Take a Cue from the Jets

The San Diego Chargers are officially the worst team in the league. They didn't even have to play to cement their status. Hopefully, they were watching TV this Sunday and the matchup between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, a 30-3 drubbing won by an 0-4 team with youth in the lineup.

Similarities exist between the Jets and Chargers. Both teams have been awful against the run and have problems in the secondary. The Jets, up until yesterday, looked even worse on offense, relying on Vinny Testaverde with Curtis Martin struggling. The Chargers have been down so often, LaDainian Tomlinson has not been the focal point of the offense.

The difference this week, they threw in all sorts of rookies who probably had no business playing and won. Not just any rookies, they played guys who had yet to play anywhere but special teams this season. Why? They wanted to show the veterans that their jobs are in jeopardy. They wanted to keep fresh bodies rotating in. The result? Seven sacks, and this, without Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham in the lineup.

The Chargers should do the same. Rotate in Stephen Cooper at linebacker. He has already shown a spark on special teams. Throw Otis Leverette in there and see what he can do. Activate Matt Wilhelm and let him hit someone. Let Mike Scifres kickoff again, give him some confidence.

An 0-5 team needs some change. Right now, the biggest change is Solomon Page returning to the lineup and Phil Bogle moving to right guard. Marty Schottenheimer, just like halftime, is not adapting.

"I don't see any dramatic changes," Schottenheimer said. "It's hard to reinstitute an offense, defense and kicking game in three or four days."

We are not reinventing the wheel here. Successful teams make adjustments. An 0-4 Jets team made every position a battle for playing time. Play well and see the field more. It is accountability.

"You have to do whatever it takes to win," said Cleveland Head Coach Butch Davis. "What's crazy about this league is that the same game plan may not work two weeks in a row. You have to adjust and adapt to what the other team will let you do."

Desperation comes in many forms. Players have talked about pride. Imagine playing for your job with the team. If that isn't motivation, what is?

"It's embarrassing -- you're the team that people can talk about now, as being the only team in the NFL that hasn't won a game yet," said Tomlinson.

Tomlinson hit where it hurts, give the team cause to play harder as 0-4 didn't seem to be enough. Mistakes get you benched. Everyone needs to be an example. Accountability, then maybe attitude will follow.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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