The San Diego Chargers know what today's AFC divisional play-off game against the New York Jets is going to come down to: a street fight. That is what the Jets try to turn every game into. While the Chargers have won 11 consecutive games to a great extent on the back of a prolific passing game, the Jets win the old-fashioned way - by running the football down your throats on offence and running over your quarterback on defence.
"It's play-off football," the Chargers' quarterback, Philip Rivers, said. "Usually the best defences and teams that can put the ball in the end zone offensively are who's left. We're facing a heck of a team; number one rush offence; number one defence in the league. We like to think we're pretty good in some categories as well." They are, primarily in their passing game, which is one of the league's best. Led by Rivers, who threw for a career high 4,254 yards this season, with 28 touchdowns and only nine interceptions, San Diego will attack the aggressive Jets' defence with three deep-threat wide receivers and Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates, who is a big, fast match-up problem for any defence.
They are the opposite of the Jets, who lead the league in rushing and try to limit what they ask in the passing game from their rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. San Diego, meanwhile, are next to last in rushing and thus hope to jump out to a quick score or two with their passing attack. "Teams do what they do well," Rivers said. "The Jets' approach, it is a total approach; it's an offensive and defensive team approach, and their approach has worked for them to get them this far. Our approach has worked for us. Two different styles in a sense, but two different make ups of different teams. We will see what plays out."
San Diego v New York Jets, 1.40am Monday, ESPN