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New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers, Week 11 preview: What you need to know

Denzel Mims, Justin Herbert
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

The 0-9 New York Jets take on the 2-7 Los Angeles Chargers in a place they haven’t played in 27 years, the City of Angels.

Lucky No. 10 has arrived. Forget about the idea there’s really no such thing as “lucky No. 10” (for most of the world, at least); it’s important for the 2020 New York Jets this week.

Nine games, nine losses. Adam Gase’s squad will look for its first victory this Sunday when they take on the 2-7 Los Angeles Chargers.

New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Week 11
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Where, When, All-Time

Not since 1993 have the Jets played a football game in the lovely yet wacky city of Los Angeles. Despite jumping ahead 17-0 on the then-Los Angeles Raiders, the Jets fell in defeat by a final of 24-20 courtesy of a Nick Bell 1-yard touchdown run with just seconds remaining in the game.

The Bolts lead the all-time series 22-14-1 despite New York’s enjoyable recent history in the series. The past two postseason matchups have gone by way of the road underdogs, the Jets (2004 and 2009 seasons).

However, the Chargers have captured the last three meetings, all coming in the regular season. Philip Rivers‘s Chargers beat the Josh McCown-led Jets, 14-7, in the last meeting on Dec. 24, 2017.

The Jets will wear their all-white uniforms.

Odds (Sportsbook)

  • Money line: Chargers -460 | Jets +360
  • Spread: Chargers -10 (-110) | Jets +10 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 48 (O: -110, U: -110)

Curiously, the line for this one is identical to the Jets’ last game. The Jets were 10-point home dogs on Monday Night Football two weeks ago, a game they covered (lost by three). On the road, this time around, they’ll take the 10 points on the west coast.

Injury Report

New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Week 11 Injury Report
New York Jets Communications

Saturday brought on a surprise injury headline for the Jets when cornerback Bless Austin was placed on IR. After practicing on a limited basis Friday, while looking good for Sunday’s game, Austin hit the shelf with a neck injury Saturday.

This means Gregg Williams will be without Pierre Desir (released), Brian Poole (injured reserve) and Austin (injured reserve) against rookie Justin Herbert. Expect Bryce Hall and Lamar Jackson to start on the outside with Arthur Maulet in the slot.

Of course, Sam Darnold will miss his fourth game of the season courtesy of the shoulder injury sustained against the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. His absence was quickly relayed earlier in the week. Linebacker Blake Cashman will also miss the contest.

Kicker Sam Ficken enters the game questionable, while Quinnen Williams and Breshad Perriman look like a go.

The Chargers come into the game relatively healthy. Joey Bosa practiced in full Friday and looks ready to roll. Long-snapper Cole Mazza (illness) and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor (ribs) enter with the questionable tag.

Keys to the Game

Eliminate the big plays

Rookie Justin Herbert has a big arm—something that’s been demonstrated frequently this season. Anthony Lynn‘s offense is currently third in the NFL in total offense (403.7 yards per game), yet they’re only 17th in scoring offense (25.1 points per game).

It’s doubtful Gregg Williams changes much. His new bend-but-don’t-break defense (out of necessity) will have to be the plan against the Bolts offense. He’d love to pressure Herbert with added pressure, but it’s probably not in the cards thanks to the inexperienced secondary.

Win the turnover battle

Winning the turnover battle—as cliche as it is—might be the Jets’ only hope in this one. Give up the yards, but stop Los Angeles in the red zone and swipe the ball a few times.


  • New York Jets 23, Los Angeles Chargers 31

Expect the Jets to put up some points. A health trio of wide receivers allowed Joe Flacco to conduct damage against a decent Bill Belichick defense two weeks ago, and that shouldn’t change this week.

The problem will come on the other side of the ball. This Jets defense is among the NFL’s worst (at the moment), and it’ll be an all-day struggle to shut down the Chargers. Only turnovers can save them.

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