Posted Sun Jan 17th by Monty
Previewing, breaking down, and picking the winners of this weekend’s playoff action. Your picks and game discussion in the comments.
The Story: The New York Jets are the Cinderella story of the 2009 playoffs, media darlings thanks to a character of a coach, a rookie quarterback, and, let’s be honest, a favorable geographic location to the news center of the world. Their top-ranked defense will face a San Diego Chargers team that has won 11 straight games and has nothing short of a Super Bowl trophy on its collective mind.
The Breakdown: There are so many ways to break this game down, but we’ll start with Chargers QB Philip Rivers against the Jets’ pass defense. CB Darrelle Revis lining up across WR Vincent Jackson, who has six inches of height on the Pro Bowler, will be a huge matchup to watch. But Rivers is more than just Jackson, and the Jets are more than just Revis. Both have had success, respectively, throwing to and defending against the quarterback’s second receiver and tight end, and so this strength vs. strength match will tell a large part of today’s tale. The Chargers’ offensive line improved as the year went on, and they’ll need to be on their A Game as the Jets bring the blitz. There are a lot of other angles to discuss about this game other than the Chargers’ passing offense, but, for the Jets, it starts with disrupting Rivers. If they can get in Rivers’ face, and if they can do just enough on offense, they stand a chance. Otherwise, simply, they don’t.
The Pick: Too much has to go right for the Jets to pull the upset. They’re built to do so, and they certainly might, but the Chargers are on a mission they’re not about to blow lightly. 27-17, Chargers.