Los Angeles Chargers (7-7 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) vs. New York Jets (5-9 SU, 8-5-1 ATS)
NFL Week 16
Date/Time: Sunday, December 24, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LAC -6.5/NYJ +6.5
Over/Under Total: 42
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers make the trip out east to MetLife Stadium for a week 16 matchup with the New York Jets. The Chargers fell flat last week against the Chiefs in a game for the top spot in the division. As a result, their playoff hopes went from realistic one week to very murky the next. A 30-13 loss makes their route to the postseason problematic at best. They now cross the country to take on the Jets. On Sunday, the Jets lost on the road to the Saints, 31-19. They did cover another spread and can be quite scrappy in spots, despite a 5-9 mark
The Jets havent caught many breaks this season from a personnel standpoint. One could even say they have overachieved this season with a stripped-bare roster. Starting Bryce Petty at quarterback, they covered the spread against the Saints with a halfway respectable performance last Sunday. Things havent gone according to plan since a nice 3-2 start to the season. But theyre seldom as bad as their individual parts would suggest. And only once this season have they not covered the spread at home. All this is food for though for potential Chargers backers.
Petty hasnt shined in his brief time behind center for the Jets. Josh McCown was surprisingly effective this season at QB and well see if Petty can show some flashes of being cut out for this. He was in a tough spot last week and wasnt particularly sharp in completing less than half of his passes and throwing two interceptions. McCown was able to take a thin cast of playmakers and extract a lot out of what he had. Whether Petty can do the same is doubtful. A run game that stars Matt Forte and Bilal Powell, an aerial attack featuring Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson, behind a line that isnt that good isnt an ideal spot for a young QB to thrive.
Whereas the Jets offense seemed to be better than it was on paper, the defense hasnt been able to follow suit. There are issues across all areas of this defense. Its been a letdown as of late and they havent really been delivering late in games. The secondary is readily exploitable. In the middle, they are strong with still-fierce Damario Davis and up-and-comers Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins. But the line, which was not long ago a source of pride on this side of the ball, has actually held the defense back this season. If the Chargers are on-point this week, it could be tough on this bunch, a group whose overall powers could be waning.
Its hard to depend on the Chargers to respond to the urgency after failing so badly to do so the previous week. The Chiefs may have snapped out of their funk and Arrowhead is no picnic late in a season in a game for divisional supremacy, but they really put out a dud on Saturday. After all, they had won 7 of 9 games and were in fine form on both sides of the ball. In other words, it was nice that they battled back from an 0-4 start and the pain of losing several other games that they should have won. Then it just ended up leading to a big letdown. They now either have to win out and hope the Chiefs lose their next two or gun for a wild card where there are now three 8-6 teams in the mix.
The Chargers offense didnt deliver on Sunday, all the more upsetting considering the roll they had been on leading up to that spot. Philip Rivers had been really playing well and his three picks were part of the disappointment on Saturday. They got a good game out of Melvin Gordon who ran for a TD and had 91 yards through the air. Everyone else was pretty quiet. Austin Ekeler, an otherwise interesting little playmaker out of the backfield, coughed up another costly fumble on Saturday. Keenan Allen, in fine form of late, was taken out of the game with a back injury before he could contribute much. TE Hunter Henry and Ekeler wont be available, but Allen should play this week. The line was really manhandled in spots last week and the offense really suffered as a result. They look for better this week against a more-manageable Jets front.
On Saturday, the Chargers defense gave up more points than they had all season, with the Chiefs putting up 30. Thats a strong statement to how good theyve been this season, but also a testament for their lack of big-game clutch. The pass-defense had been tip-top all season, but with no pass-rush, Alex Smith was able to pick his spots. And without the secondary making interceptions as theyve been doing and Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram not harassing quarterbacks constantly, their lack of a run-stop becomes that much clearer. And they couldnt stop it on Sunday, with Kareem Hunt having his best game in months. It was just an odd time for this side of the ball to sag.
Even with the Chargers playoff hopes in the dumps, one could give the edge to them with teams like the Jets often working on different things when out of it. At the end of the season, a hopeless team wants to see what they have deeper on the roster. But the Jets have been doing that all season. They dont have the luxury to sit anyone, as theyve been scrambling to stay afloat all season with all the injuries. This should be pretty straightforward from a what-you-see is what-you-get perspective. While the Jets have been steadfast at home, the Chargers could be really tough in this spot. What fell flat last week wont this week, as the Chargers pull away for the cover on Sunday.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im taking the Los Angeles Chargers minus 6.5 points. – Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a FAT 100% bonus up to $1000 at MyBookie! (Use Promo Code: PRDCT14)