The Chargers look to break their three-game losing streak against a Jets’ team with even worse struggles. What do they need to do to win?
Perhaps it was hard to imagine prior to the season, but the LA Chargers are far from the playoff race in Week 10. Even through the first 10 weeks last season, Los Angeles still had something to play for at 4-5.
Pride is on the line here though. The Jets have been an embarrassment all season. To an extent, the Chargers have had their own bad moments, but they’ve stayed competitive. The Jets have a -147 point differential on the season while the Chargers have a -19 point differential. There are levels to being bad.
Back to back losses to surging Raiders and Dolphins teams are at least understandable, but a loss here wouldn’t be. The Chargers need to win this game to save face.
1. Avoid special teams disasters
It’s one thing to request that the special teams play better. Honestly, that’s not even what I’m asking for. Just last week, the Chargers gave the Dolphins a free touchdown off of a blocked punt that put them on the one-yard line.
On the next Miami scoring drive, the defense got off the field on third down and held the Dolphins to just a Jason Sanders field goal attempt. Then, Quenton Meeks jumps offsides on the field goal attempt.
Those two special teams’ errors aren’t just miscues. They’re disasters. Right there, you have an 11 point swing on a touchdown that might’ve not otherwise happened plus Meeks’ offsides on the field goal that led to another touchdown.
That’s before we even discuss giving up nearly 20 yards per return on average to Jakeem Grant or bad special teams tackling. In fact, that stuff is trivial compared to the first half miscues.
Michael Badgley missed field goals are one type of error, but the Chargers lost so much field position and momentum in every other aspect of special teams last week.