If you missed Cards-Saints, click here. Or don’t – that game was a train wreck.
The DVR is locked and loaded. It’s 5:25 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, or as I like to call, “go time.”
12:25: The Chargers offense stalls on its first series. Says color man Phil Simms before third and 18, “This is the strength of the Jets defense.” And of every defense, Phil. We get a penalty before the snap to make it third and 23. I’d say New York’s D is pretty much unstoppable in these situations. San Diego punts.
9:59: Jets punter Steve Weatherford shanks a 28-yard punt off the side of his foot, but Phil and Jim Nance defend his gaffe, sighting Steve’s weekend stay in the hospital. I’ve gotten 28s on tests before and this excuse has yet to work for me.
8:15: Chargers back Ladainian Tomlinson picks up 4 yards on a “shifty” move. He’s got 2 carries for 9 yards – not exactly eye-popping, but hey, it’s a playoff game and he’s on the field. Baby steps.
6:31: San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding, who’s made 67 straight field goals inside the 40, lines up for a 36-yarder as a CBS graphic reads, “Kaeding: made 67 straight field goals inside the 40.” Kiss of death. Wide left. 0-0.
4:07: On third and 8, Phil Rivers connects with Antonio Gates, who’s off to a monster start. First down, Chargers. Nance reads this promo: “After putting it off for years, will Charlie finally have the guts to go through with a colonoscopy?” Not touching that one with a 10-foot pole, at least not for 40 years.
3:00: Time out, Chargers. We go to break and I have my finger locked on fast forward until… Manning. Timberlake. Andrews. It’s the best commercial on TV, and so far, after the Cowboys drubbing, the best part of my afternoon. I just got a flat screen for Christmas and I still want to go out and buy a Sonia Bravia. 0-0.
13:33: First and 10, Chargers. Gates makes a spectacular one-handed catch for 24 yards. I’d say he’s the Jim Abbott of tight ends. San Diego scores two plays later. 7-0, Chargers.
10:45: We have a sponsorship from one “Pepsi Throwback,” apparently hatched from the creative minds that gave you Pepsi Crystal. Never seen this product before, but I’ll just tell you right now, DOA.
8:58: The Jets offense is deep in its own territory and has 21 total yards on the day. You know that dream where you walk into class and realize that you’re late for an exam and not wearing any pants? Mark Sanchez is having that dream right now.
3:11: Apparently it’s a lucid dream because Sanchize has put on some clothes and hit Braylon Edwards on a frozen rope. The drive stalls, but the Jets have changed field position, and unfortunately, this is a battle of field position. 7-0, Chargers.
1:44: Jets receiver Jerricho Cotchery fields a sky-scraping punt and does nothing with it. Remember way back to the beginning of last season when this guy was a “promising young talent”? And remember way back to the beginning of this season when Vikings receiver Sydney Rice – who caught three more TDs today – was a “total bust”? Are we ready to acknowledge the Favre Effect? He’s the greatest ever, and we’re limping into halftime like the old dude in “Up.”
:11: The Bolts desperately scramble to get into field goal range. Simms on timeouts: “In the first half, use them when you need them. Protect them in the second half.” Apparently Phil and Randy Shannon have opposite philosophies.
13:22: Kaeding came up short on a 55-yard field goal attempt at the end of the second quarter. The throbbing power chords of “Baba O’Reilly” lead us into the second half. First colonoscopy talk. Now promos for decrepit rockers. I feel a Cialis commercial coming on. Still 7-Zip, Chargers.
10:45: Jets kicker Jay Feely drives home a 46-yarder. Secretly underrated stat about Feely: He’s played for more AFL teams (2) than he’s spent days on the Chiefs roster (1). 7-3, Chargers.
4:23: New York corner Darrelle Revis, 5’11”, out-leaps Vincent Jackson, 6’3”, deep in Jets territory, making one of the more spectacular interceptions you’ve ever seen. The buzz surrounding this guy reaches fever pitch. Is he the real deal? Let’s put it this way: when Revis pays in Benjamins, they don’t hold the bills up to the light.
13:35. Let me recap the last few minutes. Revis montage. Real deal. Confirmed. Then Phil Rivers throws a stupid interception from his own 5. Chad Kelly, 15, the winner of the “Punt, Pass and Kick” competition, would have never made that throw, and says so when they honor him during the break (made that last part up). Sanchez connects with Dustin Keller a few plays later. San Diego fans boo their own team and all of a sudden that 50:1-Jets-to-Super Bowl bet is looking pretty freakin’ sweet. 10-7, New York.
10:20: Chargers tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, inspired by the upcoming “60 Minutes” feature on Samoans in the NFL… falls on a Rivers fumble after Kerry Rhodes darts in untouched on safety blitz. I know. Anticlimactic. The New York sideline is going wild. So is The Situation… He’s got to be a Jets fan, right?
7:17: Shonn Greene (correct spelling) shoots through the Chargers D-line, punishes a linebacker and goes 53 yards for the longest TD run in Jets history. He stole the starting job from Thomas Jones while I wrote that last sentence. I’m trying to think of the last time the support upstaged the main event like this… Got it. Van Halen (opener), Black Sabbath (headliner), 1978. 17-7, Jets.
5:18: Nance comments on the Chargers scattershot offense – its confused, burning precious clock, breaking huddle in a frenzy. He could have just saved us time and said, “They’re running the Hurricanes two minute offense.” I thought that was funny, but Nate Kaeding isn’t laughing after pushing his third field goal of the day. He missed three during the entire regular season. They call it “The CBS Graphics Jinx” for a reason.
3:00: A quick update on young Chad Kelly. Apparently he’s the son of Hall of Fame quarterback and proud University of Miami alum Jim Kelly. Gotta love the Internet. Still 17-7, J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!
2:14: Phil Rivers sneaks in from the 1 after a series that included a semi-miraculous, toe-tapping catch, a booth review, a chincy personal foul and a blown touchdown call at the Jets goal line. Kaeding hits the extra point with authority. 17-14, San Diego. And now we’re awaiting the most exciting play in football: the onside kick. I’m a kid in a candy store. This would be really suspenseful if you didn’t already know the final score.
2:14: Jets recover the onsider. I was trying to find Braylon Edwards on the hands team so I could knock out This Week’s Lessons In Irony right here and now. No luck. Damnit.
1:42: Greene comes up a foot short on a dive play on third and 6. Camera pans to Jets coach Rex Ryan: “We’re going for it! Let’s go!” I feel like I could run through a wall right now. So does Thomas Jones. No contest. First down, Jets. Phil Rivers, I say to you, sir, enjoy the golf course. See the rest of you in Indianapolis.