Jackson Eyes Match-Up with Revis

For a team that relies so much on the deep passing game, seeing Vincent Jackson in a protective walking boot last week was unsettling for the Chargers.

But Vincent Jackson, who leads the league in yards per catch, said he is ready for Sunday's challenge against the Jets.

"I did get some rest," Jackson said of taking time off for his sore Achilles' tendon during the bye. "We're still working on it. I'm hoping to be closer to 100 percent by Sunday, but obviously it's hard for anybody at this point in the season to be 100 percent. That's not what I'm focused on. I'm trying to be as prepared and as healthy as I can be to help this team. The bye helped a lot of guys on our team."

Jackson, who had nine touchdown catches, has become Philip Rivers' biggest target downfield, and he responded with his second straight 1,000-yard season.

But Jackson has more than a tender tendon to worry about. He will likely draw the attention of Darrelle Revis, the Jets' shutdown cornerback.

"I see a talented young football player," Jackson said of what his film study revealed. "He's had some success against some of the best receivers in the league. I think part of that comes from teams (saying), 'Hey, if you're going to try to take this away, that's fine because we should be able to beat you in other areas.'"

The Chargers can do that with weapons such as LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Darren Sproles and Malcom Floyd. But Jackson is hoping he gets his fair share of passes thrown his way too. If not, he understands.

"I would love to have a great game against him, but if I don't have 100 yards or something, I might only get the ball thrown to me twice, but that's OK," he said. "I'm not really focused on the one-on-one matchups."

But if the Jets' defense does rotate Revis in the 6-foot-5 Jackson's direction, he expects his coverage to be the in-your-face variety.

"He is a more physical corner," Jackson said. "I think he likes to get up and touch you, feel you as you're running around and get some contact at the line of scrimmage. I'd expect that, but I think with our size and our speed that it's not going to be any different from what we faced with other defensive backs."

Jackson doesn't mind mixing it up if it means he gets open.

"That's part of the game," he said. "I've been facing all kinds of corners; there are a lot of good football players in this league. Obviously he's getting more of the attention right now, but I think press coverage is something I can split."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--C Nick Hardwick continues to practice and show few signs of the ankle injury which wiped out the majority of his regular season. Hardwick is keen and barking out blocking assignments and he keeps his fellow linemen loose.

--ILB Brandon Siler has been among the pleasant surprises this season, taking advantage of his opportunity because of injuries. Siler will have to be on his game Sunday with the Jets looking to pound the football and keep it away from the Chargers' potent offense.

--OLB Shawne Merriman is banking on being as healthy Sunday as he has been all year. Merriman's season has been derailed by knee, groin and foot injuries. The three-time Pro Bowler has but four sacks.

--WR Buster Davis is coming off his best and only game of his season. He's been inactive this season except for the last game when he caught six passes for 52 yards. While his showing helped his stock in the Chargers' eyes, it's likely the former first-round pick will be inactive again Sunday.

--RB LaDainian Tomlinson may have had an off year -- he set career-lows for rushing yards and carries -- but he continues to be dangerous around the goal line. Tomlinson led the Chargers with 12 touchdowns and enters the playoffs healthy.

--RB Darren Sproles collected 1,300 kick return yards, with a long of 66. But surprisingly, he didn't return one for a touchdown. The Jets are ranked No. 23rd in covering kicks and that could be an area the Chargers exploit on Sunday.


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