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New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Week 9 Preview: Opportunity Knocks

New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Zach Wilson, Justin Herbert
New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Zach Wilson, Justin Herbert, Getty Images

The NY Jets and LA Chargers close out Week 9

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—The New York Jets yet again find themselves in primetime—without Aaron Rodgers.

For Robert Saleh’s squad, however, that’s more than OK. The 4-3 Jets have won three straight games, and enter another Monday Night Football event with an incredible opportunity at hand.

A victory would put them at 5-3, just a half-game behind the Miami Dolphins, who fell in defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs early Sunday. In fact, if the Jets were to beat the Chargers, and then the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10, they would take on the Dolphins with an identical 6-3 record—for a special Black Friday game at MetLife Stadium. (Miami’s bye is upcoming.)

Can Zach Wilson and the Jets improve to 5-3, though? The task is the Justin Herbert-led Los Angeles Chargers, who come into this one with a 3-4 mark.

New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 2023 NFL Week 9 Preview
New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 2023 NFL Week 9 Preview, Getty Images

Jets vs. Chargers game info

  • New York Jets (4-3)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (3-4)
  • 2023 NFL Week 9
  • Monday, Nov. 6, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC
  • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

This is the New York Jets’ second Monday night game of the season. Of course, their first occurrence came back in Week 1, when Aaron Rodgers went down for the season.

The Los Angeles Chargers—as per usual—have been up and down this season. After losing their first two games, they took two straight. The next two games saw defeats to the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs.

However, Justin Herbert’s bunch is coming off a strong effort against the Chicago Bears in a Week 8 primetime spot, a 30-13 victory.

The game is slated for an 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff from MetLife Stadium and can be seen on ESPN and ABC, with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call.

As per a special request by Jets running back Breece Hall, the Jets will indeed wear their white tops and black pants. (Previously in the week, the team had announced an all-white look.)

Jets vs. Chargers history

  • The Chargers lead the all-time series, 23-14-1

It makes sense that the Jets and Bolts have played 38 all-time games against one another, considering the two are original AFL franchises.

The Chargers lead the all-time series by a 23-14-1 tally. Worse yet, for Jets fans, the Bolts have won the last four meetings, stretching back to December 2012.

The last Jets victory occurred back in October 2011 when a Rex Ryan-led quad took home the 27-21 victory. Plaxico Burress notched three touchdowns on just four receptions and 25 receiving yards in the win.

Jets vs. Chargers odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Spread: Jets +3.5 (-106), Chargers -3.5 (-114)
  • Moneyline: Jets +160, Chargers -190
  • Over/Under: 39.5 (O: -110, U: -110)

In spite of the home-field advantage, FanDuel Sportsbook (and the rest of the oddsmakers) lists the New York Jets as underdogs.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Jets are 3.5-point home underdogs. Their moneyline is +160, whereas the over-under point total is set at 39.5.

Jets vs. Chargers injury report

While the losses of Connor McGovern and Wes Schweitzer certainly hurt, the New York Jets received terrific news this week on the injury front.

Offensive lineman Joe Tippmann is back.

New York Jets

  • Duane Brown, OT (Hip-Out)
  • Chazz Surratt, LB (Ankle-Out)
  • Adrian Amos, S (Ankle-Questionable)
  • Allen Lazard, WR (Knee-Questionable)

Joe Tippman returns to fortify the interior of the Jets offensive line (whether it’s at guard or center, his natural position), which means the other interior spot is still up for grabs.

It could easily be newcomer Rodger Saffold, whose practice squad signing earlier this week came with the promise of gameday elevation. It could also be Xavier Newman, who admirably filled in against the New York Giants.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Joshua Palmer, WR (Knee-Out)
  • Morgan Fox, DL (Oblique-Questionable)
  • Sebastian Joseph-Day, DL (Illness-Questionable)
  • Eric Kendricks, LB (Ribs-Questionable)
  • Kenneth Murray Jr., LB (Shoulder-Questionable)

On the Chargers side of the injury report, big wide receiver Joshua Palmer has already been ruled out with a knee injury.

Jets vs. Chargers prediction

  • New York Jets 24, Los Angeles Chargers 23

Despite the overall ugliness displayed by the New York Jets offense against the Giants, this is the perfect spot for Zach Wilson and company.

Rewind the clock to the Kansas City Chiefs loss in Week 4. In a monster, prime-time spot, Wilson let his hair down and fired balls in specific ways that left onlookers stunned. And the Chiefs’ defense is excellent.

This Los Angeles Chargers defense is also excellent—from a talent perspective. It’s the coaching that leaves a lot to be desired at times.

Therefore, I expect Zach Wilson and the Jets offense to have one of their best days of the season—as long as Robert Saleh’s gameplan, or the early game-flow, allows for it to become a possibility.

On the other side of the ball, Austin Ekeler will put up his fantasy points, but Justin Herbert hasn’t seen coverage like the Jets have. Herbert will make plenty of plays, but I think he’ll fall short at times in the red zone.

Give me the Jets in an extremely close game that could go either way in the end.

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8 months ago

Wish I felt better about this game and I’d say it’s a tad better than an even proposition right now. However, still have no faith in the combo of Zach and Hackett and ultimately I think we will need to score over 20 points. Theres no motion, little creativity, no changing the pace and a very predictable offense and one that limits Zach because they do not want him to turn the ball over. And other than the KC game I think Saleh just wants him as a game manager and let the defense try and win the game. Has mostly worked so far so I don’t see a change.