NFL Football Betting Preview
New York Jets (9-7) at San Diego Chargers (13-3)
Sunday January 17th, 4:40PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Chargers -7, 42 O/U
The New York Jets opportunity to just reach the postseason was considered a big long shot, but they closed out the year winning 5 of their last 6 games while getting help from some of the other teams around the league as well. The Jets backed up their underdog efforts last week with an impressive outing against the Cincinnati Bengals 24-14. The Jets finally are getting tremendous help from their defense and they are proving that they can play with the top teams in the league. However, the Jets will try to tackle the San Diego Chargers this weekend, who are the hottest team in the NFL in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.
San Diego won 11 games as the hottest team in the league to close out the year earning them a first round bye last week. The well rested Chargers will now attempt to pick up where they left off. The San Diego offense has proven to be unstoppable this season with QB Phillip Rivers under center. Rivers threw for 4,254 yards with 28 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions this season. Those are very solid numbers especially if you consider the lack of run game throughout the year meaning defenses knew the pass was coming but still could not stop it.
The reason it’s hard to stop the Chargers passing attack outside of Rivers dangerous accuracy lies in the receivers. WR Vincent Jackson and tight end Antonio Gates possibly the most lethal duo combination in any passing game. The two have combined for 2,300 plus yards and 17 touchdowns. Jackson is a big wide receiver that has dominated cornerback this year and Gates provides excellent support underneath. Those combinations in the passing game have been deadly, but now they must get the momentum rolling after a week off and also against one of the best pass defenses in the NFL.
The Jets lead the NFL in pass defense holding opponents to a lucrative low 154 yards per game through the air. The entire Jets defense has been even more impressive holding teams to just less than 9 points per game during their last 7 outings. However, the secondary may not have the height advantage to take the ball away from Jackson if he gets a few throws down the field. Jackson single handedly beat the Cowboys, who also have a disadvantage in size in their secondary, late in the regular season and the Jets can not afford to yield any similar results. For the most part, their pass defense has been very solid but will likely need to force a turnover or two quickly before the Chargers will change their attack. If they can keep San Diego out of the end zone early it will be vital to their success. The offense may put more on the arm of Mark Sanchez this week. Sanchez has been used very little considering the offense has ridden running back Thomas Jones over the past few weeks.
However, points will have to be scored in this game as I do not think the Jets running game can absolutely control the game start to finish. They will have to get help from Sanchez who completed 12 of 15 for 182 yards last week against the Bengals. If Sanchez can repeat on those numbers and produce some points then they will have a shot at the upset. Thomas Jones has been the workhouse over the past few weeks and they will give him the ball often again. Jones needs a few solid runs out of the gate to set the tone for the offense so that they can try to give him the ball 20 plus times. However, as stated before Sanchez and the passing offense will have to give support at some time in this game. If the Jets can not score at least 20 points they will not win.
Pick – Chargers roll