With the San Diego Chargers ready to begin training camp on Thursday, we take a closer look at the team’s opponents for the 2014 regular season.
Fifth up: New York Jets
When: The Chargers host the Jets at Qualcomm Stadium on Oct. 5.
Last season: Head coach Rex Ryan had his team on the brink of making the playoffs, but finished 8-8 in 2013.
All-time series vs. Chargers: San Diego holds a 20-14-1 advantage over the Jets in the all-time series between the two teams. The Chargers are 11-8 against the Jets at home.
Last meeting vs. Chargers: The Chargers handled the Jets at MetLife Stadium 27-17 on Dec. 23, 2012.
Super Bowl odds: 70-1
Key offseason additions: The Jets moved to upgrade the talent around second-year quarterback Geno Smith, signing running back Chris Johnson, receiver Eric Decker and offensive tackle Breno Giacomini in free agency. But Smith also will have some competition for the starting job, with the Jets adding explosive playmaker Michael Vick in free agency. The Jets also bolstered an already talented defense with the addition of first-round selection safety Calvin Pryor, and claimed defensive back Johnny Patrick, who San Diego released on waivers in March.
Key offseason losses: Former first-round selection quarterback Mark Sanchez was released by the Jets and signed with Philadelphia. Pro Bowl cornerback and former Charger Antonio Cromartie took his considerable talents to Arizona during free agency. Offensive lineman Austin Howard signed a multi-year deal with Oakland in free agency. The Jets also released aging receiver Santonio Holmes.
The skinny: Ryan says he’s confident he has a playoff team on his hands, so the Jets must be the real deal. Defensively, that’s certainly the case, as the Jets allowed just 88 rushing yards a contest in 2013, which ranked No. 3 in the NFL. Led by Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, the Jets have one of the more dominant defensive fronts in the NFL.
But like Buffalo, the Jets still struggle with consistency on offense, averaging just 18 points a contest last season. Smith completed just 56 percent of his passes, with 12 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions for a dismal 66.5 passer rating last season. If the Jets can get decent production out of the quarterback position in 2014, they could be dangerous.