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Chargers vs. Jets: San Diego Will Do Enough to Edge New York

December 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) calls plays under center during the first quarter against the Carolina Panther at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 22, 2012

In a battle to see who is more mediocre, the San Diego Chargers will defeat the New York Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Just don't expect it to be pretty.

The Jets' pass defense figures to make life tough for Philip Rivers on Sunday. New York is allowing 6.3 yards per pass attempt, fourth in the NFL.

On the other hand, the Jets don't have much of a pass rush this season (26 sacks, 27th in the league) and that is what has generally crippled the San Diego passing attack this season.

In the 31-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers last week, Rivers was sacked six times while averaging 5.3 yards per attempt with one touchdown. It's no mistake that the Panthers rank in the top 10 in sacks this season.

San Diego has allowed the third-most sacks in the league this season (43), but against the Jets the Chargers' offensive line has a chance.

And while the Chargers will be missing Malcom Floyd and Ryan Mathews on Sunday, third-year receiver Danario Alexander had been producing before the nightmare against Carolina.

And as far as San Diego's pass defense crumbling? Keep in mind rookie Greg McElroy will be under center for the Jets on Sunday. He could actually perform better than Mark Sanchez has this season, but that's not exactly saying much. He's still a rookie playing in his second pro game.

This should be a low-scoring game, with neither team racking up many points, but at the end of the day I feel better about San Diego's offense than New York's unit, especially given the Jets' anemic pass rush.

Add the fact that the Chargers have only ceded 3.8 yards per carry this season (fifth in the NFL) and that puts a lot of pressure on McElroy if the Jets can't get their running game going (which is more than likely).

San Diego will take some solace in the fact that they can win a ball game in Week 16, while the Jets will continue to flounder.

 

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