Friday, January 15, 2010

Jets hope Rivers shuts down, shuts up

The New York Jets want to shut Philip Rivers down so they can shut him up.

Easier said than done.

Rivers is the hottest QB in the NFL right now. His San Diego Chargers have won 11 in a row, scored at least 20 points in every game and there is no end in sight.

Give credit, though, to New York Jets coach Rex Ryan. He is talking so big that he has probably convinced himself the Jets can beat the heavily-favored Chargers this Sunday in the AFC Divisional playoffs.

Rivers should have plenty to talk about. Even if the Jets shut down Chargers WR Vincent Jackson with CB Darrelle Revis in coverage, the Chargers can still find Antonio Gates or Malcom Floyd wide open (or finally establish a running game with LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles.)

For the Jets to win, their vaunted rushing attack will have to fare well against San Diego’s not-so-good rushing defense. Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene have both shown they are more than capable RBs behind a line featuring three Pro Bowl selections: center Nick Mangold, left guard Alan Faneca and left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

If the Jets get behind early, they will have trouble catching up behind rookie QB Mark Sanchez. That’s why San Diego can put the game away before halftime if it jumps out to a sizeable lead.

In fact, look for Rivers to go long on the first play of the game to Jackson … just to test Revis and make a statement for the Chargers.

Speaking of statements, visiting teams have won 50% of NFL playoff games since 2002. So it’s not impossible to win on the road in January.

Last week, both AFC teams won on the road while NFC teams were 0-2 away from home. Look for the exact opposite to happen this weekend.

Chargers 24, Jets 17
Colts 24, Ravens 20
Cardinals 31, Saints 27
Cowboys 23, Vikings 20

No comments: