The Jets and the Chargers might be old AFL rivals, but Monday night's primetime tussle between the two teams was a defensive brawl. The clubs combined for 13 sacks, 461 total yards and 33 points, but the Jets turned the ball over three times and Chargers rookie Derius Davis' 87-yard punt return score in the opening quarter turned out to be the winning points in the Bolts' 27-6 road victory. The Jets' three-game win streak came to an end as the teams ended the night with 4-4 marks.
Despite holding Justin Herbert and the Chargers to only 191 total yards, the Green & White continued to struggle offensively and never recovered after Davis put them behind the eight ball. While the Chargers converted 44% (7 of 16) of their third-down attempts, the Jets converted 18% (3 of 17) on third down.
"We have a championship defense," HC Robert Saleh said. "I know we do. We have a young offense, a lot of moving parts and I get the frustration, but we have to try and keep finding ways to get better. We have a game coming Sunday."
Zach Wilson passed for 263 yards for the Jets but was sacked 8 times behind a new offensive line combination, the team's fifth of the season. Second-round pick Joe Tippmann, who played his first four NFL games at guard, started at center in Week 9 while Max Mitchell played his first career game at RG and Billy Turner took over at RT.
"Just trying to get our best five out there," Saleh said. "Billy is obviously more comfortable playing right, we had gotten Max some reps at guard during training camp and thought he did a nice job. I felt like, for the most part, they did a pretty good job. I thought we ran the ball pretty well. For the most part, it didn't look like we were losing at the point. It felt like it was holding up enough, but I'll get to the tape."
New York's AFC representative had some bright spots in the first half as rookie WR Xavier Gipson recorded the first 2 catches of his pro career, Sauce Gardner had a pair of pass defenses and the defense racked up 3 sacks of Herbert. But the Jets went into halftime down 17-3, facing a deficit at the break for the seventh time in eight games.
See the best photos from Monday night's primetime game against the Chargers.
Trailing by 14-0 in the second quarter, the Jets scored on Greg Zuerlein's 47-yard field goal. Taking advantage of good field position, Zuerlein's 3-pointer culminated a 7-play possession that covered 26 yards.
The Jets had a post-Halloween scary first quarter, falling behind by 14-0 to the charged-up club from Los Angeles. Davis opened the scoring with an 87-yard punt return and the Jets offense committed two turnovers in plus territory. Garrett Wilson's lost fumble that came on the ensuing possession of Davis' return touchdown didn't result in points, DL Joey Bosa recorded a strip-sack of Z. Wilson that set the LAC offense up at midfield. Eight plays later, RB Austin Ekeler, who had a pair of third-down conversions on the drive both receiving (17 yards) and running (20 yards), went over right tackle for a 1-yard TD.
G. Wilson, who had 100 yards receiving in last week's win over the Giants, was targeted 13 times and led the Jets with 7 catches for 80 yards.
During ESPN's nationally televised broadcast, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman said the Jets QB Aaron Rodgers believes he is coming back this season. Rodgers sustained an Achilles tendon tear on the Jets' fourth offensive snap of the season against the Bills in Week 1. … Jermaine Johnson now has 5.0 sacks this season, which is double his total from his rookie campaign (2.5). ... The Jets continued their offensive line shuffling as rookie Joe Tippmann made his first NFL start at center while Max Mitchell moved inside to RG and Billy Turner got the call at RT. … Chargers DE Joey Bosa was charged with a roughing-the-passer penalty in the first quarter, the first roughing the passer penalty called against a Jets opponent since 2021. … Darrelle Revis, a 2023 Hall of Fame inductee, received his receive his Ring of Excellence at halftime. The Jets were penalized 8 times for 40 yards including four pre-snap penalties. … Bryce Huff led the team with 1.5 sacks.