Bolt Beat Week 16 staff picks: Los Angeles Chargers face must-win vs. Jets

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17: A New York Jets helmet sits on the sidelines during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17: A New York Jets helmet sits on the sidelines during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Chargers face an important game in Week 16 against the New York Jets.

We were all lulled into the belief that this Chargers team was for real. After an amazing turnaround, it was hard not to get excited about the direction the team was heading, but everything came back down to Earth last Saturday in Kansas City.

So the Chargers now sit at 7-7 and will need plenty of help to qualify for the postseason. Are we all still on the Bolts? Let’s take a look at this week’s predictions. Each writer’s win-loss record for the season is in parenthesis.

Alexander Insdorf (9-5): “The Chargers come into this one reeling off of last week’s disappointing loss in Kansas City. The Chargers playoff hopes are still alive if they win the next two, even though they need a couple things to happen. But they can’t focus on that now. They just have to focus on beating the Jets. I predicted this as a pretty easy win in the preseason, but started worrying a little when Josh McCown started playing so well. But now that the Jets have tossed Bryce Petty back into the starting role, the Chargers have a pretty good chance to really make their offense struggle. The real battle will be the Jets defense vs. Chargers offense. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have been playing really well as rookies. Last week against the great Saints offense, the Jets forced three turnovers and had a chance to win. So their record is very misleading. This is a team that should be feared on the defensive end. I think the Chargers do enough to get a closer than expected win in New Jersey with good enough offensive play, and great defensive pressure on Bryce Petty and the Jets offense. FINAL SCORE: LAC 27-NYJ 23.”

Scott Iger (7-7): “In a devastating loss to the Chiefs last week, the Chargers severely hurt their playoff chances, but they aren’t out of it yet. This week’s matchup with the Jets is a must-win if the Bolts want any chance of sneaking in. A depleted Jets team who has no chance of getting into the playoffs and is currently starting Bryce Petty is not one I would bet on. Chargers take this one 28-10.”

Tannner Wrape (3-4): “This is a must win game for the Chargers of course. It is always tough winning on the east coast but I think Lynn has the boys ready to roll. Expect a big game from Philip and I think Melvin Gordon gets a 100 yard game. This game will be closer than everyone thinks but the Chargers pull away late. 31-24 Bolts.”

Sean Kirk (5-2):The Chargers travel across the country and are fighting for their playoff hopes. Although, they’ve lost Hunter Henry for the season, they’ve been relatively healthy all season so hopefully someone like Mike Williams will show out. The Jets are out of it and have nothing to play for. Bryce Petty will be quarterbacking after the injury to Josh McCown and we’ve seen what the Chargers defense will do to bad quarterbacks even with the big loss of Perryman (and Liuget). But, the Jets are not good. This one is easy. Chargers win 31-17.”

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Kade Dohmen (6-8): “Josh McCown is out, which means the Jets offense is near non-existent. Chargers have to win to stay in the hunt. I think the game will be close at half but Bolts pull away. LA wins 30-14.”

Anthony Totri (9-5): “It’s do or die. The season is on the line these last two weeks and the Chargers need to come through big here. The Jets on the other hand have put together a better season than most thought possible. That being said, I don’t think they posses the firepower to defend a do-or-die Bolts’ offense that has shown promise prior to last week. Give me the Chargers 27 – Jets 20.”

Tyler Schoon (5-7): “A little worried about the Jets, because they are going to run the ball. No one in that group is incredibly special, but the Chargers were so gashed last week against the run that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets ran twenty straight times against this Perryman-less defense. 

Luckily for the Chargers, Bryce Petty isn’t a game-breaker. In fact, at this point he’s hardly a game-manager. The Chargers play a weaker opponent and escape with a win on the road, although I believe this one is closer like the Cleveland game than say against Washington. 

Chargers 23, Jets 16. Happy Holidays!”

Matt Pagels (9-5): “Chargers really had a chance to win the division. Now, they’re fighting to make the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. They need help, but let’s focus on this game, one in which I think they’ll bounce back and win against a Bryce Petty-led Jets team.”

Travis Wakeman (10-4): “If the Jets had McCown, I would no doubt take them here. I just feel like last week’s loss for the Chargers was so deflating. But because it’s Bryce Petty and a bad Jets team, I’ll say the Chargers’ hopes stay alive for at least another week. Chargers 21, Jets 14.”