Moss was traded to Washington for wide receiver Laveranues Coles in the offseason and Mawae suffered a season-ending injury in an October 16 game at Buffalo.

    Pennington threw for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 47-yard bomb to Moss, in the playoff win at San Diego. Moss finished with four catches for 100 yards. Martin was held to 66 yards on 18 carries.

    The Jets had to resort to bringing back 41-year-old Vinny Testaverde after Pennington tore his rotator cuff again in a September 25 game against Jacksonville and guard Pete Kendall moved from guard to center to replace Mawae, a six-time Pro Bowler.

    The losses Pennington and Moss have certainly affected Martin. The NFL's fourth all-time leading rusher with 13,827 yards, Martin has just 461 yards this season.

    While the Jets deal with injuries, the Chargers are hoping to make their second straight trip to the postseason under coach Marty Schottenheimer. They are 4-4 at the midway point, but have faced seven teams with winning records.

    No team in the AFC has scored more points than the Chargers (27.6 per game). Drew Brees ranks fifth in the AFC with a quarterback rating of 92.1, completing 63.2 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards and 13 touchdowns with seven interceptions.

    LaDainian Tomlinson, considered by many to be the NFL's best back, has rushed for 728 yards and scored 10 touchdowns and Antonio Gates leads all tight ends with 43 catches for 575 yards and six touchdowns.

    Last week, Gates, a third-year player from Kent State, set career highs with 10 catches, 145 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-20 win over Kansas City. Brees threw for 324 yards.

    Both are taking advantage of team's planning their defensive scheme around Tomlinson, who has rushed for just 76 yards on 34 carries in his last two games.

    In last year's playoff loss to the Jets, Tomlinson rushed for 80 yards on 26 attempts.

    San Diego received a major boost from its two first-round picks - linebacker Shawne Merriman and Luis Castillo - in last week's win. Merriman had two sacks and Castillo, who plays end and tackle, recorded five tackles and 1 1/2 sacks against Kansas City. The defense also held Priest Holmes to 38 yards on 14 carries.

    Matchup to watch: The Jets may have fits with Gates, who caught the game-tying one-yard touchdown in the final seconds of the fourth quarter in last year's playoff game. Rookie Kerry Rhodes and fellow safeties Oliver Celestin and Erik Coleman will likely take their turns on doubling Gates.

    Series: The Chargers lead, 17-12-1, but the Jets won a regular-season game in San Diego last year as well as the playoff contest.

    Next week: San Diego has its bye NY Jets visit Carolina, November 13

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