Chargers RB LaDanian Tomlinson was almost unstoppable in the first half as he ran for three touchdowns. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
With QB Brooks Bollinger in relief, the Jets made a gritty comeback in the second half and nearly pulled out a last minute win against the Chargers. However, poor defense in the first half where San Diego scored touchdowns on their first three possessions was too much to overcome as the Jets lost 31-26.
In a trend that has crippled the team for most of this season the Jets got into an early hole by letting the Chargers run down the field in the first half. The Chargers ended the first half leading 21-10 as San Diegoís two main weapons, RB LaDanian Tomlinson (24 rushes, 107 yards) and Antonio Gates (8 receptions, 132 yards) had their way with the Jets offense. Tomlinson, who had not scored in his past 2 games, scored all four San Diego touchdowns, three rushing and one receiving. Chargers QB Drew Brees passed for 215 yards in the first half and finished with 27 yards on the day.
Jetsí starter Vinny Testaverde (6 of 11, 98 yds, 0 TDís) led the team to a second quarter Curtis Martin 1 yard touchdown run but aggravated his strained calf muscle in the second half and was replaced by backup Brooks Bollinger.
As the defense tightened in the second half Bollinger (11 of 20, 106 yds, 2 TDís) sparked the Jets offense by leading them to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Down by five with three minutes to go Jets DE John Abraham sacked Brees and forced a fumble on the Chargers 30, however the Jets only got as far as the San Diegoís three as a Bollinger pass to WR Justin McCareins was batted away on fourth down with 58 seconds left in the game.
One encouraging note was the performance of Bollinger who finally was given an opportunity to play as Edwards opened up the Jets playbook. Look for him to get the nod next week against Carolina.
With the loss the Jets now fall to 2-6 and it would be somewhat of a miracle for this team to make any playoff run.
-Last stand for Wayne? Jets WR Wayne Chrebet suffered another concussion late in the game as he caught a Bollinger pass for a first down and awkwardly landed and banged his head on the Meadowlands turf. Although the severity of the concussion is unknown at this time, he was visibly shaken up by the hit and laid on the field several minutes before being helped off. Based on his age and concussion history you have to think this is likely Chrebetís last game as a Jet.
- Inactives for the Jets today were: QB Kliff Kingsbury (3rd QB), QB Jay Fiedler, RB Derrick Blaylock, FB B.J. Askew, G Doug Nienhuis, WE-LB Trevor Johnson & LB T.J. Hollowell
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Besides Chrebet, the Jets suffered another substantial loss as starting TE Chris Baker broke his ankle ending his season. Doug Jolley will step up as the starter and rookie Joel Dreesen will see more playing time.
As mentioned above, QB Vinny Testaverde aggravated his strained calf and is day to day.
The Jets now will prepare to go on the road to face the Carolina Panthers next week. Be sure to check back to Jets Insider.com for all the latest NY Jets news.