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Chargers, Broncos meet again, but it's different

November 18, 2009|SAM FARMER | ON THE NFL

Philip Rivers was dead wrong.

And he has to be happy about that.

When his team lost to Denver last month, Rivers said the Broncos "aren't going to fall apart" like last season's version. Now, after three consecutive Denver losses, indications point to the contrary.

The Chargers, who fell behind in the AFC West by 3 1/2 games with that defeat, have already caught up and can claim sole possession of the division lead with a victory at Denver on Sunday.

San Diego has won four in a row, and its next two opponents after Denver are a combined 2-15: Kansas City and Cleveland.

But first things first -- a blockbuster of a game against the Broncos.

"It's like deja vu, isn't it?" Chargers tight end Antonio Gates told reporters. "It's like every time we play Denver, it means more than one game. We'll be fired up."

East heading south

What happened to the NFC East? Dallas gets thumped at Green Bay, Philadelphia has lost two in a row, Washington is 3-6, and the New York Giants haven't won since Week 5.

So much for the NFC East being the toughest division in football, as some observers had billed it earlier this season.

Sunday, the Cowboys play host to the Redskins, Atlanta plays at the Giants, and, in the Sunday night game, the Eagles play at Chicago.

Jet stream

Rex Ryan was so emotional after last Sunday's loss to Jacksonville, that the New York Jets coach broke down in tears while talking to his team.

"I was a little upset to see him that way," cornerback Darrelle Revis told the New York Post. "I'm upset for the same reasons he's upset. . . . I haven't been a part of a meeting where a coach cried like that."

The mood won't get any lighter this week when the Jets play at New England, whom they trail in the AFC East by two games (as does Miami).

The Jets will be looking for an encore of their Week 2 performance, when they beat the Patriots, 16-9.

In that game, they didn't sack Tom Brady, but hurried him 15 times and knocked him down five times.

Clawing their

way back

Don't look now, but the Jaguars are quietly making a run. They have won five of their last seven, and Sunday play host to Buffalo -- a team that just fired its coach.

The Jaguars have a retooled roster, 13 rookies logging significant playing time, and one of the best backs in football in Maurice Jones-Drew.

If you haven't noticed, don't feel bad.

Neither have a lot of folks in Jacksonville.


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