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14 Fourth Quarter Points Send Jets To AFC Championship Game, Upset Chargers 17-14

LaDanian Tomlinson

One thing that can be learned about the New York Jets is that they, despite their lack of passing (no respect to the rookie Mark Sanchez), have an excellent running attack and one of the better defenses in the National Football League. Not to mention a head coach in Rex Ryan that has his team believing that they can reach the Holy Grail of the league: The Super Bowl.

Sunday would allow the Jets as they visited Qualcomm Stadium Sunday to take on the San Diego Chargers to determine who will face the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game next weekend. Things went slow for the Jets in the first half, but they awoke and scored 14 points in a 6:18 span in the fourth quarter, allowing New York to advance, upsetting favored San Diego 17-14.

The Chargers would draw first blood as Philip Rivers engineered a brief, 5-play, 69-yard drive, capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Kris Wilson, putting San Diego up 7-0 with 12:17 left in the first half. The Jets would respond as Jay Feely connected on a 46-yard field goal, putting them to within 7-3.

New York would hit paydirt twice in a 6:18 span as Sanchez hit Dustin Keller with a 2-yard TD toss then Shonn Greene scored on a 53-yard run, giving the Jets a 17-7 lead with 7:17 remaining in the game. Even with that quick burst of scoring, the Chargers wouldn’t lay down as Rivers’ QB sneak with 2:14 left to go pulled San Diego to within 17-14. The ensuing onside kick was unsuccessful, however, and the Jets got the ball back in excellent field position.

The Jets faced a fourth-and-1 from the 29-yard line with 1:09 remaining; they would take a timeout. The timeout would prove to be beneficial for the Jets as coach Ryan opted to go for it and Greene slammed ahead for a 2-yard gain, icing the game for New York and sending them to Indianapolis.

Sanchez had horrible numbers, yet was efficient as he went 12-of-23 for 100 yards with a TD and an interception while Rivers had much better numbers, going 27-of-40 for 298 yards with a TD and 2 INTs. Greene led the Jets’ potent rushing attack, gaining 128 yards on 23 carries and a TD while Thomas Jones rushed 14 times for 41 yards; Darren Sproles led the Chargers with 33 yards on only 3 carries while LaDanian Tomlinson rushed for 24 yards.

Braylon Edwards led the Jets’ receivers, catching a pair of passes for 4 yards while Jerricho Cotchery caught 3 for 25 yards; Vincent Jackson led the Chargers with 7 receptions for 111 yards while Antonio Gates caught eight passes for 93 yards.

New York (11-7) advances to the AFC Championship as they travel to Indianapolis to take on the top-seeded Colts while San Diego ends their season 13-4 and can now speculate as to what could have been.

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One Response to “14 Fourth Quarter Points Send Jets To AFC Championship Game, Upset Chargers 17-14”

  1. Frank D says:

    Check out this pic of a drunk chargers fan passed out under his truck, pretty much sums up the game yesterday,

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