Chargers edge rushers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa vs. Jets tackles Mekhi Becton and Billy Turner/Max Mitchell
The Jets are banged up along the offensive line, and there is a question about who will play right tackle on Monday night.
Max Mitchell has started there for the past five games, but they may need him to play right guard after injuries to center Connor McGovern and guard Wes Schweitzer have forced them to move things around.
Becton has played every game this season, but had his worst game last week against the Giants and Kayvon Thiobodeaux.
Mack has seven sacks this season, but six came in one game against the Raiders. Bosa missed some time due to injury, but he has four sacks.
Both of them could blow up this game if the Jets offensive line can’t handle them and they get in Zach Wilson’s face.
“Khalil, went against him numerous times when we were at Green Bay,” offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said, referencing when Mack played for the Bears. “He’s absolutely spectacular, and Bosa is unbelievable, too. They even have a young rookie. They’ve got a lot of guys on the inside. They’re another good defense that have been together for a long time.
“It’s got a lot of similarities as what we saw last week. They just do a couple different things. I think we got to handle those edge guys. They’re so good and we just have to have a plan to understand where everybody is and it’s going to take a village.”
The Chargers are a hard team to figure out.
You look at their roster and they are loaded with talent, but they are just 3-4 this season.
That makes me think a correction is coming, and they are due to rattle off some wins.
The Jets are due for a loss after pulling out some crazy wins in the past few weeks.
It will be close, but Justin Herbert will get the Jets.
Chargers 24, Jets 20
Third and no
It took the Jets 57 minutes before converting a third down in last week’s 13-10 win over the Giants. They went 2-for-15 on third down in the game are now converting 23 percent of their third-down chances. That is the worst mark in the league and would be historic if it continues. The lowest third-down percentage since the statistic began being tracked in the 1970s is 24 percent by the 2005 49ers and 2002 Cowboys.
The Jets know if they want any true offensive success this year that they need to start converting on third down.
“I’d say we’re moving the ball, we’re just not producing on third downs, and that’s obviously where the fix needs to be,” quarterback Zach Wilson said. “We’re showing that we can move the ball, we’re doing some good things, so it’s really just trying to be more well balanced and find a way to get it done all the way around. … I’m trying to find anything I can do to find a way to help us be better on third downs. To be a great offense, you have to be great on third down.”
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has established himself as one of the best players at the position over the past three seasons.
That is what earned him a five-year, $262.5 million contract this offseason. But this season has been up and down for Herbert.
He fractured his left middle finger in Week 4 then had a rough three-game stretch after that.
He rebounded last week to complete his first 15 passes and not throw an interception in a beat-down of the dreadful Bears.
The Jets’ defense has thrived against some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season, playing well against Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.
Can they add Herbert to the list?
The Jets committed nine penalties last week, including four personal fouls.
If they had lost the game to the Giants, it would have been a major topic this week.
Since they won the game, the conversation was muted.
But the Jets are going to have to cut down on penalties in order to keep winning.
Their margin for success is too slim to help the other team with free yards.
The Giants scored their lone touchdown after the Jets had two personal fouls on the drive.
“Whatever it was — whether it was a mental error, whether it was unnecessary penalties — those are things we have to eliminate,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “To become the defense we want to become, you can’t have them.”
The Jets entered this season having lost their eight previous appearances on prime-time television.
They ended that streak in Week 1 with their miraculous victory over the Bills on “Monday Night Football,” rallying after Aaron Rodgers was injured.
They were back in prime time three weeks later against the Chiefs and played one of their best games in years despite losing. Now, they have two prime-time appearances in two weeks.
They face the Chargers on Monday night this week then the Raiders on Sunday night next week.
For years, the Jets have played terribly in prime time, but that has changed this season.
We’ll see if the Jets can continue that reversal.
This story originally appeared on NYPost