NFL 2017 Week 16: Los Angeles Chargers vs New York Jets preview and prediction

The Chargers are in desperation mode, the Jets are well out of the playoffs but more than capable of puncturing LA's hopes.

The Chargers took on Kansas City last week for control of the AFC West and were hammered in a 30-13 loss. They had no answer for Kareem Hunt who picked up over 200 yards from scrimmage while Philip Rivers was picked off three times. The loss means the Chargers need some help to make the postseason.

New York hosted the Saints last week and gave them something of a scare, though they eventually lost 31-19. Bryce Petty got the start under center but didn’t provide any surprises, throwing for 179 yards and a score but tossing two interceptions as well. The Jets running game did ok, picking up 124 yards, but in the end the Saints were just too good for them.

Must win

To have any chance at the playoffs the Chargers need to win and hope that two of Buffalo, Baltimore, and Tennessee drop a game somewhere. It’s not out of the question, and given their performances at times this year the Chargers would be a dangerous wildcard team.

But first, they have to get passed the Jets. New York have been typified by tough play all year, putting up resistance against the best teams they have faced and winning enough for this year to be considered a wild success. However, they are without Josh McCown who has given them the offense they needed.

Jets QB mess

Without McCown, the Jets are back in the terrible situation of having to pick between Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Despite last week’s problems they are sticking with Bryce Petty under center, who has a career passer rating of 56.0, which just goes to tell you what they think of Hackenberg.

With Josh McCown the Jets could have posed a challenge to the Chargers in this game, without him they will be lucky to keep it within double digits.

Matchup to Watch: Hunter Henry vs Marcus Maye

Maye has quietly had a very nice rookie season at safety for the Jets, but he has a tough matchup this week with the young Chargers tight end. Hunter Henry has been an important piece of the puzzle for the Chargers this season as he takes over the position from Antonio Gates. The battle between the two future stars will be a good one.

Fantasy Tip: Bench Robby Anderson

The Jets speedster is struggling with a hamstring injury and has nothing at quarterback to help him should he end up playing. He has been a very reliable fantasy player this season, but avoid him this week.

Betting Tip: Chargers (-7)

Must win vs doesn’t matter, quality quarterback vs trash. There isn’t really much to think about here. The Chargers are on the road which is always tricky as a favorite, but you should give the points, especially if you can find somewhere offering -6.5.

Prediction: Chargers 28-16 Jets

A comfortable win in the end. LA’s pass rush should cause endless problems for the Jets while Rivers and Keenan Allen slice up a poor group of cornerbacks.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.


I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.