The most striking difference between the Chargers and Jets is at the quarterback position, where San Diego's Philip Rivers is established as one of the NFL's elite passers with a huge edge in experience over rookie Mark Sanchez. Chargers coach Norv Turner clearly hopes to exploit that, but first his defense has to stop the Jets' running game and force Sanchez to pass.
"The difference right now in the two quarterbacks, obviously, is Philip has a lot more plays he has to manage in our offense," Turner said Thursday. "Mark has done a great job, and they're great running the ball and playing defense. When you have 15 throws and six of them are on third downs, you don't have as many plays that you have to manage. If we can get him into an uncomfortable situation that he has to manage more things, we'll do everything we can to take advantage of that."
Turner also said the primary topic of his address to the Chargers before this week of practice was making sure to play with poise, which he credited for their 11-game winning streak. "There's going to be emotion involved," Turner said. "I don't think you ever downplay that. I don't know that you're going to falsely create that. The emotion will be there early for both teams, and it's going to be a big part of the game early. Our experience and our maturity and our poise are going to have to carry us."