"I saw that ball pop out and my eyes just lit up," Jets safety Erik Coleman said. "I jumped on it and covered it up."
While Coleman's eyes were lighting up, Brees' eyes were covered in clouds. It was just after he suffered a concussion that the botched snap occurred.
"We wanted to contain (Tomlinson) and try to make Drew Brees beat us," defensive tackle Jason Ferguson said.
"Contain 21 – we did a pretty good job of that," Herm Edwards said. "(Tomlinson) makes a play on a screen. We are yelling, ‘screen, screen, screen' and he breaks a tackle and makes a play."
Not exactly stopping Tomlinson who had 163 combined yards from scrimmage.
"We have played two games," he said. "We have the third youngest team in the NFL in terms of experience and the fourth youngest team in the NFL based on age. We are going to have days like this."
"We have to make plays whenever it presents itself," Tomlinson said.
"Early on, he had a couple of miscues," Schottenheimer said of Gates. "I told him on the sidelines, ‘You have to recognize you are only as good as your next play. If you dwell on the things that don't go well, you are destined to relive them.'"
Gates spoke about execution and turnovers after the game. While he did not fail in the turnover department, he did err on the execution department. Gates had a couple of drops in the game and was overthrown by Brees on other occasions.
"It's frustrating," said Tomlinson.
Marty said he was disappointed for the fans. And for good reason. The fans were loud at Qualcomm on Sunday. While there were plenty of Jets fans in attendance, they came nowhere near the numbers from two years ago and the Chargers fans were supportive of the team. It was the loudest the stadium has been in years. Perhaps the NFL blackout rule has some benefit after all.
"We had a mindset of taking the crowd out of the game," Jets coach Herm Edwards said. "Anytime we go on the road is to establish the tempo of the game."
The first play that brought them back in the game was a kickoff return from Tim Dwight. It was a play that the Jets coach acknowledged:
"We let them back in the game on the big kickoff return," he said.
There were other plays that proved the Chargers are better than a year ago. Last year they would have been down and out and never responded. A 59 yard screen pass to Tomlinson resulted in a score. Brees hit Reche Caldwell for a 33 yard touchdown that brought the game to within six. After the Jets moved ahead by 13, Doug Flutie brought the game to its final resting spot by running one in from seven yards out.
"What hurt us was the big play," Edwards said. We let them have some big plays. The kickoff. Hit a big pass on the screen to get back into the game. 33 yard pass – another touchdown got them back in the game. We let them back in. On fourth down, (Flutie) made some plays and made some throws."
The Chargers were resilient on the day. They never gave up and came back with points on the board. It prompted Schottenheimer to say they worked their tails off.
They also allowed some big plays. None were bigger than the Santana Moss reception late in the game that sealed the victory.
"We have to start getting the ball and helping out our offense," Quentin Jammer said.
That worked well. Ball missed mini-camp, all of training camp and the first two games of the season. He also lost his spot as the starting center to Hardwick and the chances of recouping it appear slim. And he signed for the same amount of money the Chargers originally tendered him at.
Denis Savage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org