I hate the New York Jets.
I won't go so far as to say my disdain for Gang Green is at the level of the Oakland Raiders, but it's up there. Despite being three time zones away, the very thought of the Jets on the menu makes my stomach churn as if I was dining with Bizarre Food's Andrew Zimmern. It always seems to be the game that I have the least confidence in the Chargers winning.
When I first saw the 2014 schedule in April, I knew the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks would be on there. I knew we would have a date with a very staunch 49ers defense. I knew we had the Broncos twice, as well as the rest of the AFC West. And I knew that Tom Brady and the Patriots were also going to be on the slate. But none of those games made me cringe the way I did when I saw that the Jets were coming to San Diego on October 5th.
Looking at recent history, I can see why my face has that look of trepidation.
Despite the Chargers having a 20-14-1 all-time record against the Jets, New York has found a way to be that heartburn that flares up after feasting on a most savory meal. Since 2002, the Jets are 5-3 versus the Chargers, and some of those victories have come at the worst time for San Diego.
Maybe my woes began in 2002 when the Chargers were 6-1 and welcomed the Jets to Qualcomm stadium, only to get embarrassed by a 2-5 New York team to the tune of 44-13.
Maybe it has to do with a 2004 season when San Diego couldn't beat the Jets in the regular season, and then saw Chad Pennington beat Drew Brees in the Wildcard playoff game on an overtime field goal. That year, San Diego was 12-4 and just like that, one of the best seasons in franchise history came to a screeching halt.
Maybe it was in 2009. The Chargers were the best team in football, sporting a 13-3 regular season record and had a 7-3 fourth quarter lead against the Jets in the AFC Divisional playoff game, only to see the Jets rattle off 14 points in the final quarter to win 17-14. Oh yeah, should I mention that it was the game that included the infamous Antonio Cromartie whiff play?
Maybe it was seeing the greatest Chargers player so far, (wink wink Philip Rivers) LaDainian Tomlinson, signing with New York after that playoff loss and then beating San Diego in the regular season the following year.
Or maybe it's the fact my nephew chose to be a Jets fan because he shared the same last name as Mark Sanchez.
Sunday, the Chargers — who have won 3 in a row — will host a 1-3 Jets team that is on a 3 game losing streak. Their quarterback Geno Smith is still finding his way in the league and they will most likely be without their top wide receiving threat in Eric Decker.
But the Jets have the league's second–best rushing offense that runs behind one of the best offensive lines. The Jets also have a defensive front seven that has produced the most sacks in the NFL. But, they also have a coverage unit that is susceptible to pass plays both down and in the middle of the field.
It's the type of game with so many variables that it once again has me making sure I have stocked up on Rolaids. And one more reason I hate the Jets.