Who really beat the Chargers?
Is it a cop out? A slight of the opponent? Not giving credit where credit is due? Back-up tight end Randy McMichael didn’t think the Jets deserved much of anything after handing the 4-2 Chargers a 27-21 road loss; a game in which the San Diego was shut out in the second half, committing two turnovers in the process. McMichael said after the game that it was the Chargers who beat themselves, “taking their foot off the gas” when they had a lead.
He would go on to blast the Jets defensive secondary, who came up with two interceptions in the fourth quarter on Sunday’s contest, saying they “didn’t do anything”.
On the heels of McMichael’s controversial comments cornerback Quentin Jammer said the game was decided by partial refereeing on the side of the Jets. He told the New York Post that “no way the game was called fairly”.
Such words prompted head coach Rex Ryan to channel is inner Ron Burgundy, reminding the Chargers to “stay class, San Diego.” But do the Chargers have a point? It’s not an uncommon thing to hear from a losing team. And it is certainly possible that a team can beat themselves. Did the second-half adjustments the Jets made baffle the eighth-rated offensive attack in the league or did Philip Rivers and company grow complacent with their lead?
First Half Second HalfPoints 21 0Yards 151 117Turnovers 0 2Third Down 6-for-7 (86%) 1-for-7 (14%)
Antonio Cromartie, who spent his four years in the league as the Chargers number one cornerback, felt it was the adjustments his unit made at half time that sparked the 11-point comeback. “Our whole thought process during [that] time was, ‘OK, we’re down,’ but there were some adjustments that we knew we needed to make and that’s exactly what we did. [Philip] Rivers was 8-for-20 in the second half. When you can make a quarterback do that and throw two interceptions, it speaks volumes about what kind of defense we can be,” he said.
Apparently their performance wasn’t loud enough to be heard in San Diego. Taking a closer look at the numbers, the Jets defense held the Chargers below the majority of the top-flight offensive categories for the season. At 4-3, the Jets are not a team to be overlooked. They have moved on from the dreadful looking team that lost three straight road games a month ago. The win over the Chargers marked their first victory against a team with a winning record this season.
Season Avg. Season Rank TodayYards 416.2 6th 268Third-Down Percentage 56.5% 1st 7 for 14 (50%)Time of Possession 35:17 1st 27:14Rivers Completion Pct. 67.2% 4th 50.0%Rivers Passing Yards 307.2 6th 179Rivers Passer Rating 87.6 15th 51.4
Sure, it’s possible that the Chargers just didn’t play their best. And it’s more than likely the Jets had a big reason to do that. There is no clear cut answer, as any one choice is influenced by bias. But as the old adage goes, ‘on any given Sunday any given team can be beat’. The Chargers, whether it was because of them or a better opponent, was not the better team on Sunday. But they’re right about one thing, they have only themselves to blame for not leaving New Jersey with a win.
(Stats provided by Jets media relations department.)