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New York Jets will find things much tougher when they take on the San Diego Chargers

The Jets now must play someone other than the Cincinnati Bengals. The road to the Super Bowl gets much more difficult.

The New York Jets travel to San Diego this weekend to take on the Chargers in the AFC Divisional Round. When they hit the field against the Chargers, the Jets will find things to be much tougher than they were when they were in Cincinnati last week. The Bengals ultimately put up no true fight against the Jets. You better believe the Chargers will!

The Jets were able to run the ball at will against Cincinnati. When rookie QB Mark Sanchez had to throw the ball (which wasn’t often) and make a play, the Bengals were unable to provide any pressure. It was to easy for Sanchez and company. The Jets defense was able to completely neutralize the Bengals offensive attack by eliminating their passing game. Once the Jets made the Bengals one dimensional, the game was essentially over.

It will be a lot tougher to accomplish those things against the 11-3 Chargers team. The cold weather helped the Jets last week. It wont be cold in San Diego. Offensively, the Chargers have many matchup problems the Jets will need to deal with. While the Jets have the best cornerback in football, he will need to try and contain the 6’5″ Vincent Jackson. Jackson is the Chargers leading receiver and big play threat. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has shut down some of the best receivers in the game this season but Jackson’s size adds another challenge. This matchup is one of the keys to success for both teams.

Another big matchup to watch is Chargers tight end Antonio Gates against the Jets linebackers and safeties. Gates is arguably the best tight end in the NFL and his 1,157 receiving yards this season prove that. This season, the Jets have done a very good job against opposing tight ends, but Gates is on a while different level. The Chargers will line Gates up all over the field, tight on the line, or out wide like a wide receiver. They will do everything they can to get matchup advantages against the Jets top ranked defense.

Quarterback Philip Rivers is very good at finding the open receiver. The Jets defense will not have an easy time defending this Chargers team. New York will need to put pressure on Rivers and attempt to get him off his game. The young, cocky quarterback is hard to rattle though. LaDainian Tomlinson is the Chargers running back still. While he was once thought to be the best in the league, his numbers have dropped significantly and the Chargers rushing attack has been non-existent this season. However, if you continue to bring pressure and concentrate on the passing game, the rushing attack can do some damage with Tomlinson and speedy Darren Sproles.

Another area of concern for the Jets is the Chargers ability to throw screen passes. Tomlinson and Sproles are both good receivers out of the backfield. This will keep the Jets defense honest and not allow them to constantly bring blits after blitz.

Offensively, the Jets will once again try to pound it out with their top ranked rushing attack. Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene have destroyed many teams this season and kept pressure off the rookie quarterback. The Chargers are a very physical defense and will not be as easy to carve through as the Cincinnati Bengals were.

The Chargers are not tops in any specific area of defense, but they get the job done. Overall, they are a very good defensive unit. Sanchez will likely need to make a few plays in the passing game to keep the Jets in this one.

I am not saying the Jets have no shot at winning this game. I am simply saying life is not as easy as it was a week ago. The Jets very well could upset the Chargers and advance to the AFC Championship game, its going to tough however.

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