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Jets Can Put Losing Streak to Rest on Sunday

Beating Chargers will go long way to restoring Jets swagger

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Oct 21, 2011  |  Updated 5:28 PM EDT
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Jets Can Put Losing Streak to Rest on Sunday

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Revis provides one last distraction before the main event.

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The Jets added one more distraction to a week filled with them on Friday afternoon.

Darrelle Revis made a rare appearance on Mike Francesa's radio show and then guaranteed that it will be a while before he's back on those airwaves by hanging up on the host in the middle of an argument about whether or not Revis committed pass interference on his 100-yard interception return against the Dolphins on Monday night. It was actually a Jets PR staffer who stepped in to end the interview, a rather silly move since Revis was dominating Francesa just as he dominated Brandon Marshall on Monday night.

The Revis flap will make a few headlines, sliding right into the place vacated by Rex Ryan's ill-considered comments about Norv Turner and the Chargers (or Mike Tannenbaum's work as general manager, if you prefer) earlier this week. Between the two stories, there hasn't been much room left to talk about the Jets as a football team instead of a carnival sideshow.

That's probably a good thing for the team. The last four weeks have been as rough a stretch as the team has had since Brett Favre was destroying the team down the stretch of the 2008 season and there really wasn't much to gain from continually rehashing the issues that led to three straight losses and the rather tepid performance in a win over a terrible Dolphins team.

The respite won't last too much longer. The Chargers and their 4-1 record will be in the Meadowlands on Sunday with that game doing much to decide how the stage will be set for the final nine weeks of the Jets' season.

A win means that the Jets have a victory over a team that's going to be in the playoff race in the AFC and, thanks to the bye week, they have two weeks with the storyline being about a two-game winning streak instead of about all their problems. That means no sniping at each other in the media and it means a chance to return the focus to actually addressing the problems instead of simply talking about them.

You can probably imagine where a loss is going to take things. It will be very hard to buy into the Jets as serious contenders with four losses against teams that have winning records in the conference and even harder to believe that they can right the ship enough to make the kind of season-saving run they did in 2009.

Beating the Chargers won't be easy, although there's certainly a path to victory for the Jets. It is pretty much the same one they used to beat them in San Diego in the 2009 playoffs, control the ball and keep Philip Rivers from beating you in the passing game.

The latter half is easier than the former, thanks mostly to Revis' ability to make Vincent Jackson a non-factor on the field. The Jets' running game remains missing in action, but it needs to establish itself early and remain a factor through all four quarters for the Jets to win games like this.

Pull it off and the whole outlook for the season changes. If not, it is going to be an awfully long couple of weeks.

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