The score of Monday Night Football tonight was reminiscent of the old AFL air it out days, but the score was a lot closer than the play on the field tonight in San Diego.
It started out well for the Jets early, on the first Chargers drive of the game. On a third down play from the Chargers' 20, David Barrett stepped in front of a Philip Rivers pass intended for Antonio Gates and took it the distance for an early 7-0 lead for the Jets. The ensuing drive by the Chargers lasted 12 plays, ending with Nate Kaeding hitting a field goal from 36 yards out to cut the Jets' lead to 7-3.
This is when the turnover bug hit the Jets.
On the very next drive, Thomas Jones fumbled on a second down play, and it was recovered by Quinton Jammer and returned to the 16. Five plays and a one-yard TD pass from Rivers to Mike Tolbert later, the Chargers were up 10-7 and never looked back.
On the next drive, Brett Favre was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie at the 48 of the Chargers, who returned it the distance to make the score 17-7.
Leon Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to the Chargers' five. Favre hit Laveranues Coles on a three-yard TD pass to keep it close early in the second quarter, 17-14. On the kickoff, Jay Feely attempted an onside kick which the Chargers' recover. The short field allowed Rivers to take it down the field quickly on a five-play 2:33 drive that ended with a 27-yard TD pass to Chris Chambers, running the score to 24-14.
Five plays into the very next drive, Favre was intercepted by Eric Weddle on a pass intended for Jerricho Cotchery, setting up a 10-play drive that ended on a six-yard TD pass to Antonio Gates, making the halftime score 31-14.
The Chargers came right out on the first drive of the third quarter, marching down the field on a seven-play 78-yard drive, capped by a LaDainian Tomlinson two-yard TD run that essentially put the game out of reach at 38-14.
The Jets tried to make it interesting late. Brett Favre led a 16-play drive that began on their own 17 yard line and ended with a four-yard TD pass to Chansi Stuckey, his third TD in three games. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, making the score 38-20. They then recovered the onside kick, and their next drive ended with a Jay Feely 32-yard field goal, making the score 38-23.
The Jets' defense could not stop the Chargers on the next drive, as they went 80 yards on seven plays, capped by a second two-yard TD out of LaDainian Tomlinson, running the score to 45-23 in favor of of the Chargers.
Jerricho Cotchery returned the ensuing kickoff to the Chargers'. Two plays later Brett Favre threw a TD to Dustin Keller, his first TD recorded in the NFL. The conversion attempt failed again after several penalties on the Chargers, leaving the score 45-29.
The Jets attempted one final onside kick, however, Jay Feely illegally touched the loose ball before it went the required 10 yards, so the Chargers took over on the Jets 40. Kaeding kicked a 49-yard field goal four plays later to ice the game 48-29. Kellen Clemens entered the game for the final drive and threw a meaningless interception in the end zone as the game ended.
The final score was 48-29 in favor of the Chargers.
For the game, Brett Favre went 30-42 for 271 yards and three TDs, with two costly interceptions early. Thomas Jones was limited since the team was playing from behind, carrying the ball only 10 times for 37 yards. Jerricho Cotchery led the receivers with 10 catches for 76 yards, with Coles right behind with six catches for 75 yards and a TD.
Philip Rivers was very efficient for the Chargers, going 19-25 for 250 yards, three TDs, and the early interception to David Barrett. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed 26 times for 67 yards and the two TDs. Vincent Jackson led the Chargers receivers with three catches for 74 yards.
The Jets return home to face the Arizona Cardinals next week.