Offense: How about a first quarter touchdown? Maybe even a first quarter first down? The New York Jets must find a way to start faster because of the firepower San Diego has on the offensive side of the football. It is on Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer in particular to come up with something to put the Chargers defense on their heels.
I would expect to see more LaDainian Tomlinson than usual on Sunday. He has looked better with the football in his hands all season than Shonn Greene and you know how motivated he will be for Sunday. Between Tomlinson, Greene, and hopefully a larger dose of Joe McKnight the Jets must establish a running game to keep the pressure off Mark Sanchez and open the play action passing attack down the field.
The Jets are going to need all of their pass catching options to step up on Sunday. Santonio Holmes must be the number one receiver they signed him to be and make another big play as he did the past two weeks. Plaxico Burress needs a couple of first quarter catches to get in the flow of the game. Dustin Keller should be able to stretch the seam with Jeremy Kerley. The offense only scored 17 points last week, which isn’t going to cut it this Sunday.
Defense: Ryan Matthews would seem to be type of back who will give the Jets defense a world of trouble. Of course, Ray Rice seemed that way too but they were able to keep him in check. Rex Ryan’s unit needs their “A” game like they had in Baltimore led by the defensive line up front slowing Matthews and Mike Tolbert down. Philip Rivers has been off so far this year but always has the ability to flip the switch and push the football down the field as well as any quarterback in the league.
I would expect Darrelle Revis to spend the overwhelmingly majority of the game on Vincent Jackson. The real question is going to be how will the Jets handle Malcolm Floyd and Antonio Gates if he suits up? Antonio Cromartie needs to show up and the safeties have to perform better. The Jets should also be able to get after Rivers. Aaron Maybin, Jamaal Westerman, and Calvin Pace must keep Rivers uneasy in the pocket and force another turnover or two.
Special Teams: An area of the game where the Jets could have a large advantage. A huge kick or punt return will go a long way towards helping pull off the “upset.” TJ Conley must also keep up his strong performances, as field position will be crucial in what should be a tight game.