Dec 23, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) runs for a touchdown while being chased by New York Jets safety Eric Smith (33) after catching a pass from San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second half at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets last stepped foot in Qualcomm Stadium on January 17th, 2010. The 13-3 Chargers hosted the Jets for an AFC Divisional round matchup. The Jets shocked the NFL world and San Diego Chargers fans everywhere when they stole one in San Diego. The Chargers took a 7-3 lead into the 4th quarter even with their former NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson sidelined with an injury. The Jets defense limited L.T. to just 24 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Mark Sanchez led the Jets on a touchdown-scoring drive to start the 4th quarter to give the Jets a 10-7 lead. Shonn Greene scored a touchdown not too long after to make it 17-7. The Chargers pulled within 3 when Philip Rivers pushed into the endzone from the 1. The main story of this gut-wrenching loss was Nate Kaeding missing 3 field goals and the Chargers run defense allowing 169 rushing yards. The Chargers were also penalized 10 times. All these things led to one of the most disappointing games in Chargers history.
I don’t mean to rip off the scabs of old wounds. There are a few Chargers who were on that roster still playing for the Bolts today. Rivers did throw for 298 yards in that game but had 2 interceptions. Antonio Gates had 93 receiving yards. Eric Weddle recorded a sack. This is a good opportunity for the Chargers to exact revenge and move to 4-1. A win today will not completely avenge the home playoff loss, as it might have prevented the Chargers from reaching the Super Bowl, but this is a new season with new opportunities. The Chargers, for the moment, have sole possession of first place. Both of these teams are very different from their playoff game 4 1/2 years ago. But the Chargers should have the pride enough to defend their home turf against the team that didn’t respect them during their last trip to San Diego. This is a game the Chargers should win and need to win.