The beaming beacon of hope for the San Diego Chargers, heading into a weekend matchup in New Jersey against the Jets, is that the Jets' offense is pretty terrible. They're built around the philosophy of pushing the defensive line back and running the ball to win the game, but their offensive line and running backs have yet to really produce this season.
Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson are averaging 3.4 and 3.3 yards per carry, respectively (Ryan Mathews is getting 4.9 yards per carry). Greene, who is obviously their starter and their workhorse, has yet to come anywhere near 100 rushing yards in a game and have the only 2 rushing TDs that don't belong to Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez, on the other hand, has improved as a QB every year he's been in the league. Completion percentage, TD/Int ratio, yards per attempt...he's up almost across the board. The two places where he's not better than last year are sacks and team-record, neither of which are Sanchez's fault.
Long story short, this is an offense built around an offensive line that's struggling so far this season. After the jump, we see how the Chargers might take advantage.
The Chargers and Jets are similar this year, trying to get better at winning the turnover battle on a weekly basis. The difference is that the Jets seem to get their turnovers in bunches instead of one per game.
I could see Greg Manusky going with a vanilla approach against the Jets, focusing on stopping the run and forcing Mark Sanchez to make throws to beat San Diego. If that's not creating turnovers, though, then he may need to get more aggressive with his blitz calls and man coverage.
Against a similar Cowboys offense, the Jets took advantage of mistakes made by Tony Romo and won a close game. Mark Sanchez will make one or two mistakes per game, especially if he's called on to carry the team on his back (which he is not capable of), and the Chargers will need to jump on the opportunity and create turnovers.
Plaxico Burress against Antoine Cason seems like a scary matchup for the Chargers, but Burress has gotten off to a slow start this year and is in the middle of a NY controversy over the Jets' starting WRs calling out Brian Schottenheimer to Head Coach Rex Ryan. Hopefully Cason took the bye week to get himself back on track and can perform well against the former Giant.
Tune in to High Boltage Radio tomorrow morning (10am-Noon) on XTRA Sports 1360am to get more of my key matchups for Sunday's game.