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The New York Jets, who stood at 7-7 several weeks ago and out of the playoff race, stormed into San Diego and defeated the Chargers on Sunday 17-14 in the AFC Divisional playoffs. The victory sends the Jets to the AFC title game versus the Indianapolis Colts in a rematch of one of the season’s most talked about games.
Mark Sanchez only threw for 100 yards but managed to make the key throws when he absolutely had to but there were two true stars for the Jets in San Diego. Rex Ryan’s defense held San Diego to just one touchdown for roughly three and a half quarters until a quarterback sneak by Philip Rivers pulled it to 17-14.
Meanwhile, the meat and potatoes of the Jet offense is their running game and Shonn Greene proved to be a significant force. Greene rumbled for 128 yards and a score to pace the Jets.
Coming in to this game though, the biggest question marks besides Sanchez’s play were New York’s ability to stop the run and San Diego’s ability to run. Considering it was a matchup of strength versus strength (Jets pass defense vs. Chargers pass offense), the run game for the Chargers could have been a wild card factor to take pressure off of Rivers.
Instead, San Diego failed at running successfully (averaged 3.4 yards per carry) and gained only 61 yards rushing. Along with Nate Kaeding, who made Scott Norwood wince with three missed field goals, the Chargers underachieved in another postseason run.
As for the Jets, it’s onto Indy and a rematch of the Polian/Painter/Caldwell/Anti-’72 Dolphins Bowl in the AFC title game. It should be a doozy.