Chargers playing small ball

The Chargers are stressing execution this week as they travel to East Rutherford to play the Jets. A tough defense awaits – but they don't seem scared.

Part of the reason is the Chargers have scored seven touchdowns on drives of 80 yards or more, tied for fourth best in the NFL.

They rank among the best in the league in converting third downs and scoring in the red zone.

Quarterback Drew Brees is the NFL's best passer on third down. He has completed 37-of-60 for 443 yards with five touchdowns and one interception for a rating of 105.1.

"Just about every team in the league can move the ball," said Brees. "But when it comes down to third down and keeping a drive alive or scoring when you are in the gold zone – it is the situational football that wins games. We understand that. We were good at it last year and are trying to be good at it this year."

And the results are nothing to sneeze at in 2005.

San Diego's touchdown percentage (.714) inside the red zone with 20 touchdowns in 28 trips is second-highest in the NFL.

"Just being poised in the red zone and not settling for field goals. So far we have been able to make plays. We collectively believe that is how you win games."

Simply put, they have done an admirable job. But they aren't happy – if the 4-4 record wasn't any indication. Forget about the bye week. They see the Jets through the front window and aren't looking through the rearview.

The stats and records to date mean nothing.

They may lead the league in every category but Sunday is a brand new day. It is why they are very keen on working hard on their gameplan for the week and continually review the fine points.

"We devote quite a bit of time to do it," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said of working on red zone and third down drills. "We had multiple snaps in the red zone and snaps in third down. It is a dress rehearsal."

The Jets defense poses plenty of problems. They are the fifth ranked defense against the pass, including ten interceptions.

The Chargers don't care.

"I think the challenge is with ourselves," tight end Antonio Gates said. "If we go out and execute the way we are capable, we should be fine."

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