Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. (artificial turf, outdoors)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Spread: Jets by 2.5
Forecast: Mostly sunny, with a temperature in the upper-30s to low-40s.
Records: Jets (6-8; AFC East 2-3); Chargers (5-9, AFC West 3-2)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- October 23, 2011 (Jets 27, Chargers 21); January 17, 2010 (Jets 17, Chargers 14 -- divisional playoff). Series record: Chargers lead 12-19-1.
What matters: The potential for entertainment, but for all the wrong reasons. Before the season, many believed this game was going to have playoff implications for both teams. Instead, the Jets and Chargers were eliminated from postseason contention last week, a predictable result from a season filled with embarrassing moments for both franchises. The question isn't which will be the better team Sunday, it's who will come out of the game the least embarrassed.
Who matters: QB Greg McElroy, the Jets' third-stringer, will receive his first career start. QB Mark Sanchez was benched after a performance Monday night in which he threw four INTs and lost a fumble. Sanchez leads the league in turnovers over the last two seasons with 50 (35 INTs and 15 fumbles lost). Coach Rex Ryan hopes McElroy will do a better job of protecting the ball. If he does, the Jets will likely win. Chargers QB Philip Rivers had two fumbles last week. Rivers has 47 turnovers (35 INTs and 12 fumbles lost), second only to Sanchez in the same time frame. But if McElroy struggles early, Jets fans cheering 'TEBOW, TEBOW' may finally get their wish. Last season, QB Tim Tebow led the Broncos to a 16-13 win in OT against the Chargers in Week 12.
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Key matchups: Chargers D-line vs. McElroy: The Chargers' defense has 43 sacks (ranked third) but has only four sacks the past two games when they faced mobile quarterbacks in Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton. McElroy will not be as mobile and must be put to the test with constant pressure. Chargers O-Line vs. Panthers D-line: San Diego will return three starters to the O-line in RT Jeromey Clary, LG Tyronne Green and LT Mike Harris. The O-line has been inconsistent all year, but these players should provide better protection for Rivers. The Jets' defense has 35 sacks (three-way tie for 10th) and has allowed an average of 191.1 passing yards per game (ranked 2nd).
Injuries of note: San Diego: DT Aubrayo Franklin (knee) is doubtful. ILB Demorrio Williams (ankle) is questionable. San Diego has five players who are listed as probable, including ILB Takeo Spikes, who missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a hamstring injury. Jets -- Doubtful: DB Aaron Berry (hamstring) and TE Dustin Keller (ankle). Questionable: WR Braylon Edwards (hamstring), WR Mardy Gilyard (illness), DL Sione Pouha (low back), LB Ricky Sapp (ankle), WR Chaz Schilens (knee/calf), LB Bryan Thomas (chest) and TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist/ankle). The Jets have 14 players listed as probable.
Inside stuff: Coach Norv Turner expects McElroy will play the whole game, but OLB Jarret Johnson said he is preparing to face all three of the Jets QBs.
Stat you should know: Chargers DE Corey Liuget has a sack in three of the last four games. Liuget leads the D-line in sacks (5), tackles (52), tackles for loss (11), QB hits (10) and passes defensed (9).
Record watch: TE Antonio Gates (81) needs a touchdown to pass WR Lance Alworth (81) for the franchise record. OLB Shaun Phillips (67) needs a sack to pass Gary “Big Hands” Johnson (67) for second most sacks in team history.
Looking ahead: The Chargers will finish out the season by hosting the Raiders (4-10). A fourth-straight home television blackout will likely be avoided with the help of thousands of fans wearing silver and black. The Jets will travel to take on the Bills (5-9).
Prediction: Jets 13, Chargers 10