By Dave Thomas
For anyone who follows the San Diego Chargers, it is likely that the New York Jets are not one of their favorite opponents.READ MORE: Trio Of 55-Gallon Drums Found Leaking Motor Oil In Redlands Citrus Grove
In both the 2004 and 2009 playoffs in San Diego, the Jets came across the country and ended the hopes of the Bolts and their fans. Okay, that was half a decade and a full decade ago, but you get the point.
When the two teams meet up in San Diego this Sunday (1:25 p.m. local time kickoff on CBS), the Chargers will enter around a touchdown favorite. That said, don’t tell the Jets and Rex Ryan they do not have a chance to spring the upset.
Are Jets Good Enough To Ground Bolts?
Although the Jets have a lone win over the horrific Oakland Raiders to start the season, they have been competitive in their three losses to date, most recently a 24-17 home setback last Sunday to the Detroit Lions.
With youngster Geno Smith under center, Ryan is continuing to hear calls for a change at the quarterback position. With veteran Michael Vick on the sidelines, how long can the Jets wait to make a switch if Smith continues to struggle? While he has piled up some decent yardage numbers, key turnovers at the wrong time in games has hurt Smith to date.
While the Jets look for answers on improving their 1-3 mark, the Bolts are sitting at 3-1, a record that could be a perfect 4-0 were it not for the fourth quarter collapse to start the season in Arizona (lost 18-17).
Quarterback Philip Rivers has been very solid to date, as has San Diego’s defense. In its last two games, the Chargers have allowed all of 24 points to Buffalo and Jacksonville. Granted, not a pair of powerhouses in the AFC by any stretch of the imagination, but still impressive numbers to speak of.
The biggest hurdle right now for the Bolts is establishing a consistent ground game or one at all.
Injuries to starters Ryan Mathews (out indefinitely) and Danny Woodhead (done for the season) have put a lid for the most part on San Diego’s ability to run the ball. With Donald Brown the go-to guy now, the Chargers continue to struggle in mounting a running game, leaving Rivers and his receivers for the most part to move the ball.
As normally happens with the season now a month old, injuries begin to mount for teams.
San Diego is no different, as more than a dozen players filled the injury report sheet as of Thursday’s practice. Among the notables not participating in practice Thursday was corner Shareece Wright, linebacker Manti Te’o and center Rich Ohrnberger.
Wright is bothered by a knee injury, while Te’o continues to nurse a foot problem that his plagued him since last season. Ohrnberger, meantime, is battling a back problem.
Thursday injury report:
Jerry Attaochu (linebacker) – Hamstring, Did Not ParticipateREAD MORE: LA Facing $550M Revenue Shortfall On Sharp Declines In Transient, Parking Occupancy Taxes
Dwight Freeney (linebacker) – Knee, Did Not Participate
Ryan Mathews (running back) – Knee, Did Not Participate
Rich Ohrnberger (center) – Back, Did Not Participate
Manti Te’o (linebacker) – Foot, Did Not Participate
Reggie Walker (linebacker) – Ankle, Did Not Participate
Shareece Wright (corner) – Knee, Did Not Participate
Donald Butler (linebacker) – Shoulder, Limited Participation
David Johnson (tight end) – Shoulder, Limited Participation
Corey Liuget (defensive tackle) – Concussion, Limited Participation
Jason Verrett (corner) – Hamstring, Limited Participation
Malcom Floyd (wide receiver) Illness, Full Participation
Ladarius Green (tight end) – Hamstring, Full Participation
Jarret Johnson (linebacker) – Shoulder, Full Participation
Cordarro Law (linebacker) – Ankle, Full Participation
For more Chargers news and updates, visit Chargers Central.MORE NEWS: Irv Cross, Former Rams Player And Broadcast Pioneer, Dies At 81
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.