Don't look now, but things could get ugly for the Jets. Now 1-3 this season and alone in last place in the AFC East, the team is tasked with traveling to San Diego for a Sunday afternoon clash with the Chargers (3-1).
It's no secret that the schedule remains tough throughout October, but the Jets must do damage control this week to avoid a slippery slope to a potential 1-7 record at the halfway point.
Hope is not lost, however. Here are three ways the Jets can surprise their AFC West foes and stop their three-game slide.
Pick on Philip
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has played great during the team's three-game win streak. But, he wasn't so special in a Week 1 loss to the Cardinals. Like the Cards, the Jets possess a stout run defense. Unlike Arizona, Gang Green has an elite pass rush and leads the NFL in sacks (14). Getting Rivers rattled is a fast tract to creating turnovers and scoring the upset.
San Diego's rushing attack isn't the worst in the NFL; it's the second worst. The Chargers are playing without their injured top two running backs (Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead), leaving journeyman Donald Brown as the lead back. With the Jets still the league's top run-stuffing defense, there's little reason to fear when Rivers hands off the ball.
Nobody is mistaking the Jets' offense for a juggernaut, but they have this much going for them: They sure can run. The duo of Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory has been brilliant thus far, with Ivory the surprising leader in carries (50 to 41), yards per carry (5.5 to 4.1) and rushing touchdowns (two to one). A huge day on the ground could keep Rivers off the field long enough to maintain the edge.