Chargers top Jets on ‘Monday Night Football’: How defense carried L.A. to victory

The Los Angeles Chargers topped the New York Jets 27-6 at MetLife Stadium on Monday night. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Chargers opened a 14-0 first-quarter lead after an 87-yard punt return touchdown from rookie Derius Davis and a 1-yard rushing TD from Austin Ekeler, who added a second late in the fourth quarter.
  • The Jets were held without a touchdown as quarterback Zach Wilson threw for 263 yards, was sacked eight times and lost two fumbles.
  • Los Angeles QB Justin Herbert went 16-of-30 passing for 136 yards, while veteran receiver Keenan Allen reached 10,000 career receiving yards with 77 on the night.
  • New York’s three-game win streak was snapped with the loss while both teams move to 4-4 on the season.

Chargers defense rises to the occasion

Brandon Staley’s defense carried the Chargers to a victory. On a night when Herbert and the offense struggled to move the ball against a vicious Jets defense, the Chargers defense rose to the occasion. They held the Jets to 176 yards of offense through the first three quarters. They did not give up a touchdown. They allowed just three conversions on 17 third downs. They stopped the run, holding Jets running back Breece Hall to 50 yards on 16 carries. They forced three turnovers, all fumbles. Most importantly, they sacked Wilson eight times, with the edge rushing trio of Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack and Tuli Tuipilotu leading the way. The Chargers have played bad offenses the last two weeks against the Jets and Bears. Nonetheless, this could be the start of the Staley’s defense coalescing. — Daniel Popper, Chargers writer

L.A. wins despite offensive struggles

Offensively, the Chargers had a rough showing. They finished with just 191 yards and averaged 3.5 yards per play. The run game was again nonexistent, as Ekeler totaled just 47 yards on 14 carries. Joshua Kelley added 18 yards on three carries. The lack of a running game allowed the Jets pass rush to come to life. Hebert was hit a staggering 13 times on the night, so it is no surprise he finished with just 136 yards passing — the lowest total of his career. That the Chargers won despite one of the worst statistical games of Herbert’s career is a testament to the defensive performance. — Popper

Jets offense reaches new low

Robert Saleh said this about the Jets offense this week: “Eventually things are going to click and it’s going to look pretty cool.”

The offense was bad all season. But it reached a new low on Monday night, losing to a Chargers team despite a dominant defensive performance. The Jets turned the ball over three times, committed eight penalties and allowed eight sacks. Wilson was missing wide open receivers, holding onto the ball and fumbled the ball away on a sack in the fourth quarter, leading to a touchdown. Wilson completed 33 of 49 pass attempts, the most passes he’s thrown this season. He had 263 passing yards — but 65 of them came on the Jets’ final drive in the fourth quarter when the game is already over. The Jets also converted 3 of 15 third downs and failed to convert on their lone trip to the red zone.

After Monday’s disaster, the Jets still rank last in both red zone and third down offense — and fell to 31st in scoring. Saleh, clearly, was wrong about things clicking. And now it’s fair to wonder if he’ll consider any sort of major change — specifically at quarterback or play-caller, where offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has led an even worse offense than the one that struggled with Mike LaFleur in 2022. — Zack Rosenblatt, Jets writer

Highlights of the game

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(Photo: Robert Deutsch / USA Today)

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