The Jets will look to pressure Philip Rivers, who has been lights-out through the first two games of the season. New York runs a 3-4 defense similar to San Diego's, so the majority of the pressure will come from the outside linebacker position. The Jets boast three talented outside linebackers -- a situation the Chargers would love to have given the absence of Shawne Merriman -- and each must be accounted for.
OLB Bryan Thomas
The Chargers will counter New York's three-headed pass rush with a three-man rotation at the tackle position. Pro Bowler McNeill is expected to start for the first time since suffering a neck injury in the offseason, but is unlikely play the entire contest. He'll likely split time with Shelton, who has been steady in his two starts this season. At right tackle is Clary, who will be hard-pressed to handle the Jets' speed off the edge.
The Chargers have made protection a top priority this season with Rivers coming off ACL surgery. The results have been stellar, as San Diego has surrendered only two sacks. The Jets rank second in the NFL with eight sacks, so the Chargers will have to be on top of their game if they hope to keep Rivers clean in the pocket.
Defensive Matchup to Watch: Inside linebackers Matt Wilhelm, Derek Smith and Tim Dobbins against tight ends Chris Baker, Bubba Franks and Dustin Keller.
San Diego's 3-4 defense has typically struggled to keep opposing tight ends in check, a problem that has only been exasperated by the suspension of Stephen Cooper. Ted Cottrell's unit will have to rectify that problem in Week 3, as the Jets come to town with three talented tight ends in tow.
ILB Derek Smith
Favre will use his tight ends to attack the middle of the field rather than throwing outside towards San Diego's talented cornerbacks. That means the Chargers' linebackers must get deep drops and resist the temptation to bite on play-action passes.
Stopping New York's tight ends may be easier said than done for a linebacker corps that has struggled to cover the middle of the field. Wilhelm conceded the game-winning touchdown in Week 1; Smith has struggled in coverage and is often pulled in nickel situations; and Dobbins was schooled by Favre when the Chargers played the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 last season.
Prediction: Chargers 23, Jets 17
The Chargers desperately need a quick start against the Jets. San Diego is one of the best front-running teams in the NFL, so the Chargers could turn this into a blowout with a couple of early scores. However, this isn't Favre's first Monday night rodeo. Look for the wily veteran to keep his team close. The Chargers' defense has too much pride to play so poorly for the third week in a row; look for Cottrell's unit to come through with a victory-saving stop under the bright lights of primetime.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003.