Well, well, well, if it wasn’t a predictable outcome.
Both teams moved to 4-4, with the Chargers rising up the AFC West and the Jets taking a hit in the AFC East.
Let’s analyze the game with five winners and losers:
Winner: Derius Davis, Chargers
The Chargers saw their offense stuffed by a stout Jets defense. But Los Angeles won the turnover battle and got a crucial six points off Derius Davis’ special teams touchdown.
Just minutes into the first quarter, the 23-year-old rookie returned a punt 87 yards to the house to open the scoring.
This game could’ve been closer had that punt return not happened and the Jets showed life on offense. But such is the margins in the NFL, and it turned out to be a difference-making play by the rook.
Loser: Jets’ offensive showing
The Jets came into the game ranking No. 26 in points per game. As good as their defense has been the last two seasons, it doesn’t matter if the offense can’t consistently move the chains and put points on the board. The offensive line isn’t great, Garrett Wilson is the sole downhill threat and no Aaron Rodgers doesn’t help.
Head coach Robert Saleh had the chance to improve the QB depth knowing Wilson’s rough history, but nothing happened and he deserves a big share of the finger pointing.
Wilson completed 33 of 49 passes for 263 yards, no touchdowns, no picks and was sacked eight times. He averaged 5.4 yards a throw. He also lost two fumbles on the night, making it eight in the last five games.
Herbert and Wilson both met the MetLife Stadium turf more than they would’ve liked. The Jets sacked Herbert five times, with Bryce Huff leading the way with 1.5. Huff also recorded four QB hits on Herbert, with Jermaine Johnson and John Franklin-Myers adding three each.
But Wilson had it worse. The Chargers, as aforementioned, sacked him eight times. Joey Bosa led the way with 2.5 while Khalil Mack and Tuli Tuipulotu added two each. If this Chargers defense can replicate these performances, look out. It also could just be a case of playing the Jets, but tougher tests are looming.
Loser: Justin Herbert, Chargers
The scoreline easily blankets the fact that Herbert had his worst showing of the season. The 25-year-old completed 16 of 30 passes for a feeble 136 yards, no touchdowns and no picks. As aforementioned, he was sacked five times.
He posted identical numbers in their Week 4 win versus the Las Vegas Raiders, but in this game he received imperative help from his supporting units. That was the difference between Herbert and Wilson.
Loser: Aaron Rodgers, Jets
Before every Jets game we see Rodgers exhibiting promising signs of returning to the field in his pre-game throws. He’s seemingly ahead of schedule on returning from a supposed season-ending Achilles tear, but him pulling off the improbable rests on New York qualifying for the playoffs.
But the way the offense is playing, that doesn’t seem likely. The Jets are 4-4 and still have to play the Miami Dolphins twice and the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns on the road. They also host the Houston Texans, which is quite close on paper.
Rodgers may recover earlier than expected, but it may not even matter.
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