2005-01-08

Playoffs: Garbage Round


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Watching Jets-Chargers out of the corner of my eye. This is ugly. Sometimes you'd see 17-10 and think, "Good defensive struggle." Not today. The two teams are trading fatal mistake for fatal mistake.

What is the deal with Pennington? I just don't see where the hype is coming from. He watches his intended receiver (and that's receiver, singular, no look-offs here) from the snap to the conclusion of the play. And NY's plays are so slow to develop. He doesn't seem able to throw the ball until the receiver is standing there, waiting, and Pennington has double and triple-checked that the guy is wide open.

I feel like the Jets have been between SD's 40 and 30 for the last half hour. 10 minutes left and NY leading by a TD and driving, sort of. The Chargers get a much needed 3rd down stop, only to put 12 men on the field for the ensuing punt giving the Jets a first down and allowing them to continue their "drive." That should have been fatal. Fortunately for SD, the Jets spend the next three plays appearing to head for the wrong end of the field.

Fatal mistake number #257. SD - 4th and Goal with seconds left. The Jets suffer a rare moment of defensive clarity and blow the play up. Yes, NY actually does have their defense on the field for this drive. Before this play, who knew? NY blows the play up, and Brees is forced into a disjointed underhand pitch while running for his life. Game over ... but wait! The Jet pursuer wisely clocked Brees in the helmet as the SD QB was falling to the ground, having already gotten rid of the ball. A new set of downs and SD takes advantage on the next play.

Oh boy! Overtime. We could potentially have 15 more minutes of this poetry in motion.

I've seen enough to safely say that, of all the AFC teams in action this weekend, only Indianapolis has a chance to move beyond next weekend.

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