It's a good tale, but not nearly as compelling as CBS, ESPN, and their "east coast biased" counterparts would have you believe.
We can ignore Mark Sanchez's hot dog incident, his sham injury/benching and Rex Ryan's "out of playoffs" comments for the moment.
Let's dispel some of the fears, myths and outrageous statements put forth over the weekend:
The Chargers are supposed to fear the Jets because of their shutdown corner, Darrelle Revis.
Again, nice story, but since he is on an average team that is bereft of star power, Revis is as overhyped as the Raiders' Nnamdi Asomugha. The Chargers simply have too many weapons and I would not at all be surprised to see Vincent Jackson have a career playoff day.
The Bengals anemic deep passing game is no measure for what the Jets will encounter this Sunday. Except for the nice "Bro" moment Chad Ochocinco had against the Chargers last month, Carson Palmer and company are not even in the same league as Phillip Rivers and his crew.
The Chargers need to respect the Jets' running game
With the exception of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, this is perhaps the best one-two punch in the league right now, with Thomas Jones and the emerging Shonne Greene.
However, when the Jets fall behind 14-0, it will be irrelevant.
If they are lucky enough to get a lead, it will fall upon Ryan and Sanchez to not go conservative, play to win, and open up the playbook.
This brings us to the final debunking...
Mark Sanchez is hitting his "stride" and is a viable playoff QB
In the immortal words of Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton: "This is the West Coast, we throw the [bleepin'] ball."
While the OC native had a nice day Sunday, there is no way that the Chargers are going to consistently give Sanchez short fields and turn the ball over like the "Bungels."
The Bolts' special teams, led by punter Mike Scifres and returner Kassim Osgood, would win every Pro Bowl and more importantly, playoff games by winning the field position battle.
Sanchez cannot be relied upon when he has to put the ball up in the air more than 19 times: He will be picked off.
Obviously Rex Ryan has no fear of flying and has mapped out a nice itinerary for his squad. Fortunately for him, San Diego has the best weather in the country, and Rex can extend his stay after the Jets' loss.
What better place to spend a few extra days and scout some local talent?
In closing: Special thanks to the Ravens for taking care of the Patriots. Looking ahead and regardless of the Indy/B'more outcome, this works nicely for the Chargers: Either facing a beatup Manning, or even better--hosting the AFC Championship.