Moss could not be stopped (Allsport)
The Chargers were spanked by the New York Jets on their home turf 44-13. On a day when they honored Stan Humphries and Bobby Ross, they honored memories of their 1-15 season instead.
59,972 were in attendance to watch the massacre that unfolded early. Quarterback Chad Pennington (28 of 37, 253 yards, one touchdown), making his first NFL road start, ran 8 yards up the middle on a designed play for the Jets' first score. Santana Moss then returned a punt 52 yards for a 14-0 edge. Carlos Polk was called for illegal hands to the face on the previous punt, which forced the Chargers to punt again and they got burned. Moss had his way on special teams all day gaining 116 yards on 5 punt returns.
In the second quarter Pennington hit a wide open Anthony Becht for a 1 yard score. On the play Junior Seau was left covering 2 receivers as Donnie Edwards missed an assignment and Seau was infuriated after the play. The score was 21-0 at that point and getting uglier by the second.
With the aid of Jets penalties Drew Brees(22 of 35, 192 yards, one touchdown, 2 interceptions) hit Curtis Conway for a 13 yard score to make the game reasonable at 21-7, and still in the second quarter. It seemed like the Jets were on the verge of self destruction…
Wade Richey then took the liberty of stopping any momentum the Chargers created by booting the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving the Jets the ball at the 40. The Jets scored 6 plays later on a Curtis Martin 17 yard run.
John Hall then booted a field goal after a Brees interception and the game was out of hand at 31-7 and we just entered halftime.
During halftime Bobby Ross pumped up the crowd saying, "Let's get behind the Chargers in the second half, you can help them; you're the 12th man.''
Hall booted another on the Jets second possession of the second half to make the score 34-7. After a Reche Caldwell fumble on the ensuing kickoff the Chargers came up with their only prideful play. Adrian Dingle blocked the next Hall kick from 43 yards out. The Chargers took that sole good special teams play and turned it into a touchdown when LaDainian Tomlinson (12 rushes for 60 yards, 1 touchdown) scored from 7 yards out. The Bolts then had the extra point blocked as they quickly reverted back to their horrible special teams.
The Jets were not through; Hall would boot another field goal and LaMont Jordan took one to the house, going 61 yards to mark the final score of 44-13.
With a loss like this, everyone is accountable. Coach Schottenheimer took the blame on his shoulders and his players, saying, "The National Football League has nothing but teams that can win. We didn't play today anywhere near what we're capable of playing. I did a poor job of preparing this team to play, and our players did a poor job of preparing themselves to play. That's where it is now."
"We got our asses kicked,'' wide receiver Tim Dwight said.
Linebacker Ben Leber added, "Crumple it up, rip it up and throw it away.''
That is exactly what they need to do, but there are things that can be learned from this game. The special teams is still horrendous and needs more work than they have time for. A shakeup is needed on the unit. Apparently the BYE week does not teach you that much.
The Chargers lost defensive tackle Jason Fisk, safety Keith Lyle and offensive tackle Damion McIntosh to ankle injuries early in the game. They will all be re-evaluated during the week, but McIntosh came out on crutches later in the game.