EXPERT PLAYOFF PICKS beginning next weekend:
AFC Indinapolis over Baltamore and San Diego over NY Jets followed by the Chargers beating the Colts for AFC Championship.
NFC Cowboys over Vikings and Saints over Cardinals followed by Saints over Cowboys for NFC Championship.
SUPER BOWL- Chargers over Saints (or possibly over Cowboys should their lucky streak continue).
SUNDAY MATCH UP- NY JETS at SAN DIEGO
The Chargers are hosting the Jets in this Sunday which should prove to be an interesting contrast in styles. The Jets boast a terrific defense with strength against the run and top ranked cornerback, Darrelle Revis, against the pass. And the Jets’ strong running game faces off against a Chargers’ defense ranked 20th in the league.
Although the Charger’s defense is 20th YTD their ranking over the past 12 games has moved them to #10. And with Merriman recovered from a mid-season injury to join Phillips on defense expect pressure to be put on Jets’ rookie QB Sanchez.
Five years ago I used to watch Mark Sanchez play for Mission Viejo Hight School where the Diablos were undefeated and ranked #1 nationally. Mark has made a lot of improvements in his rookie year with the Jets, but he’s still a rookie. Look for Merriman and Phillips to cause turnovers.
The Jets’ Revis at 5’11” will be covering some of the biggest receivers in the league. Chargers’ Jackson is 6’5” and 230#, Floyd is also 6’5” and tight end, and ex-basketball star, Gates is 6’4” and 240# along with Nanee at 6’2.” Philip Rivers, Charger’s QB, at 6’5″ is among the NFL’s most accurate long ball passers. Rivers has the ability to place the ball high enough to be out of reach of defenders but within reach of the Chargers’ leaping receivers.
THE GAME HINGES ON-
The Chargers play a bit like the Colts, aerial fire power with the ability to rack up points quickly. A lot hinges on the success of the Chargers defense to put pressure on Mark Sanchez. Additionally San Diego’s offensive line will need to give Philip Rivers time to find Gates, Jackson, Floyd, Nanee and Tomlinson. And don’t forget about 5′ 6″ super-quick Darren Sproles.
If either team is able to rack up some early points for a ten or fourteen point lead they will gain the mental edge. And if that team is the Chargers they’ll have both the team and the crowd working against the Jets.
And finally, the home crowd can get loud at Qualcomm Stadium which is shaped more like a drum than a bowl and is able to contain high decible crowd noise. Don’t expect the Jets to be able to hear Sanchez on critical plays!
I believe the Jets will have success moving the ball on the ground but won’t be able to match the offensive firepower of Philip Rivers and the Bolt’s offense.
P.S. Last week I scored 75% having picked 3 of 4 winners.