The League

Les Carpenter
Staff Writer

Les Carpenter

Yahoo! Sports reporter and former NFL writer for The Washington Post.

Not this year


The Jets not only have a rookie quarterback and coach, they also have a rookie at running back in Shonn Green who had 135 rushing yards against the Bengals in the Wild Card round last weekend. This bodes well for New York's future. Mark Sanchez has shown enough promise that he can be one of the NFL's better quarterbacks in coming seasons and Rex Ryan proved that he can hold a team together even as things seem to be falling apart -- a critical element for success in this league.

But that can only take the Jets so far for now. It's not the lack of experience that will hurt New York in San Diego on Sunday, rather it's the fact they will be playing a significantly better team, one that has won 11 straight and is considered the hottest club heading into the postseason. Add in the fact that New York has to travel across the country to play the Chargers and the chance of pulling an upset becomes remote.

In Cincinnati, the Jets were playing a team that was reeling. The Bengals, having already wrapped up their division, had slowed down. Just the week before, they held back chunks of their gameplan against New York, concerned they were going to have to play the Jets the next weekend. It seemed they never recovered. New York won't have that luxury against the Chargers who are storming into the playoffs and might be the most complete San Diego team in years.

Ryan's inexperience as a head coach won't hurt him this weekend. He has been in this situation as an assistant. Sanchez probably won't rattle any more than any veteran quarterback would rattle playing in San Diego. The Jets are simply going up against a team that should beat them. And most likely will.

By Les Carpenter  |  January 13, 2010; 2:47 PM ET  | Category:  New York Jets Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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