The Los Angeles Chargers (7-7) look to get back above .500 when they head on the road for the final time this regular season to visit the New York Jets (5-9). Kickoff from MetLife Stadium is set for 10:00am PT on Sunday.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Philip Rivers continues to play lights out football, completing 310 of 498 attempts (62-percent) for 3,838 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for a 93.8 passer rating. He needs only 162 yards to become the fourth player in NFL history to eclipse 4,000 yards in nine straight seasons. Keenan Allen is 12 catches away from tying the team record for receptions in a single season as he currently has 88 on the year. KA13 has also recorded 1,197 yards and caught five touchdown passes. However, the team must find a way to replace Hunter Henry after he was lost for the season with a small laceration on his kidney. The tight end ranked third on the team in receptions (45) and receiving yards (579), and was tied for second with four TD catches. On the ground, Melvin Gordon has a chance to record his first 1,000-yard season. The third-year running back has carried the ball 248 times for 931 yards and seven touchdowns.
On Offense for the Jets
With Josh McCown lost for the season, the Jets are expected to once again turn to Bryce Petty at quarterback. Last week against the New Orleans Saints, Petty completed 19 of 39 attempts for 179 yards, one TD and two interceptions. Meanwhile, Bilal Powell leads the team in rushing with 581 yards on 146 carries for four TDs while Robby Anderson has burst onto the scene with 57 receptions for 888 yards and seven touchdowns.
On Defense for the Chargers
The Bolts rank third in the NFL in total points allowed with 255 (18.2 ppg). The last time they finished ranked in the top 5 in the NFL was in 2007, when they ranked fifth in the league (17.8). Newly minted Pro Bowl starter Joey Bosa leads the way, notching 61 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. His 11.5 sacks rank fifth in the NFL while his four forced fumbles rank third. Meanwhile, Casey Hayward enters the game after being named to his second straight Pro Bowl. The cornerback leads the NFL with 20 passes defensed and is tied for seventh with four picks.
On Defense for the Jets
While much of the attention goes to Leonard Williams, Mohammed Wilkerson, Jamal Adams and Demario Davis have been New York’s most potent defensive players. The linebacker has totaled 117 tackles (seventh in the league) and 5.0 sacks. In addition, his 84 solo tackles are tied for fourth in the NFL.
L.A. leads the all-time series 21-14-1, and have won the last two times they’ve squared off. TheChargers hold an 8-6-1 advantage on the road against the Jets. The Bolts won the last contest at MetLife Stadium in 2012, 27-17, and shutout the Jets, 31-0, in the last meeting in 2014.
By the Numbers
The Chargers rank seventh in total offense (368.0 yards per game), third in passing (268.8 ypg), 23rd in rushing (99.4 ypg) and 16th in points (22.2). The Jets rank 25th in total offense (310.1 ypg), 23rd in passing (205.5 ypg), 19th in rushing (104.6 ypg) and 20th in points (20.4).
Defensively, the Bolts rank 14th in total defense (330.2 ypg), fourth in passing (201.9 ypg), 30th in rushing (128.3 ypg) and third in points allowed (18.2). New York ranks 24th in total defense (351.9 ypg), 20th in passing (234.0 ypg), 21st in rushing (117.9 ypg) and 26th in points allowed (24.4).
Milestones on the Horizon
Philip Rivers is 162 yards away from his ninth-straight 4,000-yard season. He would become only the fourth player in NFL history to accomplish that feat (Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady).
Rivers is also three completions away from passing John Elway for eighth-most in NFL history with 4,124.
Number 17 is only 329 yards away from becoming the ninth player in league history to reach 50,000 career passing yards.
Rivers needs four touchdown passes to tie Fran Tarkenton for sixth in NFL history with 342.
Melvin Gordon is 69 yards away from his first 1,000-yard season.
Keenan Allen needs 12 receptions to tie and 13 to break LaDainian Tomlinson’s franchise record for completions in a season (100). He needs three more catches to reach 91, which would be the second-most in franchise history.
Antonio Gates needs three catches to tie Torry Holt (92) for 20th in career catches in NFL history.
Noteworthy vs. the Jets
Antonio Gates caught eight passes for 132 yards in a Week 9 victory at New York on Nov. 6, 2005. In the last outing against the Jets, Gates caught two touchdowns and finished with four catches for 60 yards on Oct. 5, 2014.
In eight games played against the Jets, Gates has caught 39 passes for 536 yards with six touchdowns. He has scored at least one touchdown in his last three games against New York.
Melvin Ingram tallied his second career sack when he was credited with half a sack against the Jets on Dec. 23, 2012.
Corey Liuget tallied his first career multi-sack game when he registered two sacks against the Jets on Dec. 23, 2012.
Brandon Mebane, playing for the Seahawks, recorded a career-high four quarterback hurries and a half sack against the Jets on Dec. 21, 2008.
Philip Rivers threw for three touchdowns and 250 yards on 19-of-25 passing in his first career game against the Jets on Sept. 22, 2008. The QB posted a rating of 125.3 when he was 20-of-28 for 288 and three scores in the 31-0 victory on Oct. 5, 2014.
Rivers is 3-2 against the Jets with a rating of 93.9. Rivers has completed 63.3 percent of his passes (93-147) for 1,180 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn was the running backs coach for the Jets from 2009-13 and later the assistant head coach during the 2014 season. Lynn was Jets RB Bilal Powell’s position coach from 2011- 14.
Chargers Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt played for the Jets from 1991-93.
Chargers Head Strength and Conditioning Coach John Lott played for the Jets in 1988 and later became their head strength and conditioning coach from 1997-04.
Chargers Offensive Quality Control Coach Dan Shamash was a coaching assistant for the Jets in 2008 and later a consultant in 2011.
Chargers TE Jeff Cumberland played for the Jets from 2010-15.
Chargers QB Kellen Clemens was selected by New York in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft and played for the Jets from 2006-10.
CBS – Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline)
KFI-AM 640 – Matt “Money” Smith (play-by-play), Nick Hardwick (analyst) and Shannon Farren (sideline)
Spanish Radio: KFWB – AM 980 – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)
Chargers radio broadcasts throughout the season will be able to be heard across 11 radio stations from Southern California to Nevada. Fans can listen in English on KGB-FM and KLSD AM (San Diego), KNWZ-AM (Palm Springs), KALZ-AM (Fresno), KBFP-AM (Bakersfield), KNWH-FM (Yucca Valley), KRLV-FM (Las Vegas), KRAK-AM (Victorville/Hesperia), KATY-FM (San Bernardino) and KPLY-AM (Reno). Spanish broadcasts can be heard on XHFG-FM (San Diego).