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Jets vs. Chargers: 3 things to watch

The Jets aren’t in panic mode yet, but it’s about as close as you can get in Week 5 for a team with playoff aspirations just a few weeks ago.

Philip Rivers Philip Rivers leads the NFL in quarterback rating through four games.
Credit: Getty Images

The Jets aren’t in panic mode yet, but it’s about as close as you can get in Week 5 for a team with playoff aspirations just a few weeks ago.

The Jets are 1-3 and smack in the middle of a tough stretch of games that includes four playoff teams from a season ago in their first seven games.

The good news is no one in the AFC East is better than 2-2, so it’s still right there for the taking.

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Metro breaks down three things to watch Sunday in San Diego (4:25 p.m., CBS).

1. Get it out of the way

Yep, the Jets are in a three-game slide and could really use a win against the Chargers. But it isn’t all doom and gloom for New York, as all three losses were by eight points or less. They have been in every game this season and can easily correct the mistakes that led to those losses. In Week 2, they raced out to a big lead only to become stale in the second half in a loss at the Packers.

The next week against the Bears, two bad calls from the offi cials and two interceptions by quarterback Geno Smith sunk them. They were done in by two turnovers again last Sunday. This is a winnable game if they can clean up the mistakes.

2. Rush hour

The Chargers are second worst in the league in running the ball, getting only 69.5 yards per game on the ground. Given how prolific their passing game is, the Jets must focus on their pass rush and limiting quarterback Philip Rivers. If the Chargers struggle passing the ball, then their offense is doomed.

3. Get CJ2K going

The team’s leading rusher and most productive running back this year is not Chris Johnson, but Chris Ivory. But Ivory might be getting some help if Johnson’s late 35-yard touchdown run last week is any indication.

“When I saw that, it was vintage Chris Johnson,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “One, two, three yards, then all of a sudden, bam, he hits you.”

 
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