The Jets are a Trainwreck
Most of the people watching Sunday's game will be rooting for the San Diego Chargers to win, simply so that the New York Jets can continue their rapid descent. Rex Ryan has divided the locker room, screwed up his roster and ruined the psyche of just about every Quarterback he could get his hands on.
The Jets' vaunted defense hasn't been so great since the loss of Darrelle Revis early in the season, and their offense is.....well, there isn't really an offense. The running game is based around Shonn Greene, who probably shouldn't be starting in the NFL. The passing game is based around.....nobody. There's no good QBs, no good receivers and no good coordinators to speak of on the offensive side of the ball for the Jets. It's somewhat amazing that they got as close as they did to the playoffs.
The Jets Actually Need a Win
It makes no difference if the San Diego Chargers finish 7-9, 6-10 or 5-11. None whatsoever, except that a better record means a less enticing draft pick for whoever is General Manager of the organization this offseason. The players can not save the job of Norv Turner again.
However, the Jets players can save the job of Rex Ryan if they win out and finish 8-8 on the season. They know this and Rex knows this. It's not guaranteed that he'll be fired if they finish 6-10 or 7-9, but it's a sure thing that he'd be back if the team managed to finish the season with a .500 winning percentage.
Many times, the team that has nothing to play for will defeat the team that has something to lose. The Chargers' young players will be excited for the opportunity to get on the field, and Norv Turner will have no reason to caoch conservatively, and that could be enough to knock off a team that could be playing with a bit of pressure over their future.
Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates
Don't be fooled into thinking that none of the Chargers players have anything to play for, just because the team has no reason to win this game. Philip Rivers still wants to prove that he is capable of putting up big numbers without the help of a running game and Vincent Jackson. He wants to show that he can shoulder the load and come out with a win.
Helping him in that quest will be Antonio Gates, who would love to end this season as the sole record-holder for receiving touchdowns for the San Diego Chargers. Last week, he tied Lance Alworth. This week, both Gates and Rivers will be looking to cement Gates' spot as the best Chargers receiver of all-time.